Hoppin' John is a beans and rice dish from the south that is traditionally made on New Year's Day for good luck. I don't know about you, but I need good luck all throughout the year, so I have no problem making this salad right smack in the middle of summer. The best thing about it is that you can make it one day (or night) and have a healthy, convenient lunch ready for the next 3-4 days. The original Hoppin' John dish is made with bacon and who knows what else--I'm not from the south--but this salad version is much healthier.
Cancerproject.org is home to a group that promotes a plant-based diet for cancer survival and they have a free cook book that I downloaded, The Survivor's Handbook: Eating Right for Cancer Survival. Even for someone without cancer, this is a great resource for transitioning to a plant-based diet and has a ton of great recipes! They have a Hoppin' John Salad recipe that was the inspiration for my salad. I made a few changes to make it more colorful and crunchy, but you should check out the book because the original recipe is great, too.
Hoppin' John Salad
Adapted from The Survivor's Handbook: Eating Right for Cancer Survival
For the salad:
1 (15.5 ounce) can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed
1 cup cooked brown rice
1/2 cup finely sliced green onions
1 celery stalk, finely sliced
1 large carrot, cut in half length-wise and thinly sliced
For the vinaigrette:
1/4 cup rice vinegar
1 tablespoon olive oil
1/4 teaspoon salt
In a small bowl, whisk together the rice vinegar, olive oil, and salt. Set aside. In another bowl, mix together the salad ingredients. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the salad and mix gently. If you have time, refrigerate for a few hours. If you need it now, eat it right away! Serve alone or over a bed of spinach or your favorite lettuce/greens.
Yield: 4 large servings (main course) or 8 small servings (side dish)