So quick and easy to make, this vegan, top 8 allergen free spin on Mexican (Tex-Mex) 7-Layer Dip has become my new go to party appetizer favorite! Good-bye to the common jar of salsa and chips I usually serve. This recipe was almost as simple as opening that jar of salsa but had my guests thinking I had spent real time in my kitchen.
For summer cookouts, my sister-in-law often makes a tasty 5-layer dip I love to enjoy, but with my nursing daughter’s multiple food allergies, I knew that such was now off limits. Rather than be defeated, I tried upping her recipe a couple layers and modifying it to make a vegan Mexican 7-Layer Dip that was top 8 allergen free (including gluten free, dairy free, and soy free). Once I had gathered my ingredients, I didn’t realize how fácil (easy in Spanish :)) this recipe would be to make! I was able to quickly chop my vegetables and throw together this appetizer as guests started to arrive at my husband’s surprise birthday cookout a couple weeks ago.
Some know that I randomly won an allergy friendly recipe contest a few months ago for my homemade, southern-style macaroni and cheese casserole with creamy, white cheese sauce. To make my sauce, I was crazy enough to carefully cut slices of Galaxy Nutritional Foods Rice Vegan Cheese (free of the top 8 most common food allergens and coconut) into many small shred-like pieces. So when Galaxy Nutritional Foods announced that they had launched a line of vegan shredded cheeses, I probably was one of the first people looking for them in my grocery store. Although my most frequented grocery store didn’t carry them, I was happy to find them at Yes Organic! The only flavor they had, at the time, was mozzarella, which I used to make a vegan white pizza (pictured below). When I decided to return to Yes Organic! for more cheese, I was excited to see that they had expanded their selection of Galaxy Nutritional Foods’ Vegan Shreds to include a “Mexican” flavor. It was fate that I finally tried making my 7-layer dip!
Since dairy free sour cream substitutes all seem to contain soy, I had to search for another good sour cream substitute. Quite a few online sources suggested substituting yogurt that has been thickened by straining. I really didn’t want to go through the (what seemed lengthy) process of straining yogurt. (I wanted friends to think I had spent time in the kitchen not actually spend it there (see above).) So when I came across So Delicious’ coconut milk Greek style “yogurt” (Greek yogurt is naturally known to be thicker than regular yogurt), I thought eureka! And how perfect that, although I had been avoiding coconut in fear that my daughter was allergic, my daughter’s allergist recently had given me the okay to try it again after a negative allergy test.
I did not include the precise measurements for the vegetables in this recipe. It’s better to just eyeball them and adjust depending on your tastes (e.g., I may go heavier on my green onions and lighter on my tomatoes than some readers may prefer).
- one 15 oz can organic vegetarian refried beans (like Field Day)
- three 6 oz containers plain Greek style dairy-free, soy-free yogurt (like So Delicious)
- 1 packet organic taco seasoning (like Simply Organic)
- lettuce, roughly chopped
- tomatoes, chopped into cubes (I used 2 Roma tomatoes)
- 2 avocados, seed removed and cubed
- sea salt, to taste
- fresh cilantro leaves, roughly chopped (from about 4 branches)
- green onions, chopped
- dairy-free, soy-free Mexican shredded cheese (like Galaxy Nutritional Foods)
Method (or Mistakes)
Wash and chop your vegetables. Starting from bottom (#1) to top (#7) layer, use a spatula to spread each dip layer evenly into a 13 x 9 inch baking dish, preparing the “sour cream” and guacamole layers prior to spreading as directed below.
1. Refried Beans Layer
2. Taco “Sour Cream” Layer: mix yogurt with taco seasoning
3. Lettuce Layer
4. Tomatoes Layer
5. Guacamole Layer:
a. An easy way to cube the avocado: leaving skin on, cut in half lengthwise; pull apart; remove seed; still in skin, cut lengthwise in rows; turn and cut widthwise; and then remove cubes from skin.
b. In a small bowl, use a spoon to mix together avocado cubes, cilantro, and sea salt until starts to smoothen a bit.
6. Green Onion Layer (I mixed my onions into my guacamole, so I had more of a 6 ½ layer dip)
7. Mexican Cheese Layer: sprinkle Mexican cheese shreds evenly over dip
Serve with your favorite gluten free chips!
Accompanied by some gluten-free tortilla chips, this is a delicious quick and easy, top 8 allergen free snack – the perfect appetizer to accompany your summertime cookout or anytime party. This dip also worked incredibly well with my free samples of Enjoy Life Foods Plentil Chips, whose shape was perfect for scooping. (Come back in a couple days for my full review of Enjoy Life’s new Plentil chips (you guessed it! made from lentils and free of the top 8 most common allergens), and how my son’s hand stayed in the flavor I since have had to keep replenishing). My Mexican 7 layer dip also paired well with sangria loaded with fresh fruit (sorry I didn’t think to take a picture).
I don’t think any of my guests even realized that this 7-layer dip was allergy friendly, as everyone continued to come back for more. It wasn’t until half of it was eaten that I revealed making it with coconut yogurt rather than sour cream. No one even knew, especially once it was mixed with the taco seasoning. I never shared with my guests that my Mexican cheese also was dairy-free and soy-free; I figured the lack of sour cream was enough surprise for my guests in one day at my husband’s surprise BBQ (mind you my guests included friends who had eased me about our “healthy” Memorial Day BBQ).
Although both were YUMmy, I think the vegan Mexican shredded cheese looked a lot more attractive non-melted and sprinkled on top of Mexican 7-layer dip than the mozzarella version melted atop my vegan, white pizza with spinach, mushrooms, onions, and sun-dried tomatoes (although the picture came out better looking). (If you’re interested in the pizza recipe, just let me know, and I’ll share.)
This dip was such a nice substantial and filling appetizer, much more so than plain old salsa and chips. The vegetarian refried beans, homemade guacamole, and seasoned allergen free yogurt added a lot of weight to this party finger food. In fact, I found myself enjoying leftovers of this well-rounded (vegetable and protein plentiful) snack as a lunch by itself. I definitely plan to enjoy more bags of Galaxy Nutritional Foods’ Vegan Shreds (of which I already have purchased and restocked my fridge) in this and other dishes – I’m thinking it would go nice on some vegan tacos one night made using most of the same ingredients used in this allergen free Mexican 7-Layer dip or even in my creamy mac & cheese recipe. I would highly recommend anyone with food allergies to try these newly launched line of shredded allergy friendly vegan cheeses! This company continues to not disappoint. (Hint: If any representative from Galaxy Nutritional Foods happens to read this post and is looking for testers for any other new allergy friendly, vegan products – I will be your guinea pig! :))
Come back in a couple days to find out which flavor of Enjoy Life Foods’ crunchy Plentil Chips is my 3-year old’s new favorite snack and why he, surprisingly, couldn’t keep his hand out of a bag of these crunchy, allergen free, plant-based protein-packed chips.
REMINDER **GIVEAWAY** Ending Soon!
Enjoy Life Chocolate Products and Nom Yum & Free Apron GIVEAWAY Ends July 29th!!
Visit my Giveaway Post for details or look for my product review of Enjoy Life’s yummy line of Plentil Chips for the many ways you can enter to win!