Healthy, Easy (Vegan) Superbowl Dip

I love healthy, easy appetizers.  One skillet, a knife, and a cutting board.  You’re in and out of the kitchen in less than 20 minutes.

Queso used to be me all time favorite party food, but somewhere in my mid-twenties I became sensitive to dairy – bummer! Don’t get me wrong, if I NEED ice-cream, I eat it;  I just know I’m not going to feel very good later.

So on my quest to find a new healthy appetizer, I stumbled across this recipe by Oh She Glows, and added a little twist of my own.  Depending on the salsa you use, you can make this as hot or mild as you like.

Black Bean Chili Dip:

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Yield: 2.5 cups

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Ingredients:

  • 1.5 cups chopped sweet onion
  • 1 large garlic clove, minced
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and chopped
  • 1.5 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained
  • 3/4 cup salsa
  • 1 cup corn kernels (fresh, frozen, canned, whatevs) If using canned, rinse and drain.
  • 2 tsp chili powder (or to taste)
  • 1 tsp ground cumin (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp paprika (or to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp kosher salt (or to taste)
  • for garnish: chopped avocado, cilantro, cheese, squeeze of lime

1. In a large skillet over medium heat, add a bit of oil and sauté the chopped onion and garlic for about 5-7 minutes. Meanwhile, remove the seeds from a jalapeno and chop finely. Add in the chopped jalapeno and sauté for another few minutes.

2. Add in the drained and rinsed black beans, salsa, and corn. Stir well and cook for a few minutes. Now add the chili powder, cumin, paprika, and salt to taste. Cook on low until heated through and serve warm with corn chips. Garnish with chopped avocado, or fresh cilantro.

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When it comes to corn chips, or really most things that come packaged – my philosophy is the fewer ingredients the better.  These are my go-to chips from Target.

Ingredients: Organic Blue Corn,

Ingredients: Organic blue corn, organic sunflower oil, organic flax seed, sea salt, lime.

Leftovers: If you have any.  Drop a few spoonfuls of this warm dip on a corn tortilla, top with avocado, lime, and cilantro.  Voila! Lunch.

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Peanut Butter Jelly Time.

I have been on a serious peanut butter kick the past few weeks, and this has been my go to smoothie.  Once I find a combo I like, it’s hard for me to branch out.  Even The Carnivore will drink this one! Well…he’ll drink it in a dark plastic cup with a lid, so he can’t see the color.  Don’t try to give him green in a glass, won’t work.

Peanut Butter & Jelly Green Smoothie 

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You're childhood favorite in a cup!

You’re childhood favorite in a cup!

  • 1/2 cup almond milk
  • 1 large handful greens
  • 2 Tbsp. peanut butter (or PB2)
  • 1/2 cup blueberries
  • 1/2 banana
  • vanilla protein powder (optional)

If using protein powder, you might need to add a little more liquid.

Blend your greens and almond milk (and protein powder) together until smooth.  Add your peanut butter, blend again. Then, add your frozen fruit and blend until smooth.  If not using frozen fruit, throw a few ice cubes in at the end to reach desired consistency.

Get to blendin’!

Monkeying Around the Kitchen

As I mentioned in my Chelsea, America post, I made these monkey bread muffins for a herd of hungry family members last weekend.  I don’t know about you, but when I get hungry I get CRANKY, and I just can’t wait 45 minutes for a bundt pan full of monkey bread to come out of the oven.  This version bakes in less than 20 minutes.

I first made monkey bread when I was in middle school with my grandma.  Back then I only used white sugar and cinnamon; my recipe has evolved a little bit since then.  Because of its simplicity, this dish is great for any changes or substitutions you want to make.  Occasionally I throw maple syrup into the mix, nuts, raisins – the sky’s the limit! The recipe below has come to be my favorite:

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Serves 6 (ish)

Ingredients:

  • 2 cans biscuits (I use the big Pillsbury Grands – 8 to a can)
  • 3/4 cup white sugar
  • 3/4 brown sugar
  • 1 Tbsp. + 1 tsp. cinnamon
  • 3/4 cup unsalted butter (1 1/2 sticks) melted
  • 2 tsp. vanilla
  • Pecans (optional)

Directions:

Preheat oven to 350. Mix together your sugars and cinnamon in a large Ziploc bag.

Cut each biscuit into quarters.

Biscuit quarters.

Biscuit quarters.

Melt your butter. Add 2 tsp. vanilla to your butter bowl, and give it a good stir.

Monkey makin' work station.

Monkey makin’ work station.

Drop each biscuit quarter into the melted butter, and then into your Ziploc bag.  I do about 8 quarters at a time. Now shake it! Place the quarters into your muffin pan, about 3-4 per muffin (I used 4).  Option: sprinkle pecans in between your pieces. Drizzle a little leftover butter over each muffin.

Tip: Sometimes the ooey-gooey cinnamon sugar goodness will bake its way out of your pan.  You can place a baking sheet on the rack directly below your muffin pan, but depending on your oven, it might increase your bake time.

Getting ready for the oven.

Getting ready for the oven.

Bake for 15-19 minutes until the muffins have a nice crust on the outside, but are soft in the middle.

Perfect little muffin.

Perfect little muffin.

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The quarters will just fall apart into bite sized pieces.

This might not be a bowl of fresh greens, but a little splurge every now and then is good for the soul!