Have this snack ready in a flash for last-minute guests, or lazy days around the house. Chipotle Black Bean Dip, for all your dippin’ and slatherin’ needs. vegan + gluten free option
It’s Cinco de Mayo! And since holidays/commemorations are often surrounded with food, why not include a bit of Mexican food in your day? It’s a big day for Mexican food on social media. But Cinco de Mayo is also for commemorating the Mexican Army’s victory over French forces at the Battle of Puebla in 1862, some 50 years after Mexico declared its independence.
In America, Cinco de Mayo has evolved into a day to drink margaritas and eat tacos. I’m not complaining. I’ll be the first to whip up some or raise my hand for Mexican food and margaritas. I do like how this celebration has evolved!
But before we get to this mouth-watering Chipotle Black Bean Dip, I gotta share about the continuing Chickadee saga.
Rob and I made and hung three Chickadee Nest Boxes this season with the hope we’d attract Chestnut-backed Chickadees and in an attempt to give back, in a small way, what humanity has collectively taken from them. We didn’t know if we’d be so fortunate to host as their population is declining in the Pacific Northwest. We hung one on our house and the other two in a nearby forest preserve.
The one we hung on our house attracted a pair of Chestnut-backed Chickadees the same day we hung it! Not only did they come to this nest box, but they built a beautiful 5 1/2″ deep nest, one beak-full of moss at a time. I wrote about the unfolding drama that came with this nest box in my breakfast tacos post last week.
The most exciting part? There are five… FIVE eggs in the box at our home! And there could be more… up to ten!! Since we check the box following Nest Watch protocol, we won’t know until we check again if there are more. But we could have little hatchlings in a few weeks!
These diligent parents have fended off pesky and invasive European House Sparrows, and a bumble bee to build a beautiful and perfect moss-lined nest made extra cozy with rabbit and what we think is deer fur in the center.
Watching this story unfold from the start, I’m inspired by and grateful for how nature can rebound if only given the chance. This was as simple as building a few nest boxes and situating them in preferred places. A weekend project and time well spent. I wonder where these birds would have nested otherwise? Would they have had a nesting opportunity?
Dying and dead trees are homes for many species including Chestnut-backed Chickadees. These are important parts of our ecosystem, yet often viewed as not having value or as eye sores. But for birds and other species, trees are their homes providing areas to build nests, raise young, roost in safety and also act as their local supermarket.
We visited the forest preserve a few days ago and checked the Chickadee boxes there too. I’m happy to report two fully completed nests in the boxes (!!). Although we didn’t see any chickadees around or on the nests, we’re pretty sure they belong to Chestnut-backed Chickadees as nest types and materials are species specific. We’re hopeful upon our next visit, we’ll find eggs.
Males take the first step in choosing nest sites, approaching a possible location while the female watches. Later, the female decides on the site, enters the cavity, and accepts pieces of vegetation brought by the male. Nest sites can be holes in rotted trees, stumps, and posts soft enough for the chickadees to excavate themselves, or old woodpecker holes. (All About Birds)
After coming in from checking the boxes, Rob and I shared a snack of Chipotle Black Bean Dip and a few Mexicana Margaritas in quiet celebration of our afternoon finds and with hope of reporting successful nesting attempts.
Chipotle Black Bean Dip is quick and easy to whip up and is versatile enough to be slathered on nachos, quesadillas, burritos, tacos or shared simply as a dip with a Mexicana Margarita or Strawberry Mojito and your love.
If you like spicy things, take the heat up by adding more adobo and chipotle chilies. This can easily be reduced as well while still enjoying a bit of spicy without it being over the top.
It packs with ease for road trips and picnics too!
Chipotle Black Bean Dip
- 2 1/2 C (878g) Cooked Black Beans cooled and drained (2, 15 1/2 oz Cans)
- 1-2 Chipotle Chili Peppers from a can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce (adjust to taste - 1 for medium, 2 for spicy), gluten free if needed* see note
- 1 tsp Adobo Sauce from a can of Chipotle Peppers in Adobo Sauce* see note
- 1/4 + 1/8 tsp Cumin ground
- 2 Large Cloves of Garlic smashed
- 1 tsp Fine Sea Salt
- Fist-Full of Cilantro or to taste stems and leaves
- 1/2 Lime juiced
- 1 1/4 Tbs Olive Oil
- To the bowl of a food processor, with the S blade attachment, add the beans, chili pepper(s), adobo sauce, 1/2 lime juice, garlic, salt, and cilantro. Process, adding the olive oil with the processor running, stopping to scrape down sides of bowl and making sure the cilantro gets pushed into the blades. Process for about 1-2 minutes until smooth. Adjust thickness with more lime juice to taste and/or water (1/2 tsp at a time) if needed. Refrigerate for at least 30 minutes prior to serving so the flavors marry. It will thicken a bit as it sets in the fridge.
- Serve with chips, lime wedges and chopped cilantro as a garnish. Store for up to three days in a lidded container in refrigerator.