jenn-roberto_raindeer-ears

Happy Yuletide!

Today marks the day of the Winter Solstice, which means we are in the full swing of the winter holiday season! So if you are like me, you have been attending lots of holiday parties and gatherings. Some of you, like me, may also have some dietary restrictions that keep you from enjoying food at many parties. Or perhaps some of you are trying to watch what you eat during the holiday season or maybe you are tired of going to the grocery store everyday for more food! My advice for you, is when you are asked to bring a dish to a party – keep that in mind. Make sure that you make something you can enjoy from what you have on hand and if you are still worried you will be hungry at the party, have a little snack before you go!

For me, grains are my biggest battle. I can tolerate them if I soak them, but even at that, I try not to overdo it. Sometimes, I may risk the consequences and just go for it, but other times, I try to do the best I can to avoid those foods and with all the parties I have been attending as of late, I have already been overdoing it. Our friends Chris and Erin, who host a weekly community dinner, had a Christmas dress up party theme for last week. Of course, because of my love for reindeer, Roberto and I went sporting antlers and painted noses. I also brought along a nice layered dip – that was both grain free and veggie friendly – since there are a lot of vegetarians at these community dinners and made from stuff I had in the pantry and fridge.

My fridge is a disaster right now and I really didn’t want to go out and buy a huge list of ingredients for this dish. So I looked in the fridge and pantry. I had some canned beans (I am trying to get rid of those – kept on hand for this year’s Hurricane Season) and some salsa and guacamole from Wholly Guac which I received from a PR firm that is sponsoring a giveaway this month on Foodieblogroll.com (you still have until Friday for your chance to win an awesome prize package!!! ). So I ran out to the store just to get some shredded cheese and FAGE Greek yogurt (in place of sour cream), and tortilla chips and I was all set!

dipalicious

The dip was a huge hit and I thought it looked rather festive with all the reds and greens! I am wishing all my readers and fellow bloggers a safe, happy and healthy holiday season. Whatever holiday you celebrate – or even if you don’t celebrate, I hope you have a great week leading up to the New Year! I may not be blogging much between now and the new year. So have a happy, happy, jolly, jolly season!

Layered Party Dip

INGREDIENTS:

1 can of black beans, drained and rinsed

1 can dark red kidney beans, drained and rinsed

1 tsp of each: ground cumin, NM green chili powder, Red chili powder

salt and pepper to taste

1 8oz. Package shredded cheese

2 7oz packages ready made Guacamole (I used one Wholly Guac Pico de Gallo and one Spicy!)

1 17 oz container of FAGE plain Greek yogurt (I used 2%)

14 oz. Medium Salsa (I used Wholly Guac brand)

METHOD:

In a blender or food processor blend both cans of beans and spices. Check for flavor and add more salt pepper or spices to taste. Smooth this mixture on the bottom of an 8×8 glass baking dish. Spread the cheese evenly on top, and bake in a 350 F oven for about 10 minutes, or until cheese is melted. Let cool on cooling rack for about 20 minutes (you don’t want all the other ingredients to melt on top). After bean and cheese layer are cool, add the 14 oz of guacamole, the next is the layer of plain yogurt, and then the salsa. Serve with chips.