The Daily Beet

15 Jul Adventures with Ami: Summer Memories. Plus a recipe for Peach Basil Salad!

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I can’t believe we are half way through July already!

We spent the weekend installing tile in the kitchen of our bungalow.  It’s a decent sized kitchen and we used really small tile, so it was quite the undertaking! I had a bunch of time to think about things while cleaning grout lines and such.  I thought a lot about summers over the years of my life. From summers spent at the community pool growing up, a summer in a motorhome with my cousin and her family at Disney World and other points across the country, a summer working at the mall in high school and so on.

The thing that all of these memories have in common is the food that I can recall being part of each one of these memories. From a particular strawberry jell-o pie I had frequently one summer, my usual lunch when I worked on Sunday’s at the mall,  to the junk I used to buy at the pool snack bar, I don’t know why I can recall it all.  Maybe I have a good memory, or maybe it was the comfort of food that I always wrapped myself in?  I should ask Doug Lisle when I see him next month at Plant-Stock!  One summer my mom had decided to can some peaches, pickles and tomato sauce.  I still remember the peaches today, almost 30 years ago.

Building new comfort food memories that are more plant-strong than my summer food memories of old is something I thought about yesterday while tiling the kitchen.  Finding go-to items or recipes that can be great for you and hit that comfort spot can be a challenge.  I think that the longer you are plant-strong, the easier it gets though, so hang int here and keep trying new things if you are new to this way of eating.  Work on re-creating recipes that you love in a plant-strong version if you can as well.

Some of my new favorites include my most favorite – quinoa, black beans, shredded kale and hot sauce. Jicama sliced into sticks and used for dipping is another new favorite!  This recipe for Peach Basil Salad is a take off on the peaches my mom used to can and the peach vanilla jam I used to make. This is the essence of the stuff I used to love without all the sugar. This salad is perfect for a picnic, a potluck, a meal or a snack.  You can even serve it over oatmeal for a phenomenal sweet/savory breakfast!

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Peach Basil Salad

This salad is so easy and delicious – try it today while the peaches are fresh!

4 peaches sliced or diced – your choice

3 stems of fresh basil (approximately 12 leaves) chopped

3 slices of red onion diced

1/4 cup balsamic dressing

cracked black pepper to taste

serve over spinach or chilled quinoa

makes 4 servings

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Ami Mackey for Engine 2
Ami Mackey

Ami Mackey is the Curator of Creative Content at Engine 2. She is also a food coach at Engine 2 and has been plant-strong since 2011. When she isn't attending to all things Engine 2, she is the Program Director at St Louis All City Boxing a nonprofit youth program. She has earned certificates from eCornell in Plant-Based Nutrition & Fitness Nutrition from NASM.

  • Lynnette
    Posted at 12:48h, 15 July

    This sounds so delicious. I have basil ready in my garden. Will need to get more peaches!

  • Yvonne
    Posted at 14:35h, 15 July

    Love the peach – basil -red onion combo.. might try this combo in a Novick burger as well 🙂

  • Jean Hayes
    Posted at 18:06h, 16 July

    Ah, yes Ami. Comfort foods are such a big part of my memories of childhood and my teen years. I am already finding my new plant based comfort foods, like bean chili with lime, jalapeno, and cilantro, but still do miss ice cream at the local dairy farm in the summer. I don’t dwell on it as I have so many new and yummy foods and combinations that satisfy me now! Thanks for sharing!

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