Cooking From Scratch - Mexican Dip
I have to be honest here - I am not a big fan of Mexican food. I guess I don't like spicy foods very much and I have never liked beans, so usually I don't eat Mexican food. For years now though, I have enjoyed this Mexican Dip and my whole family loves it. It is easy to make, a very filling and actually nutritious meal, and can be made in the crock pot.
I really like using my crock pot for cooking. It saves energy over cooking a meal in the oven, it makes the house smell good all day, you can prepare dinner at breakfast or lunch instead of during the crazy dinner hour, and usually your entire meal is in the crock pot. When cooking with the crock pot you typically don't need a lot of side dishes, which makes meal time easier and after dinner clean up a lot easier.
1 15 oz can refried beans - I used fat free, it is healthier
1 15 oz can diced tomatoes
1 small can of jalapeno peppers - not the whole can, just to your taste depending on how spicy you want the dip
1 pound of ground meat - I have used beef, turkey, buffalo, and deer. This can be made vegetarian though by leaving out the meat.
32 oz block of Velveeta cheese - I get the light or low fat version to make the dip healthier
Brown the meat in a large saute pan. While this is browning, put the refried beans, diced tomatoes and jalapenos into a blender and puree. This is why I like this recipe, you can't really taste the beans. For getting vegetables into kids you are including beans, tomatoes and peppers in this dish - and it appears to be a cheese and meat dip.
After the meat is browned and the vegetables are blended put both things into the crockpot along with the cheese. I slice the cheese thickly and arrange it on top of the meat and pureed veggies. I start this dip after lunch and cook it on low for the afternoon. I serve it with tortilla chips for dinner and usually a side of fresh fruit.
This does make a full crockpot of dip, so cutting the recipe in half is an option. I puree the vegetables up like the directions state and freeze half. I also wrap half of the Velveeta cheese in plastic wrap and freeze it in a freezer bag. You could either brown only half a pound of meat, or brown the whole pound and freeze half once it is cooled. It becomes an even easier meal the second time around. Pull the ingredients from the freezer in the morning and put in the crockpot after lunch.
This Mexican Dip is a great dip to bring for a potluck, if you have access to electricity. If you are having a party at your house, this is a delicious dip to have on hand. If you are looking for something different to cook tonight or an easy crockpot meal, this is a very tasty option.