Meatless Monday: Black bean dip

Black bean dip | Me & The Moose. This quick dip can go in tacos, quesadillas, and nachos for a hearty and fast meatless meal. And who doesn’t love dip for dinner? #meandthemoose #meatlessmonday #vegetarian #blackbeans #texmex #dip #dinner #lunch #lunchbox

Hear me out: Let’s serve dip for dinner tonight. Or in your kids’ lunchboxes tomorrow. And credit where it’s due: This recipe is cribbed almost entirely from M’s dad as black bean dip is one of his signature party dishes.

This gloop is primarily black beans, with just a smidge of cream cheese for richness and some onions, garlic, and spices to make it aromatic. Add in a dash of lime juice for acid, a smattering of shredded cheese on top that gets all melty and crispy in the oven, and you have a quick and hearty dish in about 30 minutes. AND, you can make it an even faster meal if you a small cast-iron or other oven-safe saute pan.

Black bean dip | Me & The Moose. This quick dip can go in tacos, quesadillas, and nachos for a hearty and fast meatless meal. And who doesn’t love dip for dinner? #meandthemoose #meatlessmonday #vegetarian #blackbeans #texmex #dip #dinner #lunch #lunchbox
Black bean dip | Me & The Moose. This quick dip can go in tacos, quesadillas, and nachos for a hearty and fast meatless meal. And who doesn’t love dip for dinner? #meandthemoose #meatlessmonday #vegetarian #blackbeans #texmex #dip #dinner #lunch #lunchbox

The taste and texture of this dip remind me of refried beans, but better.

You can scoop it into tortillas with some fresh veggies for a meatless dinner that’s full of protein. Or add shredded rotisserie chicken or other leftover proteins from the weekend for an even heartier meal. OR squash this concoction between tortillas for a dinner or lunch quesadilla.

Also, M is very keen on chips and dip as dinner, but I don’t want him to burn out on guacamole as it’s one of our go-to’s. And beans are an excellent source of non-meat protein, so if he’s suddenly off of meat, which toddlers often are, this dip helps to fill him up for a good night’s sleep (hopefully).

Black bean dip | Me & The Moose. This quick dip can go in tacos, quesadillas, and nachos for a hearty and fast meatless meal. And who doesn’t love dip for dinner? #meandthemoose #meatlessmonday #vegetarian #blackbeans #texmex #dip #dinner #lunch #lunchbox

Black bean dip

1 Tbsp olive oil
½ large onion, roughly chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp cumin
½ tsp chili powder
¼ tsp coriander
¼ tsp oregano
2 cans of black beans, drained and rinsed
¼ cup cream cheese
½ tsp kosher salt
1 Tbsp lime juice
1-2 Tbsp water
1-1½ cups shredded cheddar and Monterey jack cheese

Preheat the oven to 400. (I don’t use the broiler for this one because I want it to warm the dip while it melts the cheese and the broiler is a bit too much heat, too fast.)

In a small skillet (bonus if it’s oven safe! You’ll only need one pan!), heat the olive oil over a medium low flame. Add the onions and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for one minute until fragrant. Add the spices and cook for 30 seconds. Remove from the heat and let cool slightly while you prep the rest of your ingredients.

Place the cooked onions, garlic, and spices in a blender or food processor. Add the drained and rinsed black beans, cream cheese, salt and lime juice. Pulse several times until the ingredients are well broken up, but not liquified, scraping down the sides as needed.

Continue pulsing while you add the water 1 tsp at a time until you’ve reached the right consistency. I like this dip to be somewhere between chunky and liquidy. There is definitely some texture, but no “chunks’ of beans.

Put the mixture back into your oven-safe skillet or into a small casserole dish. The wider and shallower the dish, the more surface area you have for cheese, so pick accordingly. Top with the shredded cheese and bake in the oven until the cheese is melted and begins to crisp on the sides and bubble in the middle.

Yield: 4 cups of dip

Black bean dip | Me & The Moose. This quick dip can go in tacos, quesadillas, and nachos for a hearty and fast meatless meal. And who doesn’t love dip for dinner? #meandthemoose #meatlessmonday #vegetarian #blackbeans #texmex #dip #dinner #lunch #lunchbox

Carrot and ricotta turnovers

Carrot and ricotta turnovers | Me & The Moose. The puree that fills these barely sweet turnovers is delicious on its own or as baby food, a toddler pouch, or a dip. Premade puff pastry dough makes this an easy treat to whip up for unexpected holiday guests. #meandthemoose #carrotrecipes #desserts #babypuree #toddlerfood #carrotandricottaturnovers #turnoverrecipes

I keep choosing holiday recipes that are either multi-stepped, super complicated, or painstaking. I mean, who doesn't love sugar cookies painted with luster dust and puppy cupcakes? But not every holiday dessert or appetizer has to be a labor of love, know what I mean?

These carrot turnovers are a little sweet, a little savory and completely delicious. They're also easy to put together and seem fancier than they actually are. And there are vegetables! I made these guys fairly large when they were just a part of our dinner, but for a crowd, I would cut the rolled out pastry dough into 12 squares and check them after about 14 minutes of cooking.

Carrot and ricotta turnovers | Me & The Moose. The puree that fills these barely sweet turnovers is delicious on its own or as baby food, a toddler pouch, or a dip. Premade puff pastry dough makes this an easy treat to whip up for unexpected holiday guests. #meandthemoose #carrotrecipes #desserts #babypuree #toddlerfood #carrotandricottaturnovers #turnoverrecipes

Carrot, apple, and thyme turnovers

2 medium carrots, peeled and diced (about 1 cup)
1 medium apple (1/2 large apple), peeled and diced (about ½ cup)
½ cup whole milk ricotta
2-3 tsp honey
2 sprigs thyme
1 sheet puff pastry dough

Preheat the oven to 400. Chop the carrots and apples. Place the carrots in a deep pot and cover with cold water, plus one inch. Bring to a boil over medium heat. Once the carrots are boiling, add a steamer basket on top and steam the apples for 8 minutes. Drain the apples and carrots and let cool slightly.

Set aside half of the cooked apple chunks. Pulse the cooked carrots and the rest of the apples with 2 Tbsp water until you've reached your desired consistency, adding more water if necessary. At this point, you have a tasty apple and carrot puree. If stopping here, you could also add a glug of olive oil or some pureed protein for a complete baby meal.

Carrot and ricotta turnovers | Me & The Moose. The puree that fills these barely sweet turnovers is delicious on its own or as baby food, a toddler pouch, or a dip. Premade puff pastry dough makes this an easy treat to whip up for unexpected holiday guests. #meandthemoose #carrotrecipes #desserts #babypuree #toddlerfood #carrotandricottaturnovers #turnoverrecipes

For the turnovers, combine the puree with reserved apple chunks, ricotta, honey (to taste), and thyme. Stir to combine and set aside. Again, you can stop here and have another tasty puree for a baby over the age of one year or sub maple syrup for the honey if feeding to a younger baby.

Carrot and ricotta turnovers | Me & The Moose. The puree that fills these barely sweet turnovers is delicious on its own or as baby food, a toddler pouch, or a dip. Premade puff pastry dough makes this an easy treat to whip up for unexpected holiday guests. #meandthemoose #carrotrecipes #desserts #babypuree #toddlerfood #carrotandricottaturnovers #turnoverrecipes

Cut a piece of parchment that is slightly larger than your sheet pan. Place the puff pastry dough on the parchment and gently roll out the dough to lengthen it, allowing you to cut out squares instead of rectangles. Cut into 6 squares. Move your parchment and dough onto the sheet pan. Spoon 2 Tbsp of the carrot, apple, thyme, and cheese mixture into the bottom corner of the turnovers. Fold over to make triangles and gently press the sides together. Bake for 16 minutes, or until golden brown.

Yield: 6 large turnovers or 12 small turnovers

Carrot and ricotta turnovers | Me & The Moose. The puree that fills these barely sweet turnovers is delicious on its own or as baby food, a toddler pouch, or a dip. Premade puff pastry dough makes this an easy treat to whip up for unexpected holiday guests. #meandthemoose #carrotrecipes #desserts #babypuree #toddlerfood #carrotandricottaturnovers #turnoverrecipes
Carrot and ricotta turnovers | Me & The Moose. The puree that fills these barely sweet turnovers is delicious on its own or as baby food, a toddler pouch, or a dip. Premade puff pastry dough makes this an easy treat to whip up for unexpected holiday guests. #meandthemoose #carrotrecipes #desserts #babypuree #toddlerfood #carrotandricottaturnovers #turnoverrecipes