Tomato, Basil and Mayonnaise on Olive Oil Grilled Whole Wheat!

I remember growing up in my European immigrant family with great food.

Some from Italy and some from Eastern Europe but all of it driven by the freshest ingredients and much of it, meatless.

My grandmas and aunts always had their own gardens and were “putting up” or canning something at any given time.

For me summertime always means tomato and mayonnaise sandwiches.

These were not gourmet growing up.

They were just any bread with mayo, fresh tomato and “crunchy” salt on top.

I spruced these up a little by grilling artisan whole grain bread with olive oil to give crunch and texture to the bread and I’ve also added big fleshy leaves of basil for that peppery edge that basil can give.

Hellmann’s Real Mayonnaise is my favorite with this sandwich.

Even a few slices of avocado would be delish!

Get creative and keep it meatless. The possibilities are endless for a tasty, light and nutritious meal that says, “Summertime” in every bight!

Super Food Kaniwa with Corn, Beans, Red Pepper, Green Onion, Avocado and Lime Juice!

Kaniwa from Roland Products, pronounced “Ka-nyi-wa”, is a staple grain of the ancient Aztec and Incan cultures whhich has been cultivated for thousands of years throughout South America.

The crunchy, earthy grain is loaded with protein and makes a complete meal when mixed with vegetables.

Kaniwa Plant

Roland Foods offers a wide variety of specialty foods from around the globe and was kind enough to send me this box of Kaniwa to try at home.

I have cooked with Quinoa in the past and I love it.

Kaniwa is similar to quinoa but seems to feel hardier and denser.

I gathered all the vegetables I could find and chopped them to equal size.

1 package of Grape tomatoes cut in half, 7 green onions, 1/2 of a red onion, 1 can of pinto beans, 2 cups of corn, 1 red pepper, 1/2 of a English cucumber, 1 bunch of cilantro,the juice of 3 limes, 1/4 cup of olive oil and salt to taste.

I garnished with avocado.

I put all of the chopped vegetables in a bowl, cooked the 12 oz. box ( about 2 cups ) of Kaniwa and added to the veggies.

I added it hot to the vegetables to bring them to peak flavor.

I find that adding hot grains to the veggies gives off just enough heat to liven the flavors.

I mixed everything then added the olive oil and the lime juice.

Serve and garnish with half an avocado.

Add salt to taste.

This was fantastic.

Everyone loved this vegan, protein rich meal which could also be great as a side dish with grilled salmon.

Spinach Fettuccine with Mushrooms and Basil Pesto!

015spinach fettucine with mushrooms and parmesan cheese

Spinach fettuccine with sauteed baby portobello mushrooms, pesto and shaved parmesan makes a great meatless, filling and nutritious meal.

012salad

Along with this beautiful salad of fresh yellow peppers and avocados our vegetarian meal satisfies everyone.

Annie’s Green Goddess dressing makes this salad heaven!

007green goddess dressing

Boil spinach fettuccine, al dente.

008spinach fettucine

Sautee the mushrooms with olive oil and garlic slices.

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And mix in your favorites. I love basil pesto which I make myself.

I make it vegan and fresh!

026spinach and mushroom fettucine

Shaved parmesan and a drizzle of olive oil make this fantastic!

Grilled Ciabatta with Veggies, Avocado and Fresh Mozzarella Quite Possibly the Best Sandwich Ever!

sandwich

It all starts with the bread.

With bread this amazing you really can’t make a bad sandwich.

032grilled cibatta bread

Ciabatta sliced in half and drizzeled with olive oil is placed under the broiler until golden.

009frozen veggies

I opened up a bag of frozen veggies and sauteed until soft.

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The secret sauce makes this fantastic!

021mayo

We discovered this at our favorite restaurant in town and the waitress was gracious enough to share the recipe with us!

017spicy mayo

And now we eat it on everything!

024avocado

Avocado makes this creamy and delicious

028ciabatta bread

The ciabatta bread is mana from heaven!

029ciabatta bread

Toast it just right with lots of good olive oil.

Add some balsamic vinegar.

034fresh mozz slices

I loaded this sandwich with fresh mozzarella….

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Lots of veggies…..

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The secret sauce…..

051sandwich with sauce

And lots of love!

054one big sandwich

Enjoy!

Dinner with Michelle Bernstein at Sra. Martinez in Miami!

090sra. Martinez

Michelle Bernstein chef/owner of Sra. Martinez and Michy’s in Miami was kind enough to spend some time with us at Sra. Martinez.

Bernstein was previously a co-host of the Food Network series Melting Pot and was once in a battle on Iron Chef America versus Bobby Flay, from which she emerged victorious. She has since appeared on numerous shows, including as a guest judge on Top Chef.

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Going over the menu was serious business. The birthday girl ordered for all of us…she’s a pro!

035sra. martinez bread and olive oil

Beautiful and simple. The most delicious olive oil and warm bread…some of the best bread all weekend.

037fried artichokes with sauce at sra. Martinez

Long Stem Chokes, Lemon-Coriander Dipping sauce was fantastic; crispy, flavorful and delicious!

046Martinez Manchego and raisin walnut bread

I had my doubts about the raisin bread with Manchego. I was pleasantly surprised. The best combination ever.

The bread and cheese were irresistable.

050tuna and fried bread

Yellowfin tuna and this amazing Cuban toast. Something like a savory doughnut is the best way that I could describe this incredible dish.

052sweet potato chips with balsamic and molasses martinez

Crispy Eggplant Miel, Sea Salt. Tasty! Delightful and addictive!

055bread with tomato and olive oil martinez

Ciabatta, Fresh Tomato, L’Estornell . Crazy great! Michelle can get the most amazing flavor from the simplest of foods.

062califlower steak with marcona almands and raisins martinez

The cauliflower steak with Marcona almonds and raisins…..Inspired! I have a whole new love for cauliflower!

070banana desert at sra. martinez

Of course, there was dessert! Bannana, ice cream, Churros, chocolate sauce; Girl Heaven!

074churros with spicy chocolate sauce sra. Martinez

The chocolate sauce was spicy and creamy. The churros were fried to perfection.

077churros and banana dessert at sra. Martinez

This was one of the most memorable and wonderful dining experiences of all time.

It was the friends, the love and Michelle Bernstein’s genius.

A perfect storm for a perfect night!

085churros and banana sra. martinez

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