Taking the full measure of life

Deliciously Stale Bread (& a BLT Salad)

June 26th, 2009 · 11 Comments

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As many people have discovered after going gluten-free for a while, I have found that I don’t always miss bread, or crave bread, as much as I did when I first started eating this way.  I can go for a week without a bread-like product without feeling a bit grumpy, which often bewilders friends who don’t see me often or people I go to visit. “But is it okay if we make burgers since you didn’t bring a bun?” “Oh yeah, it’s fine.” I’m not by any means offended that they ask permission—it’s kind of them—but eating a burger (or whatever) on a bed of lettuce, with a smear of avocado and a dollop of ketchup—it’s just what I do at this point. It’s shruggable.  That’s not to say I, by any means, live a low-carb lifestyle:  I eat plenty of potatoes, rice, corn, sweet potatoes, quinoa, wild rice, grits, etc.  And of course I occasionally make quick breads—-muffins, cornbread, etc.  Bread, by which I really mean loaf bread, by virtue of requiring particular effort, is just not often my carb of choice.

But sometimes I do get a hankering for it, and sometimes I just have the desire to bake some real bread—and if I have the time (it’s not so much the energy, as the bread recipe I most often use is easy), I’ll have a go at it, and make a loaf or two.  When I make bread, for the first two days after it’s fresh from the oven, I eat sandwiches for lunch, and often for dinner,  and sometimes I make toast for breakfast, as well.  After two days, the bread—lacking the moisture-locking gluten—can go into the freezer to be thawed and toasted later, if I desire.  If I make two loaves in a batch, unless I have a rush of company coming, I will slice and freeze the second loaf.  But more often, I make one loaf, and when I get to Day 3, I put that bread to use as people have deliciously used stale bread throughout its history:  bread pudding, French toast, bread salad, or croutons.

Yesterday was Day 3 of my most recent loaf.  After I sliced off two pieces for a sandwich, I chopped the remainder of the loaf  into 1″ cubes, tossed the cubes in a bit of olive oil, salt, garlic, and herbs, and toasted them—at 300 degrees—on a jelly roll pan for 45 minutes, flipping them once in the middle. (Or at least, that’s what I usually do.  Yesterday, I actually flipped them, set a new timer, missed when the timer went off, remembered about twenty minutes later, exclaimed a word I won’t repeat here, rushed to the oven, and found . . . my croutons were just fine. Simply a bit more crunchy than I usually make them.  Hurray for a slow oven.) The croutons keep in a closed container on the counter or in the fridge for several days; I imagine that they’d keep for months in the freezer, but they never last that long here.

This morning, while I was at the coffee shop working, I started pondering what to make for lunch.  Then I remembered my croutons, and my idea developed rapidly from there. Mmmmm.


BLT Salad
Serves 1

2 cups of lettuce, preferably mixed types
8-10 grape tomatoes, sliced if desired
1/4 cup croutons
2 slices of crispy bacon, crumbled
Optional additions:
1/4 of an avocado, thinly sliced
1 tablespoon green onions, thinly sliced
2 tablespoons almonds

1 tablespoon olive oil
2 teaspoons aged balsamic vinegar
1 teaspoon Dijon mustard
1/2 teaspoon honey

Layer salad ingredients on a plate. Combine dressing ingredients in a small jar with a lid. Shake well, and pour over the salad.  Consume with abandon.


A few other foods I want to try making soon:

Jamaican Veggie Patties
Blue Corn Chickpea Tacos
Roasted Carrot Spread
Millet Hamburger Buns
Early Summer Vegetable Salad
Chocolate Buttermilk Layer Cake with Chocolate Pudding Frosting
Shrimp Tamale Casserole With Three Sisters Black Mole (only I probably won’t use shrimp since we only eat it when we’re at the coast)

Tags: 2/3 veggies · allergen-free recipes · quick meals

11 responses so far ↓

  • 1 Hannah Handpainted // Jun 26, 2009 at 2:31 pm

    Mmmm delicious. Now I am craving that but don’t have the ingredients…:D

  • 2 Lindsay // Jun 28, 2009 at 2:57 pm

    This actually isn’t a comment on this post precisely (although the salad looks fabulous as I look at my fridge full of CSA produce and try to figure out what to make!)

    I just discovered your blog and while reading backwards, found the post where you had just been diagnosed with endometriosis and told you should take a drug putting you into menopause or have a baby. I was told the same thing – exactly.

    Is the gluten free part of your diet a response to the endo diagnosis? And has it helped? I’m on birth control to control my endo, and have tried a few dietary changes, but would love to chat with you about this. Have a great day!

  • 3 Miss A // Jun 28, 2009 at 7:51 pm

    I came across your lovely blog searching for celiac meal planning to discover your amazing blog and similar lives we are sharing with non spending too!!! I will be back. Cheers

  • 4 Kimberly@Living Free // Jun 29, 2009 at 6:32 am

    Wow! To have croutons again! I too go LONG spans of time without bread of any kind, but I am experimenting with a new recipe today. I SO hope it turns out. Your salad looks delish:)

  • 5 sally // Jun 29, 2009 at 7:33 am

    Lindsay, my diagnosis story is here: http://aprovechar.danandsally.com/?p=321 But I will email you more.

    To the others: thanks. 🙂

  • 6 Jenn // Jun 30, 2009 at 4:44 pm

    Homemade croutons are the yummiest! And your salad looks so good it makes me wish I ate bacon. 🙂

  • 7 Cassie // Jul 4, 2009 at 8:45 pm

    Always a pleasure to be reading up on your blog. There are some phenomenal gluten free breads, but there’s something to be said about making your own. Hope you are having a fabulous Independence Day!

  • 8 Becky // Jul 7, 2009 at 12:16 pm

    We do a similar salad based on one from Alton Brown. A chiffonade of mint and basil is added and we sautee half of the cherry tomatoes cut in half until they start to carmelize. Ohhhh…it is soooo freaking good! You and I must have been sharing brain waves because we had it again for the first time this summer last week.

    BTW, I love the name of the Mole Sauce 😀

  • 9 LaTeaDah // Aug 15, 2009 at 5:04 pm

    This recipe sounds delicious!

  • 10 Baby Scales // Mar 9, 2010 at 10:16 pm

    I think I’ve found the same… except I’m not typically a big bread eater anyway. I guess when something makes you so sick for 20 years, you tend to shy away from it… So it’s not a big deal to me when friends cook something and I can’t have the whole thing.

  • 11 karen // Mar 7, 2012 at 8:55 am

    That salad looks scrumptious!!! I can’t wait to get the flours and starches I can’t find in the stores from nuts.com this week so I can make that bread!!! My hubby who can eat anything can’t wait to try it too and he wants pizza!!! I’ve only been off week for about 2 weeks now, dairy over a month and eggs a week. Its slow, but my asthma has cleared up, sinuses are slowly clearing, and the fatigue is finally gone!!! and I’ve lost almost 8 lbs so far!! I had food allergies as a kid and was told in my 20s that they were gone..probably not since I started gaining weight when I started eating the foods. I’m almost 49 now and after my mother seeing a dr. oz show with an allergist saying if you are eating foods you are allergic to you will never lose weight. so I was game..and on my own went off the foods one at a time that I was diagnosed with as a kid. Voila, I’m feeling better each day. Its slow. I’ve gotten no help from my doctors about this except great job. All they wanted to do when I asked for help cause I felt like doo-doo was put me on a stronger inhaler and drugs for depression and drugs for my cholesterol. I won’t take statins they make me sick. So hopefully with what I found out, I will lower my own cholesterol and tryglicerides naturally. thanks for being here, your site is awesome and a real God send for what the journey I’m now starting.

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