Five Layer Dip

*This is repost, since for some unknown reason, the first one got deleted.

I hope you all had a fun Fourth of July!

Once again, so for not posting very often. As I mentioned in my last post, I am moving to California. I am still staying with Michael’s parents and looking for a job (got some good leads so far!). Hopefully soon I will have a job and my own place so I get back to posting more. 

Yesterday Michael’s parents had a little BBQ so I thought I would make something nice for everyone too: five layer dip. I made this for a party before and it was gone within minutes. What’s not to love about layers of spicy beans, creamy guacamole, tangy Tofutti sour cream, fresh salsa and gooey cheese sauce? 

Some of the layers are from recipes I have posted before, so I will spare you the repeat and just post the links. 

Five Layer Dip:

First layer: Spicy Beans
16 can of pinto beans, drained and rinsed
1/4 of a medium onion
1 large bell pepper
1 clove of garlic
Red pepper flakes, to taste
Salt and pepper, to taste
1 jalapeño pepper, minced

Drain and rinse the beans. Set aside. 

Chop the onion and peppers into bite-sized pieces. Mince the jalapeño. 

Spray a large skillet with cooking spray and heat over medium heat.

Saute the onions and peppers until slightly golden.

Add the beans, garlics, and red pepper flakes. 

Cook until the beans are heated through. Mash the beans into a paste as it cooks. 

Season with red pepper flakes, salt and pepper, and add the jalapeño. 

Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Second layer: Basic Guacamole 
Third layer: Tofutti Sour Cream

Fourth layer: Fresh Salsa 
2 large tomatoes, diced
1/4 of a medium onion, diced
1 clove of garlic, minced
1 jalapeño, minced
Handful of cilantro
Salt and pepper to taste

Dice tomatoes and onions, then add to a large bowl.

Mince the garlic and jalapeños and, add to the bowl. 

Add the cilantro and mix. Season with salt and pepper to taste. 

Cover and refrigerate until ready to use. 

Fifth layer: Cheese Sauce

I suggest doing this in a large see-through (I know I did it in a pink one, it was the biggest one I could find) bowl or dish so you can see all the contrasting layers.

In the bottom of the large bowl, spread an even layer of the Spicy Beans. 

Second, spread on the Basic Guacamole.

Next, cover with as much sour cream as you like. 

Then, put the salsa on top of the sour cream.

Lastly, pour on the cheese sauce. Garnish with some red pepper flakes and cilantro. 

This was big hit! We munched on this while the grill heated up and it was devoured quickly. 


Homemade Seitan II: Seitan Ribs

Awhile ago I posted a recipe for homemade seitan where you wash the starch off all purpose flour dough. It makes a very tasty meat substitute, but it is time consuming and annoying to do. There is an easier way to make your own seitan: vital wheat gluten. It is simply gluten flour, flour that already has the starch removed. I have not bought it before because plain flour is usually cheaper. But I found a small box on sale for $2.99 at my local health food store (two hippies got into a fight in the check-out line so I stepped behind to display to get out of their way and noticed the box on the shelf).

The beauty of vital wheat gluten is there is no washing necessary. Just mix the ingredients, knead lightly, and boil. Takes at least half an hour off the prep time. Awhile ago I saw a blog for BBQ seitan ribs, which I magically cannot find again, so I decided to made a similar recipe.

Vital Wheat Gluten Seitan
1 cup vital wheat gluten 
3/4 cup vegetable broth 
2 tbs soy sauce
2 tps smoked paprika 
1 tps chili powder
1 tps garlic powder
6 cups water or vegetable broth
2 tbs soy sauce
1 tbs paprika
1 tps garlic powder
1 tps cumin
2 cloves of garlic, skin removed and crushed

In a small bowl, add vital wheat gluten. Shift through it a bit to get any clumps out.

Add the remaining 3/4 cup vegetable broth, 2 tps soy sauce, smoked paprika, chili powder, and garlic powder. 

Knead the ball for a minute or so, just until it all comes together and is smooth. 

Let it rest for 5 minutes, then knead a few more times. 

Divide and mold into desired shapes. I tore mine in half, flatten out one half into slab for my rips, and made a patty and nuggets with the other half. 

Add combine the remaining ingredients into a large pot. Add the seitan pieces and cover with a lid. 

Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once it starts to boil, reduce to simmer and cook 45 mins to 1 hour. 

Turn off the heat, leave the lid on and let it cool in the stock.

Once cool, remove the stock. It’s ready to be used right away or can be stored for later.

Seitan Ribs
1 large, flat seitan steak 
BBQ sauce(used any style or brand you like, I used a sweeter one)
BBQ rub (again, any style or brand you like, mine was just a mix of random spices I had in the pantry: paprika, chili powder, turmeric, cumin, and chipotle)

Pre-heat the oven to broil or heat up the grill.

Cut the strips into the steak like rips.

Now brush on BBQ sauce. 

Rub the seitan steak with the BBQ rub. And yeah I know, traditionally you don’t put sauce on it if you have a rub but that what I recipe I based this on said and I like the combination.

Bake for 30 minutes or so, until the seitan has a crunchy blacken crust. I am not sure on the grill time since I don’t have a grill. I really wish I could the site I got this recipe from.

I think I like seitan better this way, but in the end I will go with whats cheapest. So unless vital wheat gluten is on sale, I will just make the flour dough and wash the stretch out. But I will totally make these ribs again sometime. They are chewy and smokey, so delicious. 

Seitan ribs, green beans, and olive bread. 

Go Ducks: Yell-O and Green Nachos

For the past 6 years of my life, every Saturday from September to December is taken over by Oregon Duck football. I am proud graduate University of Oregon and needless to say, I bleed green and yellow. I loved going to the games with my sorority sisters and yelling “O” until we went hoarse. I have sadly had to spend the past seasons and this one cheering from Hawaii. But just because I am in the middle of  the Pacific doesn’t mean I don’t get all ducked-out. I either go to a local sports bar or watch from home, but regardless I have my jersey on and shout like a maniac.

Today the Ducks face off against LSU, a game that will sure deserve a special blog post. So I decided to make something green and yellow (U of O colors), and finally settled on nachos. I made queso sauce from nutritional yeast and used salsa verde for the colors. Plus some jalapeños for some spice and because they are little O’s. I wanted to top it all off with some vegan sour cream, but my store was sold out.

I just realized this is also fitting because our coach is named Chip.

Yell-O and Green Nacho
Queso sauce:
4 tbs vegan butter
1 and 1/4 cup nutritional yeast, divided

3/4 cup vegetable broth
1/2 cup unsweetened, plain soy milk

1/2 tbs garlic powder
1tps cumin
1 tps parkia
1 tps chili powder
1/2 tsp pepper
The rest of the stuff:
1/4 medium onion, chopped
1 cup soy” beef” crumbles (I used Smart Ground)
Tortilla chips
Salsa verde
Vegan sour cream

To make the queso sauce, add the vegan butter and 1 cup of the nutritional yeast to saucepan over medium/low heat. Incorporate the two together to make a sort of roux. It should clump together and get a little golden.

Add the vegetable broth and soy milk. Whisk together so there are no lumps.

Add the garlic powder, cumin, paprika, chili powder and pepper. You can add salt if you like, but mine didn’t need it. Mix together well.

Reduce the heat to low. Let it reduce and thicken, stirring frequently. Taste it after awhile, if it need more “cheese” flavor, add some more nutritional yeast.

In skillet, lightly brown the chopped onion. Then add the soy crumbles. Cooked until heated through.

Once the queso sauce is smooth and thicken slightly, it’s time to assemble.

On a large plate or platter, scatter desired amount of chips. There is enough sauce for at least 5 serving so be generous.

Next sprinkle on the soy crumble mixture.

Now pour on the queso sauce.

Now add the desired about of salsa verde.

If your store didn’t run out of sour cream like mine did, add a few dollops.

Top with desired about of jalapeños so your nachos are yelling “O”.

Turn on the Ducks game, open a Widmer (or any other fine Oregon brew) and get ready to cheer! Win the days boys!