There’s been a trend in the realm of a healthy parenting to ‘sneak’ veggies into unassuming dishes like brownies and cookies. After trying this trend with the once popular black bean brownies and devouring almost an entire pan, it took me months to get over my trust issues when someone offered me a brownie (or a side of black beans for that matter). I don’t care what anyone says: you can taste the veggies and we are sending a mixed message to our kids when we tell them that brownies (or cookies or cakes) are healthy. How can we expect them to make healthy decisions when they are older when we are not wiling to teach them about healthy foods when they are young?
Pre-mamahood, I just assumed that my children would snack on veggies with the same passion that I once showed for Doritos in my oh-so-processed past. As a new mama, I have learned that I have no control over anything but my own attitude, but I am still not willing to hide healthy foods.
Instead, I’m trying to re-imagine junk food in more natural and flavorful versions. Take taco dip: you have a layer of sour cream mixed with seasonings (usually an envelope filled with some seasonings and lots of chemicals), then add on a few veggies (usually shredded lettuce, tomatoes, and black olives), and top it off with a very thick layer of cheese.
People love taco dip. Even my nephews who can be picky will eat an entire pan of the stuff without blinking. It’s a common party food and very popular at tailgates and football watching parties.
My taco dip has the allure of its junk food counterpart, but really it’s a salad in disguise.
Creamy pinto beans make the base of the dip following by a smooth guacamole and then topped with a garden of zucchini, carrots, lettuce, peppers, tomatoes, and onions. It’s a salad that you eat with a chip. It can’t get any better than that!
I have to admit, I made this as an experiment. As with many of my health food makeovers, I figured that if no one else liked it, at least Manatee and I would have some leftovers.
The good news? Everyone LOVED it and asked for the recipe.
The bad news? No leftovers. Guess we will just have to make it again soon….
What junk food party favorites would you like to see me makeover?