the taste space

Mexican Black Bean Dip

Posted in Appetizers by janet @ the taste space on January 21, 2014

Mexican Black Bean Dip

Yesterday was Martin Luther Kind Jr. Day. A new-to-us statutory holiday, we celebrated by attending America’s third largest parade. Third behind the Rose Parade and The Macy’s Day Parade. Yes, Houston’s Martin Luther King Jr Parade highlighted marching bands, parade floats, antique cars (and horses!) and attracted an estimated 300,000 spectators. And it was happening a few blocks from my home. So we went. I can’t say I have been to many other parades (other than the Santa Claus Parade) and this was a real treat.

There are a few things on my American bucket list. A few fun things (like Burning Man and visiting National Parks), and then some that others think we should experience to fully appreciate the American culture. Like attend a football game. If you think hockey is big in Canada, football is even bigger in the US. Like huge. I mean, like HUGE. Our neighbour invited us to watch a football game with him but timing never seemed to work out. When I finally approached him again, the Texans had already wrapped up a year that was not their best.  I don’t think they even made the playoffs. In any case, I will have to scurry about to find an invitation to a Superbowl party instead. It sounds more up my alley… game day food, no?

Not that I have ever been to a sport watching party before.. with game food. I imagine there would a lot a of nibblers and popcorn… and chips. While I am not sure how I could make this delicious bowl of black beans whipped into a dip look much better (perhaps a garnish or two.. and some colourful veggies for the photo.. or inside a pretty kale wrap), I am sharing it because it was delightful. A spin on hummus, but with nearly everything replaced: black beans instead of chickpeas, pumpkin seeds instead of sesame seeds, lime instead of lemon, and the icing on top: instead of garlic we used fire roasted green chiles. Fire roasted green chiles are much easier to find in the US, whereas I don’t think I ever noticed them in Canada. I have really taken a liking to them since they aren’t that spicy, either. In this dip, they were a perfect foil for the otherwise ugly dip. Eat it with some crackers or vegetables.. and get your leguminous protein fix. :)

Do you like football? Are you excited for the Superbowl? What will you be serving for game day?
(To be fair, I rarely even paid attention to the hockey games while in Canada, either)

Mexican Black Bean Dip

Mexican Black Bean Dip
Adapted from The Great Vegan Bean Book

1.5 cups cooked black beans, rinsed and drained if canned
1/2 cup pepitas/pumpkin seeds, toasted
2 tbsp fire-roasted, diced green chiles (we used the ones from Trader Joe’s)
1/4 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp Aleppo chile flakes, or to taste
zest of 1 lime
juice from 1 lime (2.5 tbsp)
additional water to thin, if desired (didn’t feel like it needed it)
salt, to taste (will depend on whether your beans and pepitas are salted)

1. Blend all ingredients, except water and salt, until you achieve a thick, smooth paste. Thin with additional water, if desired. Add salt, to taste.

Makes 2 cups.

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23 Responses

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  1. Laura said, on January 21, 2014 at 11:39 AM

    I love black beans – and this dip looks perfect! Filing it away in my Super Bowl recipes!

  2. mijnzeep1 said, on January 21, 2014 at 1:29 PM

    This is the type of dip I love!

  3. cookeasyvegan said, on January 21, 2014 at 2:15 PM

    I had to smile when you mentioned making the dip look better. I think black bean dip tastes so good, but I’m reluctant to make it for others because it tends to be a bit grey-brown. You can sprinkle on lots of paprika or cover it in chopped green onions or parsley, and it will look fine for a while, but once the toppings are gone, there it is again. :)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 28, 2014 at 5:50 PM

      You are too funny. I once made a white bean pesto dip that went from green to grey after oxidation…. it was not the belle of the party. :(

  4. coconutandberries said, on January 21, 2014 at 2:22 PM

    I’ve been hearing about this mysterious Superbowl and then saw my brother was watching American football yesterday and knew it must be a big deal. He seemed pretty into it! I’m sure I could entertain myself at a game party quite happily with dips and chips even if I don’t care about football :) Mexi Black Bean sounds like a nice change from hummus.

  5. Gaby said, on January 21, 2014 at 2:59 PM

    I used my MLK day to work, wish I had seen the parade! I had no idea it was that big, woops :X This looks delicious! Maybe decorate with some cilantro sprigs on top? a bit of salsa? I don’t really watch sports either but I”m sure I’ll be invited to several superbowl watching parties so I’ll let you know! It’s just another opportunity to cook and catch up with friends for me :)
    Oh! And I forgot to tell you, my parents brought me bag one of those assorted spice mixes so I have aleppo chili, turkish saffron, sumac and many other spices to play with!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 28, 2014 at 5:53 PM

      I don’t know if 300k people were there (certainly not where we were) but it was 2 hours long, so definitely lots of participants. You should check it out next year! (I hear there are 2 MLK parades in Houston, actually)
      I am excited to hear what you make with the Middle Eastern spices! I think you will like the Aleppo chile flakes – as you know, they are my favourite and revolutionized my kitchen. Before, I never added chile flakes to my cooking.

  6. Joanne said, on January 21, 2014 at 10:29 PM

    I am definitely in the market for dip recipes for the upcoming “holiday”! This looks like a winner. Like hummus but spiced up!

  7. marquis @realrawkitchen said, on January 21, 2014 at 10:40 PM

    I love this! I love this recipe–it seems like a winner–but I mostly enjoy seeing your account of entering the US culture. It’s so interesting! And you know, football IS big but even as an American I forget all about it. So thanks for the reminder and inspiration to set up Superbowl snacks!

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 28, 2014 at 5:54 PM

      Thanks, Marquis. Some day I will look back more on my thoughts about my year in America, to remind myself of all the fun things we did.

  8. Kari @ bite-sized thoughts said, on January 22, 2014 at 4:03 AM

    I have no idea about super bowl or American holidays, but I think this dip would appeal to all nationalities!

  9. Johanna GGG said, on January 22, 2014 at 8:17 AM

    Superbowl is always a mystery to me – sounds like a healthy bowl of food to me – ha ha – but if you come to Melbourne I will take you along to my family footy grand final get together – not really a party but your dip would be most welcome by me – though meat pies are more the thing for the rest of them :-) But I couldn’t tell you where you would find fire roasted green chillis here :-(

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 28, 2014 at 6:01 PM

      Oh Johanna, that sounds like a wonderful time. If I ever went to Melbourne, I would definitely try to connect with you. Likewise if you ever make it to Toronto. :)

  10. Gabby @ the veggie nook said, on January 22, 2014 at 9:21 PM

    I’ve never liked football, but I am totally down with the typical snacks of chips and dip. I love this one- I always forget about black bean dips for some reason, but they are so delicious!

    I think I will use the Olympics as an excuse to eat some game day food everyday. Because dips should be their own food group ;)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 28, 2014 at 6:02 PM

      Gabby, Olympics are a perfect venue in my mind, too. I just don’t have a tv which has precluded hosting tv-centric parties. Although we have tracked down a friend with a big tv to experience the SuperBowl with some American friends. Yehaw! :)

  11. […] next to alligators, admiring the Museum of Fine Art’s impressive gold collection, watching Americana in our backyard via the Martin Luther Kind Jr Parade. However, I still skipped out on the stereotypical NASA Space […]

  12. […] had great suggestions for sprucing up my Mexican Black Bean Dip. It was all about the garnishes: salsa, chopped tomatoes, cilantro, and tortillas were all great […]

  13. kimmythevegan said, on January 29, 2014 at 12:25 AM

    I don’t like football and am not excited for the superbowl – but making this on Sunday just sounds fun =)

    • janet @ the taste space said, on January 29, 2014 at 9:03 AM

      You are too cute, Kimmy. I hope I don’t get too bored at the superbowl party since football is going to seem really boring, methinks.

  14. […] With the Mexican slant in Houston, I have been gobbling up black beans with much gusto as of late. Mexican black bean dip, black bean tostadas, Mexican zucchini lasagna, black bean and sweet potato tamales and even black […]


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