It's grill season! After sharing the lentil burger with you, some of you asked for additional summer picnic foods with veggies. Enter the veggie garden dog. This fiber,nutrient and yumminess packed nod to the classic hotdog is just one more way to celebrate everything awesome about summer. 

Healthy Hostess Garden Dog: Zucchini Hot Dog Recipe 

It's kind of an odd story how the zucchini dog came about. Sometimes I get calls and texts from my Dad that usually start like this "Sorry to bother you. I was listening to NPR...." and they usually end like this "I'm not sure how to make that into a recipe or how exactly to do it, but I had to tell you before I forgot." Approximately 15 minutes of brainstorming happen during the call where we try to work out exactly how to make whatever sparked his idea happen. The zucchini as a hotdog was one such idea since it is literally shaped exactly like a hot dog. But the problem was trying to make it cook all they way through while maintaining it's zucchini shaped integrity while making it yummy and not so 'diet food'-ish. This was my solution. 

Healthy Hostess Garden Dog: Zucchini Hot Dog Recipe 

The Zucchini Garden Dog 

Serves 1

/// Ingredients /// 

  • 1 small zucchini, (Size matters: you don't want seeds!)
  • 1 hot dog roll
  • 1/4 small white onion, chopped
  • olive oil
  • 1 T chicken stock
  • 2 T parmesan cheese, freshly grated
  • salt and pepper
  • 3 sage leaves or oregano leaves

/// Directions /// Cut a "v" in hotdog bun, and dice what you remove with the "v" cut.. Chop 1/4 small white onion. Cut the top of the zucchini off and compost. Hollow out a small zucchini into a canoe shape. Make an initial incision with a knife and then use a teaspoon to hollow. Your goal is to keep it looking as much like a zucchini shape as possible. Dice the removed zucchini.

Add a little olive oil (or butter, or bacon drippings if you happen to have them) to a cast iron skillet and sauté to cook onion and zucchini and crisp bread. Make room for the zucchini boat in the skillet. Add chicken stock and cover. Add herbs and salt and pepper (yes, season the canoe too!). Allow to cook until the zucchini canoe is al dente. Grate parmesan into the filling section. Use a small spoon and fill the zucchini. Place in bun and top with shredded lettuce, tomato, mustard or ketchup. Go crazy and even add some salad dressing if you want! 

Healthy Hostess Garden Dog: Zucchini Hot Dog Recipe 

You might be thinking 'Sage? Really?" but the sage kind of turns this filling into a nod to pork sausage and stuffing. If you're a sage hater, go for the oregano instead. Order up and don't skimp on the toppings! 

Dietitian Nutritionist. My husband Chris and I create food and beverage photos, videos, stopmotions and recipes. And they're really cool.