Baked Corn Dog Bites (Plus: Bonus Recipe!)
Back-to-school season. It’s a time for new backpacks, pencils, and books, and a time for that new jean jacket that you wear on the first day “because it’s Fall,” but in reality, is pretty weather-inappropriate. It’s also the return of lunch-packing season.
I have a love/hate relationship with packing my own lunches. On one hand, I love knowing it’s healthier and that the portions are better. And, I feel way more organized when I have my own food packed away. But on the other hand, I just really stink at creativity when it comes to packing lunch. I think to myself, “What if I actually looked forward to something new in my lunch? What if it wasn’t always some variation on greens + protein + beans + grains + avocado + hotsauce? WHAT IF?! The struggle is
real completely first-world.
That’s why this month’s Recipe ReDux theme made me so incredibly happy. “Bars and Bites for Brown Bags.” Um, YES please. I need allll the inspiration. Further evidence: I couldn’t even decide what to do for this month’s theme until yesterday. Literally, it took me forever to come up with an idea. But, after a long process of coming up with mediocre ideas that would either melt, spoil, or be thrown out by a child promptly upon discovery in a lunch box, I found my inspiration on Pinterest. Corn dogs. *Cue the excited screaming of my inner child at an amusement park*
Unfortunately, they’re usually fried and unhealthy, and don’t usually fit into a lunch box. FORTUNATELY, these are baked, and do fit into a lunch box. While I’d love to claim total genius for this recipe itself, I do have to give a lot of the credit to Martha Stewart. I did modify her recipe, but don’t ever tell her that. I feel like modifying a Martha recipe is sort of equivalent to saying one of Oprah’s favorite things was actually your favorite thing first. It wasn’t. You’re wrong.
But, I digress. These really are easy and they’re super delicious. Your picky eater(s) will love them, and they’re free of nitrates, dairy, and all those unknown nasties that like to find their way into hot dogs. I also snuck in some hemp seeds for a little boost, and used the leftover batter to make AWESOME cornbread croutons, which I have also included in a little extra recipe for you at the bottom. Win, win? I think so.
- 4 organic, nitrate-free, pre-cooked chicken sausages (I used Aidell's apple chicken)
- 16 lollipop sticks or small popsicle sticks
- 1 and 1/3 cup whole wheat flour (plus extra for coating sausage)
- 2/3 cup organic cornmeal
- 2 tsp. baking powder
- 2 tbs. hemp hearts
- salt and pepper
- 1 egg + 2 egg whites
- 3 tsp. honey
- 2 tsp. extra-virgin olive oil
- 1 and 1/2 cups unsweetened, plain almond milk
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Cut each chicken sausage into four equal pieces.
- Skewer each piece of sausage onto a lollipop stick, meat side facing down (not through the casing). For the end pieces, make sure you skewer through the round end, so that the flat side is facing up.
- Begin batter by mixing flour, cornmeal, hemp hearts, and baking powder in a medium bowl. Add salt and pepper to your liking.
- In a separate small bowl, whisk egg/egg whites, honey, oil, and almond milk.
- Add wet ingredients to dry, and stir just until combined.
- Coat each piece of sausage with a light layer of flour, and then dip into the batter. Use a spoon to help you, so that the sausage doesn't fall off the stick. Take off extra batter, but make sure that each piece is fully coated.
- Assemble flat side down with sticks pointing up onto a baking sheet greased with coconut oil spray (or lined with parchment paper). Bake for about 10-15 minutes, or until golden brown. Serve with organic, all-natural ketchup and dijon mustard for dipping.
- After about 5 minutes of baking, a lot of batter will have settled at the bottom of each corn dog, making it sort of a bell-shape. If you're not a fan of this look, carefully lift each corn dog - the top half should stay covered, and the bottom will lift out of the cooked batter - and re-coat the bottoms and any empty spaces with batter. Remove the cooked bits of batter from the pan, and replace each corn dog. Continue to bake for about 5-10 minutes.
- Leftover corn dog batter
- 1 tsp. Black truffle olive oil
- 3 tsp. Extra virgin olive oil
- Dried rosemary, salt, and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350˚F.
- Pour remaining corn dog batter into a loaf pan.
- Bake about 15-20 minutes, or until set.
- Flip bread onto a cutting board and cut into small-medium cubes.
- Toss cubes with oils, rosemary, salt, and pepper.
- Transfer to a baking sheet and bake, flipping every 10 minutes or so, until browned and crispy.
- Remove from oven, and let croutons sit to cool and dry out before serving.