Posts Tagged ‘brown rice’

Hoppin' John Salad

This is the salad version of the Southern, down-home classic, Hoppin’ John. This is a perfect light, Summertime salad and it’s vegan, too. According to Southern tradition, eating Hoppin’ John on New Year’s Day can bring good luck, particularly in the area of finances. Here’s hoping it works any time of the year.

While we were in Chicago a few weeks ago at the Pitchfork Music Festival, Wishbone, a restaurant vendor, had this salad on their menu and it was so good, I had it each day. I couldn’t wait to come home and make it for myself. I used canned black-eyed peas since I didn’t have a ton of time, but you can also cook your own or use frozen ones, cooked to package directions. I also added cucumber, which isn’t traditionally in the salad, but I wanted even more crunch and we have an abundance of cucumbers at our house. This salad is super light and has so much flavor, the longer it sits the better, all those flavors in the vinaigrette get soaked up. And, if you like a little heat, this salad is great with a little drizzle of a hot pepper sauce over top. Most traditional versions of this recipe include bacon, but it definitely doesn’t need it.

Hoppin’ John Salad
Serves 6 to 8

For the salad:
2 – 15-ounce cans of black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed or 4 cups cooked (2 cups dry)
3 cups of cooked brown rice, cooled
3/4 cup finely sliced green onions
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, quartered
1 small cucumber, sliced and quartered
1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
1/2 cup dry roasted, salted peanuts

For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup red wine vinegar
1/8 cup olive oil
1/8 cup sesame oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 teaspoon kosher salt
1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper to taste

Prepare rice according to package directions, allow to cool. Add peas, brown rice and next 5 ingredients to a large bowl, toss gently. In a small bowl, whisk together the vinaigrette ingredients and pour over salad. Toss gently to coat evenly. Taste. Add more vinegar, oil or seasonings to taste. Top each serving with a bit of green onions and some peanuts. Chill 1 to 2 hours before serving, if time permits.


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Southwest Rice Salad

I came across this recipe a week or so ago while browsing on the Epicurious iPhone app (which I am obsessed with) and couldn’t wait to try out my version of it. I changed a few things around like using brown rice instead of white and I added some things that weren’t in the original recipe (the beans, banana pepper, green zucchini, etc). Also, considering the corn that we got at the farmers market this week was still very small and a bit early in the season, we didn’t have a lot of it in the dish. Later in the season, that part of the dish will be even better, so we will for sure have to make this again when the corn is tastier. I was very excited though, that we did get to include the first banana pepper of the season from our garden to add a little heat on top of the poblano that was already in there. I made a bit larger of a serving that what the recipe called for, so we could eat it for lunches throughout the week. For a side dish at one meal, you could probably get away with just making 1 cup of rice.

We decided to cook up the corn and other veggies on the grill, which we were already heating up, so we could get some of that lovely smokey grill taste in the dish. You could easily cook the veggies in a non-stick skillet over a medium heat on the stove top if that is easier. This dish was light and refreshing and was the perfect side to the pork steaks from Sojourner Farms that we were cooking up. It had a very subtle spicy kick from the peppers and a great bright flavor from the lime.

Southwest Rice Salad

Southwest Rice Salad
serves at least 8 as a side dish, less if you are serving it as your main entree
adapted from Bon Appétit

2 cups long-grain organic brown rice
1/3 cup fresh lime juice
4 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 garlic clove, minced
1 1/2 cups fresh corn kernels (cut from 2 or ears) or frozen corn kernels, thawed
1 large fresh poblano pepper, diced
1 seeded spicy banana pepper, diced
1 medium zucchini, cubed
1 medium yellow squash, cubed
1 avocado, halved, peeled, diced
1 cup of canned organic black beans, drained and rinsed
3/4 cup thinly sliced green onions
3/4 cup chopped fresh cilantro
freshly ground black pepper

Cook rice until just tender, follow directions on the package. Ours cooked for 50 minutes. Drain and rinse in cold water. Drain again. Meanwhile, whisk lime juice, garlic and 3 tablespoons of olive oil in small bowl. Season dressing to taste with salt and pepper.

Start your grill and get it to a medium-high temperature. Wrap the ears of corn in foil and place them on the grill. Toss the peppers, squash and zucchini with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and add to a grill pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Place the grill pan on the medium-high grill. Cook the corn until it is done, approximately 10-15 minutes, cut off the cob once done and slightly cooled. Sauté the vegetables until they are just tender and starting to brown up a little, 15-20 minutes; scrape into a large serving bowl. Add rice, beans, green onions, cilantro, and dressing; toss to coat, top with avocado. Season with salt and pepper.

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Growing up in a Greek family, there was no shortage of delicious, traditional and Greek inspired dishes at mealtime. My mom has an amazing recipe for greek style rice and ground beef stuffed peppers and tomatoes that are one of my favorite meals. Her recipe calls for the rice to be added to the stuffing uncooked and then it’s baked for a long time, to where the peppers get very soft. I came across this recipe and was excited to try it as it sounded very similar but without the meat, and it adds in garbanzos and feta. It cooks a short time, so I figured the peppers would retain some of their crunch, which I prefer.

This was so tasty and quite filling, I couldn’t finish my two halves. The garbanzos bring an almost meaty texture and the chunks of tomato are so sweet and they burst in your mouth. Of course, the feta was a perfect addition as my mom always serves feta on the side with her stuffed peppers, which I like having with almost every bite. I am for sure going to make this again, playing around with the different filling elements and possibly stuffing tomatoes with it as well. I was thinking that some chopped kalamata olives would go great in the stuffing as well. Yum.


Brown Rice & Garbanzo Stuffed Green Peppers
serves 3-6
Adapted from Fresh365

1 c brown rice, cooked
3 large organic bell peppers
2 t olive oil
1 small onion, chopped
2 large garlic cloves, minced
1 cup of baby bella mushrooms, chopped
2 t fresh thyme leaves
1/2 t salt
1 c plum tomatoes, quartered
3 T tomato paste
15.5-oz can organic low sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed
1 c crumbled feta cheese

Preheat oven to 350F. Cook your brown rice according to package directions. While rice is cooking, cut the peppers in half length-wise, remove the stems and scoop out the seeds. Place peppers cut side up in a non-stick baking dish, drizzle with olive oil and roast for 25 minutes.

In a large skillet, heat oil and add onion, garlic, mushrooms, thyme, and salt. Cook, stirring frequently, 5 minutes or until vegetables are softened. Remove from heat and stir in the tomatoes, tomato paste, chickpeas, cooked rice and feta. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Fill roasted peppers with the vegi-rice mixture. Bake 10-15 minutes. Sprinkle remaining feta on top.

Serve 1 half as a side or 2 halves as a main course.


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