Leah loves cooking and enjoys finding methods on how to spruce up traditional recipes.
Inspiration for This Dish
I recently made the switch to a vegan diet in an effort to manage symptoms of my chronic health condition. So far, it's been pretty helpful in reducing some of my symptoms a bit, and I'm so glad that it's working!
However, shortly after transitioning to a fully plant-based diet, I was invited to a birthday party for my brother. I listened to the menu planning, and I realized that if I wanted to eat anything other than cut up veggies (with nothing to dip them in), I was going to have to prepare something on my own to bring to the party. I starting thinking about what I could make, and I decided that a dip could be fun to try.
I wasn't sure if anyone else at the party would eat it, but I was prepared to eat a lot of leftovers for the next week. Lo and behold, my dip was a hit—and there was almost nothing left over!
In order to make this dish successfully, I relied heavily on plant-based substitutes. Fortunately, there are a lot of great vegan options available. Instead of using ground beef, I used plant-based crumbles and seasoned them. I've also seen pre-seasoned vegan "chorizo" crumbles, but I like to use my own seasonings. You could also use this if you'd prefer to skip the seasoning steps. There are some really great options for shredded vegan cheeses, too. I used Violife for this recipe, which taste really good. However, be aware that they don't necessarily melt the same way that regular cheese would.
Also, when picking up refried beans, double-check the ingredients to ensure that they don't include any animal products. Some brands use lard in the ingredients, so make sure to pick up a brand that is labeled as vegetarian or vegan.
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- 6 ounces plant-based crumbles
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 1 tablespoon adobo
- 2 packets sazon seasoning
- 1 teaspoon chili powder
- 1 (16-ounce) can refried beans
- 1/2 cup vegan colby jack shreds
- 2 tablespoons guacamole
- 1 cup corn
- 2 tablespoons black olives
- 2 tomatoes, diced
- 1 cup lettuce, shredded
- Preheat the oven to 350 degrees Fahrenheit.
- In a skillet, cook the veggie crumbles with olive oil, adobo, sazon, and chili powder over medium heat for about 5 minutes. Make sure to stir thoroughly to incorporate the seasoning throughout. If you use the pre-seasoned veggie crumbles, just cook them for about 5 minutes with olive oil over medium heat in a skillet.
- Layer the veggie crumbles, beans, and cheese in an 8 by 8 inch pan and bake for 15 minutes.
- While the dish is baking, shred the lettuce, dice the tomatoes, and prepare the guacamole. You can use pre-made guacamole if you prefer (that's what I did).
- Once the dish is finished baking, spread the guacamole on top, then add a layer of corn, olives, tomatoes, and lettuce.
- Serve with chips!
As a picky eater, I love when recipes have substitution ideas listed. This dish is really easy to customize, since you can make it any way you want. So here's some changes you can make to this recipe:
- Seasonings: Add some hot sauce if you like spicy food. You could also add cilantro for some extra flavor.
- Toppings: A little red onions or scallions would work with this recipe. Top it with a vegan sour cream that you like.
- Non-vegan options: If you are vegetarian, you could add regular cheese or sour cream.
- Sides: This could be served over rice instead of with a side of chips. You could also add more lettuce and make it a salad.
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© 2020 Leah