Flaxseed and Rye Bread with Avocado, Tomato, Basil and Mayonnaise Sandwich

I realize that this sounds like a mouthful but trust me it’s worth the effort.

Instead of going gluten free I’ve decided to stay away from all wheat; Dwarf Wheat in particular, and opt for other grain varieties.

I happen to love rye bread and the added benefit of flaxseed made this a great choice.

Although Rye does contain gluten, it is much less than what is found in dwarf wheat which is consumed today.

Let’s get back to this sandwich!

The avocado, fresh basil and tomato are sprinkled with sea salt and a large dollop of mayonnaise.

This is a huge treat for me.

The mayo is the only real dietary indulgence….everything else is so healthy!

It is a filling, delicious lunch that leaves plenty of room for watermelon later in the day!

Enjoy and share!

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!

Lunch at Fred’s at the top of Barney’s in Chicago!

What a gorgeous sunny day in Chicago!

What better to do than lunch and shop on a crispy cool Spring day?!

Where better to go for both than Barney’s and Fred’s?!

A seat next to the window with a glorious view of the Gold Coast was the perfect way to enjoy this beet and goat cheese salad!

Fred’s is a cool upscale spot which features organic and local food as much as possible.

The atmosphere is pure Gold Coast; Comfortable luxury!

The salmon was wild caught, tender and juicy.

The spinach was perfectly cooked and flavorful.

This is a great combination.

I can eat salmon and spinach everyday!

The avocado and tomato salsa made this the absolutely perfect meal for me!

All my favorites on one plate with green onion, too!

Very fresh. Delicious!

My honey had the linguine with clams in a very light tomato sauce.

This dish was garlicky and spicy.

Absolutely fantastic!

We were both jockying between the two plates trying to decide which was better.

It was a tie.

We were so full!

But that did not stop us from completely cleaning our plates!

Of course, we walked around Michigan Avenue for a while.

I shopped, he tried to stop me from shopping, and so it went until we stumbled on Tavern on Rush……..

Dinner with Michelle Bernstein at Sra. Martinez in Miami!

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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!

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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!

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

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

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

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

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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!

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Spacca Napoli in Chicago for Authentic Neapolitan Pizza and Beautiful Cheeses!

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Spacca Napoli on West Sunnyside in Chicago is the home of beautiful fresh ingredients, bufala mozzarella and huge wood burning pizza ovens.

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“Spaccanapoli” is the old quarter and heart of Naples, Italy.
Naples is famed as the birthplace of pizza.

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Mesculin greens with a light balsamic dressing.

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The special today; mozzarella bufala with olive oil and sea salt.

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This didn’t last very long and it worth the trip for the cheese alone!

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Pizza is wood fired and thin crust.

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Fresh ingrediants and light sauce create a heavenly balance of flavors.

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