Posts filed under ‘gluten-free’

Four-and-a-Half Layer Dip

Hello Amigos!

In the spirit of the Super Bowl, and Superbowl related snacks, I’d like to present the most awesomest chip dip, ever:  Four-and-a-Half Layer Dip!   Obviously, this is a vegan version of the classic 5-layer dip that usually includes sour cream and shredded cheddar.  My recipe uses a decadent cashew ricotta to replace the sour cream and cheese.   Since “4 layer dip” sounded so underwhelming to me, I squeaked in another half layer consisting of several yummy confetti garnishes!

Materials: food processor, spatula, clear, medium-sized casserole dish

1. Refried Bean Layer

  • 2 c. cooked pinto beans (or 1 can, drained)
  • 1 Tbs. cooking oil
  • 1 small onion, diced
  • 1 Tbs chili powder or taco seasoning
  • 1 jalapeno, minced (optional)
  • 1/4 tsp salt

Heat oil and saute onion and jalapeno until tender.  Dust with salt and chili powder and cook 30 seconds more.  Stir in Pinto beans and add a Tbs of water to thin out mixture.  Transfer to food processor or blender.  Blend, adding extra water if necessary to get a smoother consistency.  Adjust seasonings and spread into the bottom of glass dish.

2. Simple Guacamole Layer

  • 3 large, ripe avocados
  • lime juice to taste (about 1.4 C, about 2 limes)
  • salt to taste (1/2 tsp +)

Put 2 of the 3 avocados in food processor with lime juice and salt.  Dice remaining avocado into small cubes.  In a medium bowl, fold together.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Spread over top of bean layer.

3. Cashew Ricotta Layer

  • 1/4 C thick cashew cream
  • 4 oz tofu, cubed roughly
  • 1 Tbs nutritional yeast
  • 1/2 tsp onion powder
  • juice of 1 lemon (about 1/4 C)
  • 1 tsp miso paste
  • 1/2 tsp salt

Combine all ingredients in food processor and pulse.  Every few pulses, scrape down sides of bowl.  Do not over-process, as you want a ricotta-like texture.  Taste and adjust seasonings.  Spread carefully on top of guacamole mixture.

4. Salsa Layer:

  • 8-10 cherry tomatoes, halved

Arrange decoratively on top of Cashew Ricotta mixture.

5. “1/2” Layer

  • 1 chopped green onion
  • 2-3 cilantro sprigs
  • 3-4 chopped black olives

Srpinkle green and olive pieces uniformly, arrange whole cilantro sprigs on top.

Serve with Tortilla Chips and enjoy!


February 4, 2010 at 8:48 pm 1 comment


Sometimes I have crazy ideas.  This is one that turned out particularly well.   A Middle-Eastern salad gets a Mexican make-over as the ever-so-versatile avocado lends heft and creaminess to what is usually a light, palate-cleansing salad.   The taste of lime where lemon should be is a fun twist too!  Also, classic tabouli recipes usually have a far shake of oil in them,  but depending on the size of your avocado, you really don’t need to add any extra oil at all- maybe a Tbsp. of flax or hemp oil.  I make this tabouli all the time, and I can’t think of any other situation where I would consume nearly a bundle of parsley in one sitting! Makes a great accompaniment to falafels!…and enchiladas!

Gluten-free, super-protein variation: quinoa in place of couscous

Raw food variation: replace couscous with 3/4 C cauliflower, chopped finely in food processor (see this )

Yield: 4 small or 2 large servings


1 large, fully ripe avocado

1/4 C fresh lime or lemon juice (about 2-3 lemons, 3 limes)

3/4 C couscous

1 1/2 C parsley, finely chopped

4-5 sun-dried tomatoes or, 10 cherry tomatoes (halved), or both

1 small red pepper, chopped

1 Tbsp.  chopped cilantro

1 Tbsp. flax or hemp oil (optional)

Sea salt to taste (start with 1/2 tsp)

Optional extras: minced garlic, finely chopped red onion, mint, finely chopped jalapeno


1. in small saucepan, pour 3/4 C boiling water over couscous.  Cover with lid and let stand 10 minutes.

2. pour boiling water over sun-dried tomatoes, let stand 10 minutes.

2. roughly mash avocado with lime or lemon juice in a large bowl

3. Chop parsley, cilantro, and rest of vegetables.  Add to avocado mixture.

4. Chop rehydrated sundried tomatoes and add them to the mixture.  Fluff couscous with a fork and add.

5. Season with salt, Tbs flax oil, and extra lime/lemon juice to taste.


January 31, 2010 at 7:22 pm 1 comment

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