Chili cheese dogs are a great all-American meal. They are nutritious, easy on the wallet and they make a great meal for the winter months. And children love them.
Unfortunately, nitrites that are added to processed meats can cause disease. These days, it's easy to find “all-natural” grass-fed hot dogs with no nitrates added. Look for them at your local health food store.
When I make chili cheese dogs, I use the leftovers from when I make my Texas Chili with Beef Heart. Beef heart is so good for you as it is one of the highest sources of Co-enzyme Q10 (CoQ10), a powerful antioxidant. Antioxidants protect the cells and DNA from free radicals.
You can add to the healthfulness of this meal by using homemade sourdough buns or storebought bought sprouted/sourdough buns. Adding sauerkraut and shredding grass-fed cheese produced with raw milk will also add probiotics and increase the enzyme content. (Learn other ways to increase the enzyme content of your diet by reading my 50 Ways to Increase Enzymes In Your Diet.) Along with the probiotics and enzymes, the use of the bone broth in the chili will aid in digestion.
Sauerkraut is so good for you, especially when it is produced traditionally by lacto-fermentation with an added probiotic or sea salt.
Make sure to avoid the vinegar-laden stuff you find in most supermarkets and use real lacto-fermented sauerkraut. If you don't have time to make your own sauerkraut, you can order it online — see my marketplace
Kids will love this and your family will never know how healthy they are eating. I won't tell if you don't.
Chili Cheese Dogs
Sauerkraut: — click here for recipe
Cabbage, red or green (1 medium head)
Sea salt (2 tablespoons)
Optional: caraway seeds (1 tablespoon) where to buy caraway seeds
OR 1 jar store-bought raw, naturally fermented sauerkraut — where to buy fermented sauerkraut
Hot dogs, nitrate-free, grass-fed (1 package) (available at the health food store or online)
Leftover chili (from I Heart Texas Chili)
Cheddar cheese (preferably made with raw milk and grass-fed)
Sprouted hot dog buns, sprouted bread, or sourdough bread (If you choose to make your own, you can order sprouted flour.) — where to buy sprouted flour
Optional: Yellow or white onion, chopped
1. Using a chef's knife, core and shred the cabbage head.
2. Transfer to a large bowl.
3. Add salt and optional caraway seeds.
4. Using a meat tenderizer, rubber mallet or large wooden muddler (that's what I use — the kind you use to make mojitos), pound the cabbage for 10 minutes to release the juices.
5. Transfer to quart-sized mason jar. Pack the sauerkraut into the jar, leaving at least an inch of space between the sauerkraut and the opening.
6. Cover and let sit at room temperature for 3-4 days. If your house is cold, it may take longer (you can use a dehydrator set on low or use my trick — a “reptile mat,” available in pet stores).
7. When the sauerkraut tastes ready, transfer it to the fridge or a cold garage, pantry or root cellar.
1. Warm up the chili in a saucepan.
2. Grate the cheeseusing a grater or in your food processor.
3. Fill a medium or large saucepan halfway with water. Set on medium heat and add the hot dogs. Cook until hot.
4. Optional step: Toast the buns or bread slices.
5. Place bread slices or buns on plates, add hot dogs, cover with warm chili and top with grated cheeseand sauerkraut. If you like it, add chopped raw onion.
Photo credit: Chili Cheese Dogs by