A few weeks ago I happened to catch an episode of Healthy Appetite with Ellie Krieger on Food Network and she whipped up something that sounded...and looked...absolutely delicious to me. I found myself daydreaming about it, much like I do gorging on chocolate or hitting it big in the lottery or finding myself stranded on a deserted island with Benicio Del Toro, until I could resist no longer.
And unlike overindulging in chocolate or fantasizing about being stranded in a desolate place with Benicio Del Toro instead of a somewhat more prudent choice, like Survivorman's Les Stroud, THIS fantasy is actually pretty good for me!
My new best friend, Ellie, came up with a delicious and healthy version of a Five-Layer Mexican Dip, and let me tell you, it is absolutely refreshing and delicious! Ellie's recipe can be found here, and you know me, I tweaked and have made this three times so far, usually from memory, so of course I have yet to make it the same way twice. But if you just follow the basic theme, you really can't mess this one up.
Start out with your first layer - usually refried beans or even seasoned ground beef, but this time a simple but yummy black bean dip that is wonderful on it's own as a spread or dip. And it's so easy!
In your food processor, puree up some sauteed onion, garlic, cumin, and a chopped chipotle pepper (about 1 tbsp) with a can of drained and rinsed black beans. Add a couple tablespoons of water to get the right consistency.
Next, spread the bean dip layer into the bottom of an 8" x 8" or 9" x 9" dish - glass if you like, because layers can be so pretty, but not necessary.
I only had one avocado this time, and it was a bit on the smallish side, so it looks a little skimpy. However, even just a taste of avocado is enough to give the dip some rich, creamy flavor.
This time I used canned corn with chilis, but I highly recommend using roasted corn (I get it at Trader Joe's in the frozen section) with some chopped red or vidalia onion and some cilantro. Adds not only color, but sweetness and crunch! One time I didn't have corn so I used some chopped yellow pepper and zucchini with onions and cilantro - that worked, too!
Next whip up a simple tomato salsa - I used two big, juicy plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped, some chopped vidalia onion, lime juice, cilantro and a big jalapeno fresh from the garden. Those beautiful tomatoes were NOT from my garden - we got hit with this really ugly tomato blight this summer, and the few tomatoes that survived are pretty sad looking.
Oh, and if you get to this point and realize you forgot to put the chipotle into the bean dip, just add it to the salsa here.
Next, top with just a little shredded cheese - I used a mix of full fat extra sharp cheddar and reduced fat mild cheddar.
Heavenly and delicious! Thank you, Ellie!!!