salt is salty


I've had a few requests for my recipe for carrot-dogs. I was holding back from sharing it because I wanted to perfect it. I was finding them to be a little too salty. And then it occurred to me that you probably won't.

You see, I'm on a sodium reduced diet because of this whole heart thing. My recommended daily sodium allowance is 1200-1500 milligrams a day. I know it's in the thousands, but trust me, that is not a lot of sodium. If I consume too much in a day, I definitely feel it by the following day if not sooner. I end up retaining water. For many people, including those with congestive heart failure,  this type of retention typically occurs in the feet and ankles. For me, it occurs in my abdomen, which is sometimes hard to spot. I weigh myself daily to manage it. So usually if I am retaining water it is in the form of a puffy/swollen abdomen that often leads to my pants not fitting properly, and one time, recently, lead to a 2.5 inch distended/swollen/congested liver. Oooops. 

1500 mg of sodium can add up really fast.

Here are some examples of sodium levels in food:
  • Chocolate milk: 152 mg/cup
  • Cereal: some brands of 'healthy' raisin bran: 250mg/cup
  • Bread:  300-400mg/slice 
  • Vegetable juice: 479 mg/cup
  • Canned veggies: 730mg/cup
  • Soup: chicken noodle 744 mg/cup
  • 4 slices of bacon: 789 mg
  • Cottage cheese: 900 mg/cup
  • Soy sauce 1024 mg/tablespoon! 
  • Marinara sauce: Hunts Canned Tomato Sauce: 1640 mg/cup !
I'm not even going to get into fast food but I'm sure you can imagine how high the sodium levels are. According to the Heart & Stroke Foundation we should aim to consume 2300 mg or less a day. Guess what that is the equivalent of ...

  • salt: 2300 mg/1 TEASPOON!!
Salt is salty - even the sea salt varieties.

If you haven't thought much about your sodium intake, I hope this post inspires you to think about it a little more. Maybe even track it for a day or two to get an idea of how much sodium you are actually consuming.  When Homer sang "You don't win friends with salad" I'm pretty sure he meant to say "You don't win friends with salt." D'oh.  (wow a Simpsons reference - that's a whole new low for me) There's a lot of research out there on the adverse effects of sodium, but for today, let's talk carrot-dogs.

Now doesn't that look appetizing? MmmMmm. Oh, I mean, hashtag nomnom.

I am not a fan of hotdogs. (yes that includes Costco hotdogs, yes I know about the Polish sausages they serve and yes I am aware of how great of a deal it is)

But I AM a fan of these delicious carrot-dogs. And my wife - a long time hotdog connoisseur, now vegan - has given these her stamp of approval. That's a big deal. 

The trick is boiling time. Once your carrots are prepped - washed, peeled and cut to hotdog size - boil them until they reach hotdog type consistency. The first time I made these I boiled them for 10 minutes and my fork could poke through them with ease, but the final carrot was still a tad too hard to match a hotdog. The best boil time for me is 12 minutes. I usually make 4 carrot-dogs.

While they are boiling prepare the following marinade:

1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup water
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1/2 tsp onion powder
1/2 tsp garlic powder

Once the carrots have boiled for 10-12 minutes, remove them and rinse them in cold water to prevent further cooking. Get them in the marinade and refrigerate overnight. They may even be ready after a few hours - I haven't tried.

I bake mine, but I think they would probably heat up nicely on a BBQ or even over a fire.

Bake at 350 for about 15 minutes or until they are hot. Dress like a regular hot dot and enjoy!

I tried several variations of marinade. Let me know if you discover one that works for you. I will probably just start putting less soy sauce in mine to cut the saltiness. I am curious if maybe adding barbecue sauce or even liquid smoke would make this healthy treats that much tastier. Happy cooking!

*I can't remember where I originally found a recipe for these, probably on Oh She Glows - my go-to for vegan recipes.


  1. Vegans are so creative with food! Also, there's nothing low about a Simpsons reference! Humph.