I don’t know about you, but anytime I whip up some football-watching snacks (ok, full disclosure. I don’t really watch football. Perhaps it’s more accurate to say ‘football socializing’ snacks), the last thing I want to do is think about or even attempt making dinner. Since ‘socializing’ snacks aren’t always the healthiest of choices, it often gives way to mom-guilt over whether or not the Bug got enough veggies in her system for the day.

So I decided to try and health-ify one of my fav game day snacks: my dad’s layered mexican dip. Normally chock full of refried beans, layers of cheese, ground beef, and more — I opted for a more fall-like version….

Roasted Veggies. It’s an unlikely combination because I used what I had on hand: eggplant, onion, corn, and yellow peppers.

Verdict? TOUCHDOWN. And Bug-approved.

Happy purple Monday everyone! Enjoy!

Ingredients

  • 1 lb. of ground turkey sausage (or pork sausage, chicken sausage, ground beef — whatever you have on hand!)
  • 1 15 oz. can of black beans, drained
  • 2 cups of salsa
  • 1 ear of corn, shucked, kernels removed from cob (don’t need the cob!)
  • 1 small eggplant
  • 1/2 vidalia onion
  • 1 yellow pepper (or red sweet pepper)
  • 3/4 cup sour cream (light or fully-loaded, your choice)
  • 8 oz. of shredded Colby Jack cheese
  • Small can of sliced black olives (optional)
  • Fresh cilantro, chopped (optional)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • Sea Salt (to taste)
  • Fresh ground pepper (to taste)
  • Worcestershire sauce (to taste)
  • Garlic Powder (to taste)

Directions

Preheat oven to 450 F.

Roasted Veggie Dip - (cool) progeny

Chop eggplant, onion and pepper into a bite-able size, or until your patience is worn out. I always have ambition of chopping everything uniformly and perfectly, but — as Rachel Ray often says — I’m more of a ‘rustic’ when it comes to knife skills. Just chop it small enough so no one will choke. Throw corn kernels and chopped veggie into large ziploc bag and toss with olive oil and a pinch of sea salt. {The Bug loves to do the shaking here}. Rub a little olive oil on a baking sheet and dump veggies onto the sheet, being sure to spread them out so there isn’t much clumping. Put into hot oven for about 30 minutes. Be sure to turn them once or twice to prevent too much charring. {A little is great for flavor!}

Roasted Veggie Dip - (cool) progeny

While veggies are roasting, brown your meat. I always like to add a little salt, pepper, garlic and a few shakes of Worcestershire sauce while it browns. Drain and place into the bottom of a 13 by 9 pan. {This also makes two smaller dips if you use 1.5 quart baking dishes. I did and made one dip for us, and one to freeze).

Top beef layer with drained black beans.

Roasted Veggie Dip - (cool) progeny

Remove veggies from oven and reduce oven temp to 350 F. Top bean layer with roasted veggies.

Add salsa.

Roasted Veggie Dip - (cool) progeny

Cover with cheese and place into 350 F oven for about 20 minutes, or until cheese is melted, gooey and bubbly. {And please ignore my sorely-needs-a-clean oven.}

Allow to cool for just a few minutes. You can either top the whole dip with sour cream or serve the sour cream on the top. Personally, I like to top the dip with sour cream, fresh chopped cilantro and sliced black olives. If you’re freezing the dip, skip the sour cream/olive step and allow to cool before covering and freezing.

Serve with tortilla chips.

Yum.