You guys! Just because you eat healthy or follow Weight Watchers (as I do) doesn’t mean you’re only allowed to ogle scrumptious food that makes your mouth water. You can eat it too!
If you’ve ever lived in San Diego you probably need no explanation for the delicacy known as the TJ Dog. But for those unfamiliar, TJ dogs are bacon-wrapped Mexican hot dogs which are grilled and sold as street food in Tijuana (which gets called TJ for short by the locals). TJ Dogs can be served with a variety of toppings such as guacamole, salsa, sour cream, avocado, tomatoes, beans, queso, or jalapenos, to name a few. San Diegans – just across the border from Tijuana – have embraced and adopted TJ Dogs into the culinary scene. In San Diego, you can find TJ Dogs at restaurants, bars, food trucks, and even while catching a ball game at Petco Park.
I spent 14 years living in America’s Finest City so I was quite fond of these tasty guys, but truth be told, I hadn’t thought about them in quite some time.
Craig and I went back for a visit to San Diego this past Easter weekend. Putzing around Mission Beach with my longtime friends, Sarah and Bobby, we stopped at a restaurant on the beach and got a table right on the boardwalk, and perused the menu.
“A bacon-wrapped hot dog!” exclaimed Craig. “That’s sounds like something you’d like,” he said to me, somewhat accusingly.
“They’re called TJ dogs and I love them!” I enthusiastically replied.
And who wouldn’t? Bacon-wrapped hot dogs with toppings like guac, pico de gallo, queso. Come on. What’s not to love?
Well maybe the number of WW points that one might cost me.
But as you may know from my more recent recipes, I try to find ways to slim down delicious (and fattening) foods that look like they might be a million points. I don’t want to feel deprived just because I am trying to lose or maintain weight.
At first glance, a bacon-wrapped hot dog seems like it’s off-limits, but I made a version last night that even had Craig impressed – no small feat! And it was only 6 points. All I can say is “Si, very intrigued.” And I hope you are too.
First, make the avocado lime yogurt sauce. I blended the nonfat Greek yogurt, lime juice, avocado, cilantro, adobo seasoning, garlic powder, onion powder, and salt in my small food processor/chopper. You could also use a small blender. Process or blend until smooth and no chunks of avocado remain. Set in refrigerator to keep cold until ready to use.
Heat a well-oiled grill to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees F). Then wrap one slice of bacon around each hot dog. I used center cut bacon because it is reduced fat. And I used low-fat hot dogs – I found Oscar Meyer Lean Beef Franks and they are only 2 points each. Place on grill, with jalapenos (if desired) and cover, checking and rotating every 3-4 minutes, until all sides are cooked to your liking. During the last 2 minutes of grill time, add your hot dog buns (I used Sara Lee 80 Calories & Delightful Hot Dog Buns for 2 points each) for toasted buns.
I like my bacon and dogs well done and crisp, as you can see.
Top with avocado lime yogurt sauce, pico de gallo, queso fresco, and jalapenos. To make it pretty, I put the yogurt sauce in a sandwich bag and snipped a corner off to pipe the sauce onto the dogs. I also used both grilled and fresh jalapenos to really spice it up.
TJ Dogs (aka Bacon-Wrapped Mexican Hot Dogs)
Prep Time: 10 minutes Cook Time: 15 minutes Yields: 8 servings
Serving Size : 1 TJ Dog
WW Totals: 6 Freestyle Points per serving
1 package of 8 Oscar Mayer Lean beef franks (or other 2 point hot dogs)
1 package of 8 Sara Lee 80 Calories & Delightful Wheat hot dog buns (or other 2 point buns)
8 slices of center cut bacon
¼ cup of nonfat Greek yogurt
½ Hass avocado
1 tbsp fresh lime juice
1 tbsp cilantro
½ tsp salt
¼ tsp adobo seasoning
¼ tsp garlic powder
¼ tsp onion powder
2-3 jalapenos, sliced, grilled or fresh
½ cup of crumbled queso fresco cheese
1/3 cup of fresh pico de gallo (chopped tomatoes, onions, and cilantro)
- Make the avocado lime yogurt sauce, by blending nonfat Greek yogurt, lime juice, avocado, cilantro, adobo seasoning, garlic power, onion powder, and salt in a small food processor or blender. Process or blend until smooth and no chunks of avocado remain. Set in refrigerator to keep cold until ready to use.
- Heat a well-oiled grill to medium-high heat (about 400 degrees F). Wrap one slice of bacon around each hot dog. Place hot dogs on grill, with jalapenos (if desired) and cover, checking and rotating every 3-4 minutes, until all sides are cooked to your liking. During the last 2 minutes of grill time, add your hot dog buns for toasted buns.
- Top hot dogs with avocado lime yogurt sauce, pico de gallo, queso fresco, and jalapenos.