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Bean Dip

I was inspired to try to create my own bean dip after our anniversary dinner at an upscale Cuban restaurant here in town.  Their bean dip was AMAZING and Dan commented how he could've eaten a whole meal of it.  Being the frugal one, I decided to run with it! It's hard to get meat-less meals that satisfy hardworking man-appetites!  I will say that this did not have the same consistency of their bean dip, but it was very easy, tasty, and high in calories from all the whole milk products.  I am ALL about whole milk.

Do you know how hard it is to get a good picture of bean dip while still making it look like something you should eat?!??!  I'm not even gonna try...
Plus, it's an easy crockpot meal!  Double score!

Or am I up to triple or quadruple...

Crock-pot Bean Dip

2 lb pinto beans, soaked overnight then rinsed.
1 large onion, coarsely chopped
6-8 c. chicken stock (or can use water, but it won't be as yummy)
2 tbsp. cumin
***
1 (8oz.) package cream cheese
1 1/2 c. sour cream
8 oz. shredded cheddar cheese
8 oz. shredded Monterey Jack (or Pepper Jack) cheese
Hot sauce (opt., to taste)
4 Tbsp taco seasoning mix
Salt, to taste (you likely won't need much!)

1. Soak your pinto beans in water (to cover, be generous as they'll soak up a lot of water).  I usually add a bit of whey (from greek yogurt making), lemon juice, or apple cider vinegar.
2. Strain your beans in the morning and rinse.
3. Add your beans, onion, water/stock, and cumin to a crock pot (my 3 qt size was just enough at the end). And cook at high heat for about 6 hours or until the beans are VERY soft.
4. Add in the remaining ingredients to the hot beans.  I find that this will mush the beans into a coarse dip and the heat melts my cheeses together nice.
5. Serve with tortilla chips and a salad!

Please note, this is super easy and I could see myself always making this for refried beans since it so much more flavorful.  However, I could see it needing a smidgen bit more flavor for this house!  Next time, I'm adding in more seasonings and use pepper jack (plain Monterey the first time), but since we love our spices and heat in this house, I figured I'd leave it as it for you so you can "doctor it" up to your taste.  :)

UPDATE: I normally serve these on tortilla chips and give a little regarding the bad oils, but hubby suggested that we have them on lactofermented dilly carrots! Win! 

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