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Sweet Mustard Hot Dog Ratatouille


Fresh cubes of eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash tossed with a special seasoning blend. Sweet red pepper, shaved onion, soaked sun-dried tomato strips with fresh ginger sticks and garlic add-ons. All marinated in a sweet sour celery dressing made from the tomato ginger garlic water!

Next stop, the skillet. Slow cooked in the natural juices till tender. Now comes the sweet and sour part followed by the sliced hot dogs, a little more time on the stove and it’s done!

Bold Perfection! Rich!

Makes approx. 9 cups

F-FC ClipBoard: It’s a humble name for a sophisticated dish. Don’t let the hot dogs fool you. Restaurant worthy. But to tell you the truth, most restaurants are not worthy of this dish!

Everybody working in a restaurant or food service is working in a slaughterhouse. It doesn’t matter that the animals for the most part are already dead. Somebody paid to have them killed for you to cook and serve.

Not here. Not ever here! That’s a guarantee.

Veggie Prep:

1- 3/4 lb. fresh ripe eggplant, cut into 3/4 inch cubes after removing ends (about 4 c.)

2- 3/4 lb. fresh zucchini, cut off ends, then slice into 3/4 inch cubes (actually cubeish, which means about the same size but not all shaped the same)

3- 1 lb. yellow squash (aka summer squash), cut ends of and do a 3/4 inch cubeish

4- 1 sm. yellow onion – cut off ends, cut in half, peel each half, then slice very thinly into half rings (use as many as you want for this dish

  • Shaving the onion is what I call it. So thin it’s transparent.

5- 1 med. size sweet red pepper, cored and cut into 3/4 inch ish squares

6- approx. 3/4 c. plain sun-dried tomatoes, thinly sliced (1/16 inch), soaked in about 1-1/2 c. salted warm water till soft

  • The thin slice allows for more efficient softening of the dried tomato.
  • When slicing, discard any tough pieces usually yellow in color, otherwise the texture achievement won’t be sublime.

7- 1 thumb-size piece of fresh ginger (not old and wrinkly), peeled, cut into very thin planks, stacked and cut into very thin sticks

  • Add to the tomato water to soften them up and tone them down.

8- 6 sm. garlic cloves, peeled and finely chopped

  • Add to tomato, ginger water.

Dry Seasoning:

1 t. salt and more to taste later

lots fresh grind black pepper

2 t. garlic powder

2 t. smoked paprika

1/2 t. dry mustard

2 t. dried basil

2 T. dark brown sugar

2 T. vegan yeast (nutritional yeast)

Wet Seasoning:

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

2 T. Balsamic vinegar

juice of 2 fresh limes (roll on counter firmly to break down the membranes inside, before cutting or squeezing)

1 T. liquid smoke

Skillet add-ons:

2 T. extra virgin olive oil

1/4 c. granulated sugar

2 T. Balsamic vinegar

1/4 c. prepared yellow mustard

salt and pepper to taste

13.5 oz. LIGHTLIFE SMART DOGS, thawed and sliced into 1/4 inch rounds

fresh cut cilantro for garnish

1- In extra-large bowl place eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash. Toss.

2- In small bowl combine all dry seasonings. Toss.

3- Sprinkle the dry seasoning over veggies and toss to coat evenly – this will take a full minute.

4- Add wet seasoning and toss to coat evenly. Again, a full minute.

5- After soaking tomato ginger garlic in warm water for at least 30 minutes, drain over separate bowl. Add the solids to the veggie bowl and toss to distribute evenly.


1 c. tomato ginger garlic water

1/4 t. guar gum powder

1 t. garlic powder

1 T. dark brown sugar

2 T. Balsamic vinegar

salt to taste

fresh grind black pepper to taste

  • Measure out 1 cup tomato ginger, garlic water and place in bowl.
  • Add guar gum powder and whisk till dissolved – 1 minute. Rest it for 15 minutes, return and whisk till thickened.
  • Add garlic powder, dark brown sugar, Balsamic vinegar. Whisk till dissolved. Pour over veggie solids in bowl. toss to coat.
  • Salt and pepper to taste.
  • Cover and marinate at room temperature till ready to serve.

7- Marinate the whole bowl of veggies including the dressing for a minimum of 2 hours, at room temperature, stirring occasionally up from bottom. Eventually the veggies will begin to release their inner fluids and become more pliable, while toughening up a bit to the tooth.

8- When ready to cook, transfer entire contents to an extra-large skillet. Stir to evenly disperse. Bring to boil, reduce heat to medium-low, cover and cook 15 minutes.

9- Remove cover, stir, replace cover and continue to cook 15 minutes longer at low heat.

10- Remove cover, add granulated sugar and Balsamic vinegar add-ons. Stir, cover and cook another 15 minutes.

11- Remove cover. Add sliced hot dogs and mustard. Stir well, cover and cook 15 minutes longer.

12- It should now be done. Taste each piece for texture to make sure all the veggies are tender-soft. Adjust for salt and pepper. Serve immediately or wait.

  • Pay attention to the skins on the eggplant, they take longest to soften. Soft to the tooth with a little resistance is good.

13- Serve plain or over rice or mashed potatoes. I prefer mine plain with a fresh cilantro chop garnish.


Serve HOT DOG RATATOUILLE over fennel mashed potatoes with a fresh cilantro garnish.

The fennel flavor and soft texture of the mash? Wow! Love it. Want more, but I’m full. Later for sure!

  • Simple prep. Instant mashed potatoes with salt, pepper, fine grind fennel seed, turmeric, garlic powder to taste.
  • Cook according to package instructions. No margarine needed.
  • Mound on individual serving plates.
  • Top with Sweet Mustard Hot Dog Ratatouille.
  • Top with fresh cilantro and a sprinkle of fresh grind black pepper.

Notes: Now why the marinating before going to the skillet? Isn’t it just another unnecessary step?

During the process of development I was beginning to think so.

But here’s why it’s necessary.

Eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash all fall beneath the weight of the heat, and quickly. The vinegar from the marinade toughens up the most vulnerable parts, the innards.

Later when ready to cook, you’ll notice that those innards can stand the weight of an entire hour cooking at a slow boil, covered.

In the end, the eggplant, zucchini and yellow squash still maintain their shape even when soft and tender. They’re a bit more fleshy-textured as a result.

It’s a process of which most people aren’t yet aware. It’s a chef maneuver. It’s manipulating textures by process.

NOW the veggies and hot dogs, because they’re marinated and cooked in some vinegar, have a longer than usual shelf life in the refrigerator for leftovers.

For restaurant use, refrigerate the veggies marinating raw in the dressing, covered, stirring now and then, several days ahead of cooking them with the add-ons and plant hot dogs. Again, the vinegar preserves them, so you can split the work up in two stages.

Don’t forget to date whatever you place in the fridge. Better to put the date you placed it, rather than the ‘use by’ date.

Regarding the fennel: Wow is accurate in these potatoes. Never tried it before and now glad I did. Fine powder is the fennel seed texture required. Grind your own in a coffee grinder.

Back to the marinated veggies. The vinegar toughens the fleshy parts of the squash while absorbing some juices, creating a juicy chew. Especially with the eggplant, but also to a lesser degree, yet still prominent, the zucchini and yellow squash. That’s a delight in itself, and can be enjoyed cold or hot.

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