By Nancy Olah
Since our Carolina Panthers are the odds-on favorite to win Super Bowl 50, you better believe that I’ll be cheering them on with my family and some good friends this Sunday.
And I can’t think of a better Super Bowl appetizer than Mexican Seven Layer Dip. Although Seven Layer Dip is often a vegetarian dish (one of the few I can eat at parties!), I make it with a meat-free ground beef layer over the refried beans. In my post before Super Bowl 49 last year, I used Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles. Lately, I have made it with Quorn Grounds and Gardein Ultimate Beefless Ground – and each of them tastes good and adds protein and substance to this football favorite.
Last year, I gave you recipes for both vegetarian and vegan versions. This year, in keeping with my goal of eating 80% vegan, I’m going to suggest that you try my new vegan version. I’ve revamped it by eliminating the one ingredient I did not love (the Daiya Cheddar Style Shreds) and instead added layers of things I do love (slowly sautéed onions over the meat-free gound beef layer, and a colorful mixture of chopped yellow peppers, black olives, and scallions on top). With the middle layers of quacamole and vegan sour cream (which, unlike the vegan cheese, is tasty and believable), you won’t even miss the cheese layer. (Yes, my sharp eyed friends: my photo above is indeed from my previous post, but I’ll update it soon so you can see how lovely the yellow peppers, black olives, and scallion layer looks on top of the Pico de Gallo layer!)
Before I give you the recipe, I’ve got to say a word about some other “healthy” Seven Layer Dips I’ve seen touted on the internet this week. Take Food Babe’s Healthy Seven Layer Dip for example. I’ve got a lot of respect for Food Babe’s investigations and her prowess in getting big food companies to change what they are putting in their prepared food products. But, many of her recipes simply don’t seem appetizing to me. I don’t know about you, but kale and hummus do not belong in Seven Layer Dip. Eating Seven Layer Dip is supposed to make you feel like you’re in sunny Mexico – and kale and hummus are not foods I typically associate with Mexican cuisine!
I also need to give a plug again to Wholly Guacamole, which now comes in an organic version! You can certainly make your own Guacamole using fresh avocados, lime juice, garlic, minced scallions, sea salt, and a little salsa or tomatoes. But for convenience in this dish, I’m going to be using Wholly Guacamole Organic. Their new organic version only contains the following ingredients: Organic Avocado, Organic Dehydrated Onion, Organic White Vinegar, Salt, and Organic Granulated Garlic. Since I’ve thrown away so many avocados (including the pricey organic avocados) that are bruised or brown and nasty inside, I plan on using Wholly Guacamole Organic for my Seven Layer Dip this year.
Instead of using a jarred salsa, I’d rather invest my time in making my delicious fresh Pico de Gallo with cherry tomatoes, red onion, garlic, lime, cilantro, and jalapeno peppers. But if you’re short on time or missing some of the ingredients for the Pico de Gallo, consider using a good quality salsa like Herdez or Newman’s Own.
Hope you enjoy this new version, whether you’re rooting for the Broncos or the Panthers. But this Sunday, we’re going to be screaming – Go Panthers!!
- 2 cans refried black beans (I used one can of HT Traders Organic Refried Black Beans and one can of HT Trades Organic Refried Black Beans with Roasted Red Jalapenos)
- 1-2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
- 1 large onion, sliced
- 1 11-ounce package of Beyond Meat Beef-Free Crumbles (Beefy or Feisty), Quorn Grounds, or Gardein Ultimate Beefless Grounds
- 2 cups Follow Your Heart Vegan Gourmet Sour Cream Alternative
- 1 16- ounce package Wholly Guacamole Organic
- 1-2 pints organic cherry tomatoes
- ½ large red onion, diced
- 2 cloves garlic, minced or pressed
- 1 lime, juiced
- 1 fresh jalapeno pepper, minced
- ¼ cup minced fresh cilantro, or more to taste
- freshly ground salt and pepper
- ¾ cup chopped black olives
- 1 organic yellow bell pepper, chopped
- Bunch of scallions, cleaned and chopped
- Heat the refried beans in a lightly oiled skillet. Spread on the bottom of two lightly greased clear deep-dish pie plates or a larger Pyrex casserole dish with straight sides so you can see the pretty layers.
- Heat the olive oil in a skillet, and slowly sauté the sliced onion until translucent. Set aside the sautéed onions in a bowl while you cook your ground meat analogue.
- Without wiping out the skillet, sauté the ground meat analogue you’re using until cooked (about 4-5 minutes if frozen - a little less if not frozen).
- Layer the cooked ground meat analogue over the refried beans.
- Layer the sautéed onions over the ground meat analogue.
- The next layer is the vegan sour cream.
- Spread on a layer of Guacamole.
- Mix the next seven ingredients together to make some quick Pico de Gallo, and then spread that over the Guacamole. (Or, if you are short on time, just use a good quality prepared salsa.)
- Sprinkle the black olives, yellow pepper, and scallions over the Pico de Gallo layer and serve.