Hot Dog Stew and Brussels Sprouts: The Ugly Duckling of Healthy, Easy Recipe Titles

March 05, 2010

By Mark Bishop, Deputy Director

When Henry
was younger, I used to make hot dog stew for him. OK, before you say anything: I realize that the name “hot dog stew” conjures less appetizing visions than, say, peanut-cedar salmon or the first garden meal of the summer. But it's time to give this ugly duckling of a recipe title the credit it deserves. The other day I decided to revive the recipe.

Henry loved it, it
was easy, it lasted a few days, and we all — my wife and I included — enjoyed eating it. As you might guess, I used hot
dogs that were lower fat, nitrate free, and quite tasty. (This is actually what I used.) Hot dog stew is full of veggies and other goodness, flavored by the tastiness of smokey hot dogs. (And you have to admit that “bell pepper and brown rice stew” just doesn't grab your attention the way “hot dog stew” does.) And for the veggies out there, use tofu dogs! It's all good.

It's another opportunity to put as many vegetables together as
possible and mix them with grains and protein.

Henry's Hot Dog Stew

1 cup brown rice

2 cups water

1 red bell pepper

1 green bell pepper

2 small onions

1 zucchini

1 tomato

1 small carrot

(any other veggies that you have in your fridge)

4 diced hot dogs (you can use chicken sausage, tofu dogs –  whatever)

Salt & pepper

Essentially,
all I did was begin to prepare the rice by boiling the water and adding
the dry rice. Then I diced and added all of the veggies (carrots and onions
first, softer veggies last). Finally I added the chopped hot dogs, and
added salt and pepper to taste. It's quick and tasty. And the hot dogs
add a nice smokey flavor to the dish without being greasy.

And don't forget the greens —
roasted Brussels sprouts are the perfect complement!

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This is one of Henry's
favorite veggies. Wash Brussels sprouts and cut them in half. Toss with some
olive oil and salt. Then bake at 400 degrees for 45 minutes or until
browned. They come out crispy and a bit nutty. Whenever we have friends
over, they can't believe how much they love Brussels sprouts when they
try them this way. And Henry agrees. Give it a try!