Thursday, February 02, 2012

Healthy Vegan And Gluten Free 7 Layer Bean Dip With Walnut Taco Meat - Perfect For Superbowl Sunday!

Make this healthy version of 7 layer dip on Superbowl Sunday!

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A Classic Revisited
What's a Superbowl without 7 layer bean dip? Surprisingly, this can be quite a nourishing dish.
Here's what you can do to make a healthy version of this classic:

* Start with vegetarian refried beans. They are low in fat and high in fiber and protein. Make them more flavorful by mixing them with diced fire roasted chiles.

Vegetarian refried beans are not made with lard.

* Make your own guacamole with a few simple ingredients - no fillers. The healthy fats in avocados promote the absorption of fat-soluble nutrients like beta-carotene, lycopene and lutein that are in the other ingredients.

It's easy to make your own guacamole.

* Tomato salsa is low in calories and packed with antioxidant rich lycopene, vitamins A, C, K, molybdenum, manganese and potassium. This is where you'll get your heat so select mild, medium or hot depending on your taste. 

* Instead of sour cream, try dairy and gluten free Tofutti. But use it sparingly to avoid adding unnecessary calories to the dip. Also check the package to make sure it has zero transfat. The ones in Whole Foods had no transfat but the ones in Safeway had slightly different packaging and contained some transfat. I can't imagine why!

Tofutti is my favorite sour cream substitute.

* Try topping the salad with taco meat made from heart healthy walnuts.

Make heart healthy taco meat by grinding walnuts with chili powder and GF soy sauce or Bragg's!

* Instead of cheddar cheese or fake vegan cheddar, grate some carrots on top. They look like cheese and you'll never miss the fat and calories. Plus, you'll get a good dose of beta-carotene and lutein - antioxidants that are good for eye heath.

* Select healthy chips that are gluten free and made with whole grains. Better yet, serve slices of bell pepper or jicama to scoop up the dip.

There are many healthier chips on the market these days but serving sliced veggies is an even better option.

7 Layer Bean Dip with Walnut Taco Meat
Vegan, Gluten Free
[makes 8 servings]

For the bean dip
16 ounce can vegetarian refried beans
4 ounce can fire roasted mild green chiles
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1/4 t granulated garlic
For the guacamole
1 ripe avocado
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion
1 1/2 teaspoons finely chopped fresh cilantro
1 1/2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lime juice
1/8 teaspoon salt
pinch cayenne
For the taco meat
1/2 cup raw English walnuts
1/2 teaspoons chili powder
1 teaspoon GF low sodium soy sauce or Bragg's liquid aminos
For the rest of the dip
1/2 cup chunky tomato salsa (mild, medium or hot)
1/2 cup Tofutti or your favorite vegan sour cream
1 small carrot, finely shredded
1 tablespoon chopped fresh cilantro
1 green onion, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon finely chopped red onion

Warm refried beans and fire roasted green chiles in a non-stick fry pan on low heat. Mix in cumin and garlic until well blended. Remove from heat and set aside.

Heat and mix beans and chiles with spices. No oil needed.

To make the guacamole, mash avocados in a small bowl until fairly smooth. Stir in onion, cilantro, lime juice, salt and cayenne. Set aside.

To make the taco meat, place walnuts, chili powder and GF soy sauce in a food processor fitted with an S blade. Process briefly until the walnuts look like taco meat. Set aside.

You can assemble the dip on a flat plate or in a glass pie pan. If people will be sitting on the couch watching the game, you can make it in individual ramekins so people aren't leaning over and dripping this colorful dip on your carpet.

Start by spreading the bean dip on the bottom layer.
Next, spread the guacamole on top of the bean dip.
Top the guacamole with salsa.

Layer the ingredients in whatever order you desire.
I layer to optimize the contrast of colors.

Stir the Tofutti sour cream with a spoon until it becomes more spreadable and drizzle over the salsa.
Sprinkle the taco meat and shredded carrot over the Tofutti and top with cilantro, red and green onion.
Serve with chips or a vegetable crudité. 

Enjoy with healthy chips or scoop it up with slices of bell pepper, jicama or other veggie slices.

Per serving (without chips): 179.8 calories, 10.4 g fat, 1.9 g saturated fat, 0.8 g ALA omega-3 and 3.3 g omega-6 fatty acids, 0 mg cholesterol, 5.1 g protein, 17.4 g carbohydrates, 4.8 g dietary fiber and 538 mg sodium. 


Sandy said...

Looks fabulous! I think I'll try doing a cashew sour cream though instead of Tofutti. That's got a lot of oils and soy in it among other seems. A little to processed for me. I found a cashew sour cream recipe here:
Have you ever tried it? I'm intrigued... :)

Dr. Joanne L. Mumola Williams said...

The cashew recipe sounds good. I use cashew cream and cheese in many of my recipes. Let me know how it turns out!