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When Mr. Eat Beautiful and I were first married we liked to eat homemade 7-Layer Dip as our whole dinner, once in a while. Homemade guacamole, homegrown tomatoes from the hot Texas soil (we then lived on), beans…. lovely! What a fun meal: interactive, casual and packed with flavor in every bite!
Years later, as we learned more about nutrition, Tillamook orange cheddar was replaced by grass-fed raw cheese; and who knows what kind of sour cream was replaced with probiotic-rich grass-fed sour cream.
The strata created by layers of nutrient-dense toppings is a great crowd pleaser as the weather gets hot. We want cold foods that nourish. However, our legume-free diet needed one more tweak- a bean-free base.
There is a way to soak and cook beans that makes them gentler, easier to digest and nutritious. But if you are no-legume for one reason or another I think you’ll like this fun Paleo version of the bean layer. The bean layer is not brown like pinto beans; it’s a very pale green from peeled zucchini. If you can adjust to the color difference I think you’ll be pleased with the flavor.
At our shops we call any Paleo food that includes grass-fed dairy Primal. Actually most of our Paleo customers do eat dairy. For us it’s all about the sourcing. As long as the dairy is grass-fed, and either raw for living nutrition or fermented to gain probiotics, we think of it as supreme, yummy health food. Leave out the sour cream and cheese if you don’t eat dairy.
Now, what about the chip? Gotta have one. I’m all for variety and open-mindedness. So here are my favorite options, because we don’t eat corn:
- Coconut oil sweet potato chips– We chose this option most recently and really enjoyed this brand.
- Raw veggie chips– thin slices of fresh jicama, wedges of sweet bell pepper, crisp lettuce hearts, cucumber slices…
- Paleo tortillas~ Here’s an egg-free recipe. And here’s one that tastes more like a whole wheat tortilla. You could try frying triangular shaped wedges of either of these to make chips. Or make the tortillas small and put dip in~ soft-taco-style.
- I also have a lovely (grain-free) cheese cracker recipe I’ll publish ASAP that we love! I’ll add its link in a week or so when I’ve photographed it…
This is great party food, a traditional appetizer, or still fun, after all these years, for a family meal. I show it below (in the recipe section), in salad form, with lemon to squeeze on the lettuce and slow-cooked meat.
- 5 zucchini, three raw, two steamed until very soft
- 1/3 cup room temperature water or bone broth
- 2 T. sustainably-sourced lard, bacon fat or tallow, melted and cooled slightly or use extra-virgin olive or coconut oil
- 2 T. tahini
- 1 T. sustainably-sourced gelatin, Great Lakes or Vital Proteins
- 1 tsp. cumin
- 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, to taste peeled and quartered
- 1 tsp. sea salt
- 1 tsp. onion powder
- 1/2 tsp. dried oregano
- 3 avocados
- 2 T. fresh lime juice
- 1/2 tsp. sea salt
- 2 cups cultured cream/probiotic sour cream
- 1 1/2 cups raw cheddar cheese, grated
- 2 organic tomatoes, vine-ripened
- 1 can natural olives, sliced
- 3 green onions sliced thinly, or fresh chives
- 1/2 cup fresh cilantro, leaves chopped small
Place water or broth in small saucepan. Sprinkle gelatin over its surface, allowing it to dissolve for one minute. Heat over low heat, stirring, until water is steamy, 2-3 minutes.
Chop both raw and cooked zucchini. Place them in high-powered blender with remaining "bean" dip ingredients, including gelatin water. Blend on medium speed until smooth, about 50 seconds.
Pour zucchini "bean" dip into casserole dish, creating a flat even layer. Refrigerate for 2-3 hours, or until set.
Mash avocado with tines of fork in a medium sized bowl. Stir in lime juice and sea salt. Refrigerate until ready to use.
Top "bean" layer with remaining ingredients: sour cream, guacamole, tomatoes, grated cheese, green onions (or chives), olives and fresh cilantro. Refrigerate until ready to serve.
Here's what the dip looks like served as a salad, on greens with lemon and slow-cooked meat.