Meatloaf Chili Dog in Under 15 Minutes
Meatloaf Chili Dog
Healthy Hot Dog For Kids
Children can be a little picky when it comes to what they will eat and, recently, a single mother friend of mine asked me to come up with some recipes that her kids will love. The problem was that she doesn't like to cook so they had to be good meals that kids will like to eat, healthy and easy to make. No problem. Believe it or not, feeding kids healthy, easy to make lunches and dinners is actually pretty easy.
This recipe for a healthy, meatloaf, chili-dog requires almost no cooking and will please even the fussiest eater. It is perfect for busy parents because you can make it in under fifteen minutes, ten if you don't have to feed the cat first.
- Meatloaf, Store bought is fine
- Hot Dog Buns, Or hamburger buns if you prefer
- Cheese, Grated
- Chili, Canned
- Cilantro, (Optional)
Making the Meatloaf Chili Dog
- Toast the bun. There is a scientific reason that toasting or caramelizing things makes them taste better but all you really need to know is that toasting things makes them yummy. You can also use pita bread, a baguette or a bagel if you like. Changing the type of bread you use in this meal every so often helps keep it fresh and interesting for kids.
- Dice up the meatloaf into pieces that are about the size of a dime or into thin strips about as thick as a pencil. You can use a pre-made meatloaf like the ones the grocery store, Safeway, sells.
- Place the meatloaf onto the toasted sides of the hot dog bun.
- Heat up the chili beans by putting them in the microwave for a minute. Any can of your favorite chili beans will work great.
- Dollop the heated chili beans over the meatloaf that is already on the bun.
- Put the shredded cheese on top of the hot chili beans quickly so that the cheese starts to melt.
- This is the base, to make this meatloaf, chili-dog even more delicious and more healthy, read the section below about why this meal is healthy and nutritious.
Why This Meal Is Healthy
Health Benefits of Beans
Beans are incredibly healthy and should be a regular staple of your children's diet. Beans are high in antioxidants as well as a great source of fiber and protein. They are an excellent source of B vitamins, iron, magnesium, potassium, copper and zinc. Studies have indicated that regularly eating beans may decrease the chances that you will contract diabetes or heart disease and may even protect you against some kinds of cancer. Because beans make you feel fuller quicker you tend to eat less and so they also help you stay thinner.
Beans & Gas: OK let's just deal with it like adults. Beans make you gassy. But not if you eat them regularly. Once your body gets used to processing them all the time then the issue goes away and no extra....pollutants are created. More beans equals less gas.
Health Benefits of Onions
No chili dog is complete without a topping of diced onions and the best news is that onions are really healthy. Onions are high in both Vitamin C and B as well as folic acid and are also a great source of dietary fiber. There is also strong evidence to suggest that onions help prevent cholesterol and cancer. While the health benefits of onions are obvious, they taste great too.
Health Benefits of Tomatoes
The nutritional benefits of tomatoes have been well documented and include a powerful packet of both vitamins and minerals as well as antioxidants and cancer fighting properties. Tomatoes have so many nutritional benefits that it's impossible to list them all here but feel free to do a wiki search and learn all about them. Now cut up some tomatoes and put them on your meatloaf chili dog.
Health Benefits of Mustard
Most people like their hot dogs with mustard on them and that is a good thing because mustard is a bit of a miracle food. It speeds up your metabolism and is a good source of potassium, phosphorus, calcium and magnesium. Yellow mustard is tasty and a healthy addition to your dog. However, mustard is generally high in sodium too so don't eat too much in one day. Unlikely to be a problem when eating hot-dogs.
Health Benefits of Cucumber
I like to add diced tomatoes and even some diced cucumber to the top to give it a refreshing coolness and a lightness that acts as a contract to the heaviness of the meat and beans and cheese. Cucumbers, when not pickled or in relish (both of which are delicious too) have some great health benefits going for them. Cucumbers are good for your skin, teeth, gums and help control your blood pressure. They are believed to help fight cancer, aid the digestion and promote joint health. They help fight diabetes and can help you lose weight. Cucumbers are incredibly healthy with many more nutritional strengths than I can list here.
Add Grilled Mushrooms
Grilled or pan seared mushrooms, another fantastically nutritious ingredient, also elevate a simple chili-cheese-dog to heavenly heights of flavor and they take less than 5 minutes to prepare. Here is how you grill mushrooms perfectly for a dog.
If you have a good non-stick pan you don't need to use any butter but you may still choose to just from a taste perspective. Heat the non-stick saucepan until it is good and hot. If you are using butter, don't let it burn, just watch for it to melt and start to bubble.
While the pan is heating, quickly slice up some mushrooms. The butter won't take long to melt but, if you are not using butter then wait until the pan is really hot. The secret to cooking the tastiest mushrooms is to sear them just like you would a stake and DO NOT use salt until after they are cooked. If you salt mushrooms while they are cooking the water leeches out of them and they start to steam instead of searing. Sear them until they have some good color on them. They should turn a golden brown. Once they are done, if they have a lot of excess liquid, pour them into a strainer in the sink to drain for a moment before putting them on top of your meatloaf chili dog.
I also like to use seared bell peppers and adding salsa to the dog also adds another dimension of flavor.
If you really want to try something different, try smearing the bun with guacamole! It adds a buttery quality to it that is impossible to beat.