I’m not a football fan. At this point in my life, I don’t think it’s going to change. I’m occasionally somewhat nasty or worse about it, but skip that here because in the U.S., if there’s a get together on any Sunday afternoon in January or early February, it’s likely to involve football. Hmm. The Super Bowl (February 13, 2022–6:30 pm ET) is coming like a freight train barreling down the track to your family room as well as to your kitchen and mine. So just to get my two cents in, I usually make a concerted effort to at least add something tasty and even healthy to the game day food lineup. This year, it’s an addictive, pantry-centric southwestern black bean dip that’s perfect with a cold beer at kickoff or even for dinner some other time. (Why can’t we have dip for dinner? I think we can. I’ll write you a note.)
If you google, “Dip Photos,” (something food bloggers are apt to do, but not most of you–give it a go if you like), dips mostly look creamy and cheesy or all brothy-brown as in “French Dip.” (There’s also a great pic of a guy “dipping” a girl in a dance move I haven’t had tried on me in … well, let’s just say it’s been a while.) We all love dip as in Potato Chips and French Onion Dip — which I experienced only on Christmas Eve growing up — but the sour cream, cream cheese, and Cheddar cheese sorts use up the fat calories way too quickly for my taste. Instead, I usually opt for hummus or any kind of bean dip and while I’ll always have a few chips or crackers on the side, I try to load up on the veggies. At the end of the day, it still feels like dip but you’ll also get your fiber and nutrients without suffering over having eaten poorly. Sorry to sound like the mom I am, but that’s how it is.
My Salsa-Black Bean Dip method relies heavily on Jacques Pépin’s basic hummus (many thanks to my hero), but leans southwest using no-salt black beans, salsa (homemade or jarred), chili powder, ground cumin, lime juice, and so on. Healthy olive oil stands in for the sometimes used sour cream and the whole thing is ready to be served in minutes. I grant you, the chopping of the garnishes takes a teensy bit of time, but you can simplify that by using only slivered green onions and cilantro or, if you’re really out of time, grinding some black pepper right in the center and calling it ready-to-eat. As it stands, the recipe provides a vegan/vegetarian, dairy-free, gluten-free (read labels for all purchased ingredients) treat but if you like you can certainly add grated Cheddar or crumbled Cotija cheese or maybe even dollop a tiny little sour cream on top if you’re feeling particularly skinny that day.
Whirr this baby together one of the next few Sunday afternoons or fix it for an inexpensive, boy I’m healthy dinner one night. Make it your own by shaking in a little more hot sauce for heat, adding Tajin seasoning, or layering it with your very best guacamole for an updated Seven-Layer Taco Dip sort of deal. You know I’m a food processor addict and that’s of course how I made my dip, but a potato masher or, even better, a pastry cutter and a sturdy wooden spoon will do the same thing and give you a little workout, too, when you try this:
Salsa-Black Bean Dip
- 2 (15-ounce) cans black beans, salt-free – drained, divided
- 3 tablespoons salsa from a jar or homemade (I like Mateo’s.)
- 3-4 plump cloves garlic, chopped
- Zest and juice of one lime
- ¾ teaspoon EACH chili powder and ground cumin
- ½ teaspoon EACH kosher salt and fresh ground black pepper
- 4 shakes of hot sauce or to taste (I like Tabasco.)
- ¼ cup olive oil
- Choice of garnishes: thinly sliced green onions, diced tomatoes, diced cucumbers, diced sweet peppers, minced jalapeño, fresh cilantro leaves, chopped avocado, sliced olives, etc.
- In a food processor or medium bowl with a potato masher or pastry cutter, pulse or mash together one can of the beans, salsa, garlic, zest and juice of lime, spices, and hot sauce until smooth. With machine running or while stirring, slowly drizzle in olive oil until well-mixed. Taste and adjust seasonings. Add second can of beans, pulsing or mashing to desired consistency, leaving visible pieces of beans. Taste and adjust seasonings a last time. Spoon into shallow serving dish and garnish as you like — see choice of garnishes above. Serve at room temperature with fresh vegetables and/or tortilla chips. ~ Store tightly covered for a day or two in the refrigerator. The dip will keep better without the vegetables on top. Do not freeze.
Tips to change it up: *Add minced red onion +/or minced jalapeño to the dip itself. *Add smoked paprika to the seasoning list. *Make thinner with the addition of more lime juice or salsa. Make thicker with a few more beans. *As noted in the recipe, cheese on top (Cheddar or Cotija) would be a popular option. *Mix pintos and black beans or use all pintos. *See also tips within the post itself. Tips to reduce waste or save $$: *If you've bought all of the vegetables for the garnishes, you might have enough leftover to top or stir into a crisp green salad. *Cut the recipe in half for a smaller group or just you. Refrigerate the leftovers tightly wrapped for a day or two; they'll keep better without the vegetables on top. *Buy canned beans when they're on sale and store in the pantry for more dip, soup, or chili.
Studies show that eating beans can lower the total amount of cholesterol and levels of “bad” cholesterol in your blood. This may reduce your risk of developing heart disease. One study showed that eating a single serving of dried beans per day can reduce the risk of heart attack by up to 38%.WebMD
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LIFE GOES ON:
With the exception of a brief snow a few weeks ago (we were away), we’ve had very little moisture for many months. We were thrilled — and so were Rosie and Tucker — to see a little snow the other night.
The next day, I went to add some potatoes to a big pot of beef-vegetable soup and found this beauty. Awe.
We travel back to our airbnb in Illinois this week to be closer to Dave’s parents (age 89 and 90–91 soon!) and provide some nearby support. Cooking in a different kitchen is always a challenge, but this one is a true delight. I’m off to again pack some of my favorite utensils, herbs/spices, and pots to stick in the back of the car. Who knows what I’ll cook up, but you can be sure you’ll read about it here.
Thanks for keeping my company in the kitchen this week and for reading along as often as you do. I’m not the kind of blogger who checks her stats very often (I know–geez), but for some reason I did this week. I was blown away! More thanks. I’m looking forward to celebrating 13 years of blogging come May and am thinking of some special way to mark the day.
Until next week, cook on and be well,
Alyce, aka “The Bad Selfie Taker”