Tonight I came home even more starved than usual. There were several dinner options in the fridge, but I was so hungry that nothing sounded good. I wasn’t in the mood for black bean burgers. Pasta would be okay, but it would just create more leftovers. More leftovers is the very last thing I need, as my fridge is already filled with several ready-made foods that I’ve cooked or taken from the freezer in the past week.
I find it interesting that, so far, my biggest challenge in learning to live on my own is trying to keep up with my cooking. Before my ex moved out, I thought about what it would be like, of course. I worried about having to take out the garbage and clean the litter box. Not to mention the specter of crushing loneliness. But no. My biggest problem, at least so far, has been a struggle to figure out what to do with all the extra food. And I should not be surprised. My life has always revolved around food.
Actually, I suppose my love affair with food, and cooking, is the reason why I’m not being crushed by loneliness. Not that I don’t have days. I do. And I’m certain I’d be lost without yoga and my large network of loving friends and family. Yet, as my life is now, today, my most consistent, difficult-to-figure-out struggle is around meals, primarily dinner. At least on the nights, like tonight, when I don’t have something planned out in advance. And that’s incredibly cool. Because it means that even in the midst of what is a fairly difficult period, I am constantly nourishing myself with food that I made, with love.
Tonight, when I got home and looked in the fridge, the most tempting option was the refried beans leftover from the other night (https://dreamsofmyfava.com/2013/01/15/refried-beans/), when I made burritos. But I wasn’t in the mood for burritos again so soon. And refried beans alone seemed somehow depressing. Then, as I stood before the open fridge, inspiration struck–Mexican layer dip! It would not be a traditional dinner, true, but, well, one of the advantages of cooking for one is that you don’t have to please anyone other than yourself. So cool. So fun. And quick! This dish, which is actually reasonably healthy–avocado is a superfood, after all (http://www.livestrong.com/article/402176-avocados-almonds-as-super-foods/), came together in less than 10 minutes.
The following recipe filled a small casserole dish, half of which made for a rather filling single portion. I recommend doubling or quadrupling if you’re making this for a party.
1/2 c. cold refried beans (the temperature will help keep the other ingredients from mixing into the beans as you spread)
1/4 c. prepared salsa (I used green tomatillo salsa, because that’s what I had, but in the past I’ve used red salsa. Either will be good.)
1 ripe avocado, mashed with 1 T. fresh lime juice
1/4 c. Greek yogurt or sour cream (or Tofutti)
1/2 ripe tomato, chopped, optional (I didn’t use any tomato tonight because I didn’t have any. The dip turned out fine without but I think it’s better with)
1 – 2 T. chopped, canned black olives (I tried this once using Kalamata olives from the olive bar. Not as good.)
1/2 c. grated pepperjack cheese
Mix the salsa into the beans. Salt to taste and spread the beans over the bottom of a shallow bowl, small casserole dish, or a serving dish with 2″ sides. Spread the avocado over the beans and then spread the yogurt over the avocado. Don’t worry if they mix together a little bit. Sprinkle the chopped tomato (if using) and black olives over the yogurt and then top with cheese. You can cover and refrigerate at this point or serve immediately, with tortilla chips.