Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Hippie Rice Salad


I saw this recipe in Mark Bittman's How To Cook Everything Vegetarian and it tickled me. Hippie Rice Salad. It caught my eye for a few reasons. The first being that it was a healthy recipe, the second being that it reminded me of my parents. When my parents were first married, they lived in a renovated school bus which they parked on a farm on Maryland's Eastern Shore. The picture below was taken on my parent's wedding day. My Dad was carrying my Mom over the threshold of the school bus, which was home to them.

As a young couple, their alternative lifestyle was lots of fun for them. They parked their school bus on a farm with an old farmhouse, where several other couples lived. From what I hear, they had the time of their lives. They all lived on the farm for a couple years. Once the babies came, people starting going their own ways. My parents sold the school bus, left Maryland, moved to Ohio, and had me!

My parents gave up a lot of their old lifestyle in order to start a family, BUT healthy food was still a big part of their life. We never ate processed food and we rarely ate out. Although my parents continued to eat meat, vegetables were king. We snacked on them all the time. One of our favorite all-time snacks were green onions. We used to go through bunches of green onions, dipping them in a little salt and eating them on their own. It sounds funny to me now, but they really tasted great that way and I still love them today.

This healthy eating made me rather naive about the world around me. When I started school, I discovered Spaghettio's, Ho-Ho's, Cheese Crackers, juice boxes and all kinds of other processed junk. I had no idea what any of it was, but I learned quickly. Naturally, I wanted what all the other children had and relentlessly begged my Mom for all sorts of treats. Every once in awhile she would cave in and buy it for me, but for the most part, she stood her ground.

Here's to my parents for sticking with it over the years, teaching me how to eat real, wholesome food. This Hippie Rice Salad is something that I know they would like (and it even has green onions)!!

Hippie Rice Salad
Adapted from How To Cook Everything Vegetarian by Mark Bittman
3-4 cups cooked brown rice, cooled
1/4 cup chopped scallion (green onion)
1 small or 1/2 large red or yellow bell pepper, cored, seeded and chopped
1 cup cooked and shocked broccoli florets
1/4 cup toasted sunflower seeds
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1/4 to 1/2 cup Vinaigrette (recipe directly below)
Red Wine Vinaigrette:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
3 tablespoons good wine vinegar, or more to taste
salt and freshly ground black pepper
1 large shallot, cut into chunks (optional)
Combine all the ingredients except the shallot in a blender and turn the machine on; a creamy emulsion will form within 30 seconds. Taste and add more vinegar a teaspoon or two at a time until the balance tastes right to you. Add the shallot and turn the machine on and off a few times until the shallot is minced within the dressing. Taste, adjust the seasoning; and serve.

To make the Hippie Rice Salad:
Put the rice and all the vegetables in a large bowl. Drizzle with vinaigrette and use 2 big forks to combine, fluffing the rice and tossing gently to separate the grains. Add salt and pepper, taste, adjust if necessary. You may want to add in more vinaigrette if necessary. Right before serving, sprinkle the sunflower seeds over the top and serve at room temperature.

Notes/Results:
This is a terrific recipe and holds very well at room temperature, making it perfect for picnic baskets, this week's theme at IHCC! I found some gorgeous orange bell peppers at the market and decided to serve my rice salad in the bell pepper cups. It was delicious. Everyone enjoyed the slight nutty crunch from the sunflower seeds. Hippie Rice Salad was a total hit! I would definitely make it again.



I am submitting this Hippie Rice Salad to my friend Deb at Kahakai Kitchen for her weekly Souper Sundays roundup. I am also submitting this recipe to I Heart Cooking Clubs in honor of this week's Picnic Basket theme.

My family and I will be leaving for Ohio tomorrow morning to visit with my Dad and some of my old friends. I'll be back in about a week!! I hope everyone who is celebrating the 4th of July weekend has a safe and happy time!!

39 comments:

  1. How awesome! I have some old hippie pix of my parents, too...I love that one of yours!! And I love the recipe...the name and the sound of it! Have a fabulous trip, KIM!

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  2. Great story and photo of your parents...this is a super healthy recipe.

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  3. I LOVE!!! the story and photos, but the recipes is AWESOME!!! THANKS!!! for sharing.
    Geri

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  4. This looks so freakin' delish!

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  5. I loved, loved, loved reading this post about your parents and their school bus. Thanks for sharing it.

    The salad looks great. Very nice in a bell pepper cup. Since I can't eat raw peppers, I'd go for a hollowed out tomato. Though I guess I could just leave the pepper on the plate, right?

    PS: green onions may be one of my most favorite things ever...besides chocolate.

    Have a great trip.

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  6. I do love a good rice salad and this looks scrumptious. What I truly love- is the photo and story. My cousin was teased because she brought caponata to school. She insisted on peanut butter and jelly to "fit in" after that - but she always came home and had her caponata!

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  7. I love this family story! Your parents were/are so cool. Sounds like a great recipe too!

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  8. Isn't it funny how children want the processed stuff, but then we grow up and can't stand it anymore?? This salad looks delicious!

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  9. Great story. My parents brought me up the same way. My Mom made everything from scratch, with fruits, vegetables and not to mention homemade baked goods, yum. Have a safe trip and and a great 4th of July.

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  10. That is a priceless story, Kim. Funny, revealing, and on topic, you nailed it.

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  11. Have fun on your trip sweetie! your parents sound like so much fun! They were textbook hippies.

    I love the hippie salad stuffed in tomatoes...especially good ripe summer ones.

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  12. I love the pic...too cute :) I wish we ate more healthy stuff around here...this looks so good.

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  13. This is a terrific story tied to the hippie rice salad. Isn't funny how we all go back to the simple foods we grew up with?

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  14. Were your parents cool cats or what! I love that photo! This Hippie salad is so cute...and healthy. The presentation is so fun. I'd love to try it! Have a fun 4th!

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  15. Loved the little story about your parents--living in a bus? How cool is that!! And I love anything stuffed into a pepper, but this recipe sounds extra good!

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  16. Great story, Great salad! And have a great 4th of July week-end!
    Thanks.

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  17. THat is a fantastic story, Kim! I love it. And the rice salad looks fantastic, too!

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  18. Great veggie recipe, and what a sweet pic of your parents :).
    Hope you have a fantastic 4th of july weekend.
    *kisses* HH

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  19. I love the name of this dish! And your parents are so cute... and cool! The tomatoes sound so delicious - some of my favorite things are in the filling. Have a safe and fun trip!

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  20. Love the post an the rice salad looks delicious...Great presentation!!!!

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  21. Oh My God! I read this today (at work) though Google Reader and I couldn;t see the ohotos until now. (Finally I am home...) I love this post - love the photo of your parents and the entire story.

    Thank you so much for sharing. Tell your Dad he was a hiot on the Internet :-) Have a safe trip sweetie.

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  22. OMG! That school bus pic! There's a bra on the rearview mirror. : ) My parents weren't hippies (although they looked like they were), but I was naive to processed foods growing up too. Ahhh. Life on the farm...our own eggs, baking our own bread, raising our own meat, even making our own yogurt...and EVERYTHING was fresh from the garden. Lucky us!

    This recipe looks totally yummy!

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  23. My mom never, ever bought junk food growing up. If we wanted it, we would go to the neighbors house. They had their shelves full of junk food, and very little real food. I am so very thankful my mother taught me to love real food.

    Have a great trip.

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  24. Great post--very fun! I love the salad--it looks delicious, especially in the bell pepper cups. A great picnic basket pick--thanks for sending it to Souper Sundays too. ;-)

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  25. Cheers to your parents! Living life in a school bus (I did take note of the bra hanging-way cool)They probably have the best stories and they obviously taught you how to eat well. I love these stories.

    The hippie salad is just the kind of meal I need to eat more often.

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  26. I loved the story about your parents and the picture is so cute! Great summertime recipe!

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  27. Such a sweet story about your parents.. That is so crazy but so sweet that their love grew stronger while living in the school bus. Love that picture! :) The salad looks colorful and delicious, too.

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  28. Such a sweet story about your parents, Kim! And a fun photo. I love the name of the salad. It's such a healthy one too, the kind I'd love to eat every day for lunch this summer.

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  29. The photo is fabulous!! The rice salad sounds wonderful. So nice and healthy too!

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