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Adventures With Ami: Summer Salads

I love summer!  From salads, to grilling, picking berries and fresh melons…well, I love it all.  Summer is one of the best times to become plant-strong too.  So many options at the farmers market, produce stands and the regular grocery store.  It’s one of the best times to have pots of fresh herbs at home as well!  I saw pots of herbs for 99 cents the other day.  Perfect for a window sill or a larger pot on your patio.  Choose herbs that you enjoy. I like basil, oregano and cilantro the most.  I tend to use these herbs more often than the others.  A few sprigs snipped off with my kitchen shears and I am all set to add big flavor to a dish.  Today I used fresh basil in this recipe.

Split Pea Basil Salad

Split Pea Basil Salad

I love salads like this! Split Pea Basil Salad is a great summer dish. Fresh, flavorful and easy to prepare. Perfect paired with a  plant-strong burger or served as a main dish over a bed of greens.

You will need:

Quinoa Blend, Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, Green Onions, Cooked Split Peas

Quinoa Blend, Cherry or Grape Tomatoes, Fresh Basil, Green Onions, Cooked Split Peas

1 package of Hodgson Mill Quinoa & Brown Rice – Garlic & Herb variety (or substitute – 1 cup cooked quinoa, 1 clove minced garlic, 1 teaspoon oregano) This also works really well with Engine 2 Ancient Grains Blend!

A package of grape or cherry tomatoes

2 or 3 sprigs of fresh basil (1 tablespoon dried if you can’t get fresh)

5 or 6 green onions diced

1 cup cooked split peas (cooked al dente – not soupy, just tender – or sub frozen green peas that have been thawed)

Mrs. Dash Lemon Pepper seasoning or fresh lemons and black pepper to taste.

Prepare your quinoa according to the instructions on the package.  Cook your split peas for approximately 30 minutes.  Slice your tomatoes in half. Dice your onions and finely chop the basil.  When your quinoa and split peas are ready, combine them in a bowl with the rest of the ingredients and toss together. When everything is well combined, add your seasoning.  You can serve this salad warm or chilled, as a side salad or a main dish.

I really love the new Hodgson Mill Quinoa & Brown Rice Blends.  They meet the Engine 2 guidelines ad they are super handy for days when you don’t have a lot of time.  You can actually substitute any grain you’d like, as this recipe works well with any grain.  If you don’t like peas, this would also be great with kidney beans instead.

This recipe makes about 6 small servings or 3 large servings.

Recipes like this one are perfect for taking to cookouts, family picnics and any other backyard BBQ get together you may attend this summer.  It’s a great dish to share with folks who aren’t plant-strong! It doesn’t need to have a big definition attached to it. It’s not something that requires a bunch of labels.  It’s just an attractive flavorful salad that everyone can enjoy.  So if you have been dreading that invitation from your neighbor who is a grill master, don’t! Take this salad with you, for you to eat and to share with the crowd.



About the author

Ami Mackey
Ami Mackey is a food coach at Engine 2 Extra and has been plant-strong since 2011. She is also the Program Director at St Louis All City Boxing a nonprofit youth program. She earned certificates from eCornell in Plant-Based Nutrition & Fitness Nutrition from NASM.

2 Responses to “Adventures With Ami: Summer Salads”

  1. Beverly Perry says:

    Thank you so much for the recipe, it looks so good. I want to try it right away.

  2. Monica says:

    I made this for a family get together. It was great! Thanks for the recipe.

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