An Amy Approved 4-Layer Dip [Recipe]

When it comes to watching sports and rooting for teams, I'm usually a band wagon jumper.  I will forgo an entire season of [insert sport] only to watch the very last game. This is not to say that I'm not sporty or that I don't like sports (because I am and I do), but I'd much rather play a sport, then be a spectator. As for being a bandwagon jumper, I should probably clarify a bit. When it comes to watching the playoffs or Super Bowls or final whatevers, I generally don't pay much attention to the game, instead, I've always been much more interested in the food, the beer, and socializing with friends.  

Over the past decade my diet has changed a lot, and I have finally surrendered to food allergies. When I find myself at a party, I tend to pick over the spread for foods I can actually eat (which in certain cases can be limited to none).  There is really nothing that breaks my heart more than being left out when it comes to food. To avoid disappointment, I always try to show up with foods that I can enjoy, but I go the extra mile to show my fellow party goers that game-time grub needn't contain chemicals, artificial flavours, ridiculous amounts of sodium, mystery meats,  and all that other horrible stuff that tastes good, but feels really bad after the fact. I love to show people that spectator snacks can be really, really delicious without any of the adverse side effects. 

This past weekend, I brought my 4-layer dip and a bag of organic corn chips to a friend's party. After trying a few bites and loving it, one of the guys said it tasted like a "burrito on a chip".  Little did he know that this "burrito on a chip" was loaded with healthy proteins and fats, fiber and chock full of nutrients. A healthy, delicious layered dip that tastes like a bite-sized burrito? Yep. Dreams do come true!

The full recipe for the dip is below. You'll want to allot about an hour or so to make and assemble since there's a bit of chopping, mixing and blending involved. I promise you, it'll be worth it.

"BURRITO ON A CHIP" 4-LAYER DIP

Vegan - Gluten Free

Refried Beans

Ingredients:

1 Tablespoon, olive oil
1/2 red onion, diced
3 cloves, garlic, minced
2 hot peppers (jalapeño or serrano), seeded & minced
1 teaspoon, ground cumin
1/2 teaspoon, dried oregano
1/2 teaspoon, chili powder
3 cups, cooked/canned beans of your choice (I like pinto beans) 
1 bay leaf
1 cup, water
1 teaspoon, sea salt
Freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions: 

On your stove top, warm the oil in a saucepan or skillet on medium heat.  Add the onion and a big pinch of sea salt. Give it a stir and allow the onions to cook for a minute or two.  Add garlic and hot pepper. Cook for about 7 to 10 minutes to sweat the onions.  Sprinkle in the spices and cook for another 30 seconds. 

Stir in the beans, bay leaf and water and bring the mixture up to a boil.  Reduce heat and simmer for 15 to 20 minutes, or until at least half of the water has been absorbed. 

Remove and discard the bay leaf.  Using a potato masher or hand blender,  mash and the blend beans until they become a thick paste consistency.  If the mixture is very dry, add some water, a few tablespoons at a time, until desired consistency is reached.  Set aside to cool. 

Cashew Cream Sauce

Ingredients:

2 cups, raw cashews, soaked for a few hours and rinsed
1/4 to 1/2 cups, water
2 Tablespoons, lemon juice
2 Tablespoons, nutritional yeast
1 Tablespoon, onion powder
1/2 teaspoon,  sea salt

Directions: 

Starting with 1/4 water and the remaining ingredients, blend everything in a high powered blender, stopping from time to time to scrape down the sides with a spatula, until smooth.  If the consistency is too thick, slowly add more water to loosen.  

Guacamole

Ingredients:

3 - 4 ripe avocados, peeled and chopped
1 - 2 limes (1/2 lemon), juiced
1/4 bunch, cilantro, roughly chopped
A few big pinches of sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions:

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

Pico de Gallo (Salsa)

Ingredients:

1 pint, cherry or grape tomatoes, quartered
2-3 limes (or 1 lemon), juiced
1/2 red onion, small dice
3/4 bunch, cilantro, roughly chopped
1 jalapeño, seeded & minced
1 bunch, green onions, roughly chopped
1 -2 cloves, garlic, minced
A few pinches of sea salt & freshly ground black pepper to taste

Directions: 

Combine all ingredients and mix well.

To Assemble the Layered Dip

Once the refried beans have cooled off a bit, spread them evenly at the bottom of an 8 x 8 casserole dish.  Then spread an even layer of the cashew cream sauce on top. Next up, add the guacamole in an even layer, and last but not least, add the pico de gallo over top. If you don't have a large casserole dish, simply portion out the layers in to several smaller dishes or jars. Enjoy immediately with organic corn chips, cut up veggies, pita chips, or by the spoonful!

If you have leftovers of the individual components, you can re-purpose them into a healthy salad by adding some leafy greens, or make wraps using fresh collard leaves or whole grain tortillas.  The ingredients can be stored in the fridge for up to 1 week. 

Beautiful, colourful whole foods. Nothin' better than this. 

Beautiful, colourful whole foods. Nothin' better than this.