Friday, February 25, 2011

Food Waste Friday - Croutons!

Today's food waste post is another victory - I don't have anything to toss! My husband, however, would say differently. He's wondering why I haven't thrown away the four bags of sandwich bread crust that I have in the fridge.

Granted, I should probably consolidate them....

I make my husband a boxed lunch every day to save money over eating out. I once sent him to work with a sandwich made with one regular piece of bread and one crusty end. I got a text message from him that read, "Baby, are you mad at me?"

So, since he has been ever so willing to eat the same packed lunch every day instead of spending money, I have tried to be extra considerate and never force the crust on him again. I always make sure we have a spare loaf of bread, but I can't seem to bring myself to throwing away the crusts! I sometimes have toast as a snack, and I try to use them up that way, but I definitely don't snack on toast enough. My fridge full of crusts attests to that.

For dinner the other night I decided to make a salad with grilled chicken. It was a delicious - and thrifty - meal if I do say so myself. I seasoned one and a half chicken breasts (I tend to only eat half, but hubby can definitely down a whole) with lemon pepper and cumin. I sneak cumin into everything! I grilled that in a cast iron skillet and sliced it up. I chopped up some red lettuce, dressed it with an oil, vinegar, powdered garlic and Italian seasoning mix and threw in some chopped green onions and red pepper.

The dressing was key in this being the most delicious salad ever. I have a handful of tiny Tupperware, and I use these for all my dressings. Just pour in a little olive oil and balsamic vinegar, season to taste (or perfectly delicious unseasoned, too) and then put the lid on. Shake for a few seconds and it emulsifies. It's the easiest thing in the world, and I don't spend money on bottles of dressing that live in the fridge for years getting crusty around the edges.

I decided that since I was making salad it might be a good time for me to tackle some of my bread crusts. I chopped two crusts up, tossed them with oil, and threw them in my cast iron pan. I'm sure I could have baked them, but it was a last minute idea that I wanted to cook quickly. I threw in some seasoning - Italian and powdered garlic - and tossed the mixture around the pan until the crusts were crispy. They were delicious!

My husband agreed it was one of the best salads we've ever had.

My fridge is still full of unused crusts, but now they have a purposeful future ahead of them. Maybe I'll toss them all in the same bag to neaten the fridge up a bit, but I'm definitely not tossing them in the garbage!

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