Simple, delicious, and naturally gluten-free & dairy-free, Real Food 7-Layer Dip will be the hit of your next party or gathering!
Elle was born the Friday preceding Super Bowl weekend.
I was still in the hospital during the big game, and Andrew and my sister walked to the funky grocery store near the hospital to secure provisions.
Because if we were going to watch the game on a tiny TV in a cramped hospital room, at least we would have snacks.
Those first few days of motherhood are such a haze of doctors, nurses, wet diapers, IVs, exhaustion and pure love that it's hard for me to remember the details.
I do, however, remember the food.
They brought back plastic bags full of corn chips, strangely orange-colored dips in a cans, neon peanut M&Ms, and--if memory serves me--beer (that they kept trying to awkwardly hide from nurses when they came in the room, as if they were college students sneaking a drink in their dorm room.)
My focus at that moment was primarily on the tiny human that I was now supposed to keep alive, but the Super Bowl sideshow did offer a moment of normalcy in an otherwise upside down moment in my life.
In the birthday's since then we have always celebrated Elle's birthday on Super Bowl Sunday, and--up until this year--have limited the party guest list to immediate family.
The menu has expanded beyond grocery store artificially-flavored and -colored foods, with the exception of those peanut M&Ms, which my family inexplicably requires for Super Bowl viewing.
This year, however, Elle requested a real birthday party with friends outside of our family circle.
She had a very specific plan in mind: a My Little Pony/unicorn/butterfly themed party including making and decorating individual pizzas, a butterfly piñata, and decorating homemade double chocolate chip cupcakes.
The girl does not mess around.
Together we planned the menu, sent the invites, and picked out her outfit, including her favorite birthday gift.
After all, a birthday girl should always have wings.
We decorated the house, prepared the pizza crust, and baked the cupcakes.
And then she waited for guests to arrive.
While she waited, I prepared the 7-Layer Dip, an essential part of any party as far as I'm concerned.
The friends arrived, the piñata was smashed, cupcakes were decorated and then devoured, and the parents came back for serving after serving of the dip.
As birthdays and dips go, I'd call both a success.
And now as those hospital days slip further and further away into memory, I'll hold my 5 year-old's hand as we plan more parties, watch the game together, and make more dip.
I hope you will, too.
Now, let's make some Real Food 7-Layer Dip (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free!)
RECIPE & KID-FRIENDLY ADAPTATIONS
1 | This recipe is extremely adaptable, so feel free to skip any layers you don't like, or to add layers you do.
2 | Iceberg lettuce adds a nice crispness and crunch to this dip, but you can use romaine in its place if you like.
THIS RECIPE IS . . .
Naturally Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free, Soy-Free, Egg-Free, Vegetarian, and Vegan
Real Food 7-Layer Dip (Gluten-Free, Dairy-Free)
2 cups Slow Cooker Refried Beans, cooled (or 1 [15.4-oz] can vegetarian refried beans*)
2 cups mild or medium restaurant-style salsa (or your favorite salsa)
⅓ cup chopped green onion (white and green parts)
⅓ cup sliced black olives
½ cup thinly sliced iceberg lettuce
½ cup sliced cherry tomatoes
¼ cup avocado mayonnaise, vegannaise, or sour cream
2 tablespoons lime juice
1. Spread the refried beans in an even layer into the bottom of a 9x13 in baking dish. Spoon on the guacamole, smoothing into a second even layer. Pour over the salsa, smoothing into a third even layer. Sprinkle on an even layer of green onion, then iceberg lettuce, and then tomatoes.
2. In a small bowl, whisk together the mayonnaise, vegannaise or sour cream with the lime juice. Drizzle the mixture over the tomato layer.
3. Serve immediately or refrigerate, covered, for up to 2 days.
Makes 18-20 appetizer-sized servings.
* Be sure to use good quality, flavorful beans for this recipe. I find these refried beans have the most flavor. Trader Joe’s also carries a tasty variety.