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Joy Bauer turns hot dogs into 2 better-for-you summer dinners

No matter what you're craving, there's always room on the barbecue for these grilled gems.
/ Source: TODAY

The "dog days of summer" are here and they have certainly brought the heat. To celebrate, we felt it was most appropriate to center this week's theme around the beloved hot dog. After all, hot dogs are a seasonal classic — and they're available in healthier forms like all-beef, chicken, turkey and tofu, so no matter what you're craving, there's always room on the barbecue for these grilled gems. You are definitely going to relish these recipes.

Skillet Franks and Beans

Joy Bauer's Skillet Franks and Beans
Kelly Harrison

I've remade this childhood favorite using pre-cooked poultry sausage so it's filled with pure goodness. It's thick and saucy, sweet and tangy, and it totally hits the spot. It requires one skillet and just a few simple ingredients — what's not to love? My crew thinks it's sweet enough, but if you'd like to sweeten it a little more after taste tasting the finished product, add a tablespoon or two of molasses, brown sugar, maple syrup, honey or even ketchup. It's like a delicious stroll down memory lane.

Get the recipe here.

Give plain old franks a fun and flavorful Tex-Mex makeover by wrapping franks in tortillas and smothering them in an indulgent cheese sauce. Just imagine if hot dogs and quesadillas had one delicious baby. Pro tip: Make sure tortillas are room temperature or warm them in the microwave for 10 to 15 seconds to prevent cracking while rolling. Want to kick it up a notch? Fold black beans, mashed with the back of a fork, into the cheese mixture and then serve with salsa on the side for dipping or drizzle sriracha over the top.

For more tasty recipes, order Joy's new cookbook Joy Bauer's Superfood!

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