Food, Yarn, & Stuff

Review: Lightlife Smart Dogs – Jumbo Veggie Protein Links

Posted on: June 19, 2011

*The following is purely my opinion – I purchased this product for my family.  It is in no way sponsored or endorsed by Lightlife*
I was checking out the “alternative meat products” in the local grocery produce section, and these caught my eye.  Veggie Protein Links that are vegan… yum?  But, I thought they would be worth a shot especially knowing how much kids love hot dogs.  And, they’re usually not as picky as us adults, who have formed their opinion about hot dogs (brands/cooking methods/etc).  Having grown up in the Chicago area, I was raised with Portillo’s hot dogs as the ‘standard of excellence’ when it comes to hot dogs, which means anything other than Vienna Beef dogs, just isn’t the same.  But, I was trying to keep an open mind!
I followed the ‘suggested’ cooking instructions.  Bring a pot of water to a boil, turn off heat and put links in for 2 minutes.  When I opened the package, I noted a familiar ‘hot dog’ aroma – that’s got to be a good sign, right?  I plopped them into the water and probably let them sit a little longer than 2 minutes, but I don’t think that mattered.  I had no buns on hand, so the kids were just going sliced with ketchup.  Upon fishing the first one out with a fork, it broke in half while I was ‘draining’ it.  A ‘side effect’ of not having a casing I suppose.  They still had the aroma of a regular hot dog.  The texture however was a bit more ‘processed’ than I like – but again, I’m comparing to Vienna Beef.  And the color is a little off-putting – kind of pinkish orange once they’re cooked.  So, if you’re used to mass-produced pork hot dogs, they’re probably not too far off.  I had mine ‘old school’ style on a slice of bread with ketchup & mustard.  It was only OK in my opinion – I’d rather just not have a hot dog.  It was a split decision from the kids, one said “mmm… this is a good hot dog” and the other said “I don’t really like it” but I managed to get her to eat the whole thing with a little bribery about going back to play outside.
There aren’t any instructions on the package for grilling, only stove top and microwave – but I think they might be slightly better if grilled.  Maybe a little added ‘crunch’ from being cooked over a flame.

Overall, I’d rate these a C.  They’re OK if you have to have a hot dog, but you’re probably better off having something else all together.  I might buy them again and try grilling them and see how that goes – if it changes my opinion – I’ll be sure to let you know!


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