Food cravings come in different shapes and sizes. Sometimes we satisfy them, sometimes we let them slide. When you’re pregnant food craving can go to a whole new level and you feel like you’ve been granted a free pass to satisfy ever last one of them. The only problem in doing so, as I am discovering in my fourth month of pregnancy, is that some things I’m craving are on the “though shalt not eat when pregnant” list like lox (raw fish), margaritas (alcohol) and deli meat (nitrates). So when I found out that Grow and Behold makes nitrate free hot dogs I was in craving-satisfying-heaven.
Pregnant people, and non pregnant people, everywhere will rejoice when eating these hot dogs. They are amazingly flavorful, with a pleasant smokey taste, and aren’t chock full of chemicals. Just “pastured beef and spices” as the website says. I had planned on sharing some of these hot dogs with a pregnant friend over lunch at work, but they’ve yet to make it out of my kitchen. Sam and I just gobble them up, enjoying them in a number of different simple preparations. Here are some you may want to try with your Grow and Behold hot dogs:
- Sauerkraut and Italian dressing for a Reuben hot dog
- Appearing in thin slices In split pea soup
- A stand in for meat cubes in chulent
- Topped with chili and non dairy sour cream
- Served with warm vegetarian baked beans
Of course, there is always the classic mustard, relish, ketchup and sauteed onion combination. What can make this run of the mill preparation special is making your own buns at home (not counting the “bun in the oven”). I know that sounds like a super involved kitchen endeavor, but it’s actually super easy. It requires a handful of ingredients,most of which you probably have around the house, takes 5 minutes to rise and tastes like fluffy perfection.
1 tablespoon of yeast
1 cup warm water
1/2 tbsp of sugar
8 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp salt
3.5 cups flour
Preheat the oven to 425 degrees.
Pour the water into a large bowl and sprinkle the yeast in the water and stir with a fork to dissolve. Add the sugar and oil and stir. Let stand for 5 minutes.
The mixture will be bubbly. Add the egg, salt and flour. Knead the dough for about 3-5 minutes by using your hands to repeatedly fold the dough over onto itself and punching it down.
Break the dough into 6 pieces. Working with one piece at a time, form into a 4 inch oval. Fold each over in half length wise and pinch together. Flip the pinched roll over and using your hands, roll out to 6 inches. Flip over again and place on a lined baking sheet. Cover with a dish towel and let rest for 5 minutes.
Bake in the oven for 10 minutes, until golden brown. Cool on a wire rack until warm to the touch. While still warm, cut each bun open halfway and fill with hot dog and toppings of choice!