Monday, April 8, 2013

Soyrizo Chili Con Queso Dip

I've got the perfect snack to share with you on this Meatless Monday and morning of the NCAA Championship game. For those of you watching the game from home, this one is for you!

Instead of using chorizo, I substituted Soyrizo (I love the one at Trader Joe's). If you aren't already a fan of Soyrizo, you soon will be. It is made from Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) also known as Textured Soy Protein (TSP). I first encountered TVP in culinary school and was shocked at how similar the texture was to ground meat.

TVP is often used as a meat "extender" due to its low cost and high nutrition.  For example, most people have tried a Jack in the Box Monster Taco at some point (I've had my fair share) but what most people don't know is that the meat filling is part ground beef, part TVP. Surprise Surprise. So, chances are that even if you haven't tried Soyrizo, you have indeed tried TVP at some point in your life.

You can buy TVP at Whole Foods in the grain aisle (Bob's Red Mill makes a good one) and experiment with vegan and vegetarian versions of dinner classics like Sloppy Joes, Tacos, Spaghetti Bolognese, Chili con Carne, and Burritos. I've also used it to make maple breakfast "sausage" patties - bottom line, it is extremely versatile.

For the salsa in this recipe I suggest using a restaurant-style one; my two favorites are the fire-roasted salsa from Casa Sanchez (at Whole Foods) and the homestyle salsa especial made by Trader Joe's.  You can also substitute light cream cheese and light (or fat free) sour cream or greek yogurt if you would like. Serve the dip with your favorite corn tortilla chips.

Soyrizo Chili Con Queso Dip
serves 6


 Ingredients
 12oz package of Soyrizo
8 oz bar of Cream Cheese
3/4 cup restaurant-style salsa
1/2 cup shredded cheddar (or pepper jack cheese)
1/2 lime, juiced
1 jalapeno, small diced (leave seeds if you like spicy)
1/3 cup sour cream
scallions or cilantro (or both) chopped for garnish

Method
1. Place your soyrizo and diced jalapeno in a pan and let the soyrizo brown up (2-3 minutes)
2. Add cream cheese, salsa, and lime juice and simmer until cream cheese is fully melted.
3. Stir in shredded cheese and simmer until melted. Turn off Heat.
4. Stir in Sour Cream. Top with Chopped Cilantro and Scallions.
5. Serve immediately with corn tortilla chips. Enjoy!

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