healthy five layer dip with baked chili tortilla chips

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If there’s one thing I’ve learned, it’s that I should listen when my sister makes a food recommendation. So when she called me up nearly two weeks ago after the NFL conference championships to tell me about this fantastic layer dip, I was all ears. It seemed so perfect for the Super Bowl that I just had to whip it up so I could see for myself and share it with you!

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If you haven’t already guessed based on the number of dishes that we make with chilis in adobo, well, I kind of love them and think they make any southwestern/Tex-Mex/Mexican dish even better. Case in point,  it adds an irresistible smokiness to the bottom layer of black bean mash in this recipe. The beans are then topped with a layer of corn and onion, followed by my favorite layer, the avocado and lime. Next, the tomato-jalapeño layer adds some juicy zest, while the top layer of extra sharp cheddar cheese is the proverbial cherry on top.

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What makes this dip even better? Well, not just the fact that it’s healthier than most layer dips that are loaded down with sour cream and excess cheese, but these chili tortilla chips knock the dip straight out of the park. Wrong sports analogy I guess, but the point is that these chips are pretty great. They’re easy to make, super tasty with their zesty, earthy blend of spices and subtle heat, healthier because they’re baked instead of fried, and sturdy enough to scoop up all five layers with panache.

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Of course you can use regular tortilla chips, and that will work just fine, but if you’ve got the time, I highly recommend making these chips. We ran out of our homemade chips and switched to store bought at the very end and the dip was sill fantastic, but the chili tortilla chips just add even more salty, smokey flavor to the whole experience. Another added bonus of making the chips is that baking the corn tortillas will make your whole house smell good! Your Super Bowl guests will be salivating as soon as they come in the door. Enjoy the game and eat well! 

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Healthy Five Layer Dip with Baked Chili Tortilla Chips

Yield: 12 servings of dip (serving size is 1/2 cup) and 72 chips

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Adapted from Ellie Krieger's Comfort Food Fix: Feel-Good Favorites Made Healthy

If you want the cheese on top melted, you can throw it under the broiler for a minute or use a kitchen torch if you have one.

Thrown off by the long list of ingredients or don't have ancho chili powder, ground chipotle pepper, and/or smoked paprika for the chips? You can substitute any of those with regular chili powder.

After fumbling along with some tongs, I found that mixing the chips with the oil and spices with my hands was the easiest and most efficient way to make sure that each chip was evenly coated. Your hands may get a little messy in the process, but I assure you, they'll be finger-lickin' good when you're finished!

Ingredients

    For the Dip:
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 1 medium onion, diced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 (15.5-ounce) can black beans, preferably low-sodium, drained and rinsed
  • 1 tablespoon minced chipotle pepper in adobo
  • 4 tablespoons fresh lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 tablespoon water
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 2 cups corn kernels (10-ounce box frozen corn)
  • 1/4 cup fresh cilantro leaves, chopped
  • 2 ripe avocados
  • 4 medium tomatoes, seeded and diced (about 2 cups)
  • 1/4 cup scallion, thinly sliced
  • 1 jalapeño pepper, seeds and ribs roved, minced
  • 3/4 cup shredded extra-sharp cheddar cheese
  • For the Chili Tortilla Chips
  • 12 6-inch corn tortillas
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon chili powder
  • 1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground chipotle pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon ancho chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground coriander
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • pinch of cayenne

Instructions

    For the Dip:
  1. Heat the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add onions and cook until they soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the garlic and cook for 2 minutes more.
  2. Put half of the onion mixture into a food processor with the black beans, chipotle pepper, 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, cumin, water and salt. Puree until smooth. Set aside.
  3. Add the corn to the skillet with the remaining onion mixture and cook for about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro leaves.
  4. In a small bowl mash the avocado with the remaining lime juice. In a medium bowl toss together the tomatoes, scallion and jalapeño. Season tomato mixture with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Spread the black bean dip into the bottom of an 8 by 8 glass baking or serving dish. Top with the corn mixture, spreading it out to form a single layer over the beans, repeat with the avocado, then the tomatoes. Top with cheese. Serve with baked chips.
  6. For the Chili Tortilla Chips:
  7. Cut the twelve corn tortillas into 6 wedges each. Toss the wedges with the olive oil, chili powder, smoked paprika, ground chipotle pepper, ancho chili powder, cumin, coriander, garlic powder, salt, and cayenne until all the chips are evenly coated. Working in batches, spread on 2 baking sheets; bake at 350 degrees F until crisp and golden, 18 to 25 minutes.
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 healthy five layer dip with baked chili tortilla chips

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