Our house has a saying, "Waste not, want not." When ever there is something that is in need of being used up, Dan is particularly adept at throwing out this phrase which usually brings about a response of eye rolling and aggravated sighs. It made me think twice the other day when I was blown away by the statistic that people waste 160 billion pounds of food each year. That is a lot of food. That is a lot of money spent on food.
In a gluten free household there is absolutely no room in a budget for waste, but what exactly do you do with the heels of gf bread or the two slices of cornbread that sat out on the counter and is too dry and crumbly to eat. Make croutons and meatloaf, of course!
I keep a plastic ziplock bag in the freezer to collect my gf bread heels. When I have enough, 8-12 slices, I make croutons. They are simple, delicious, and definitely cheaper than buying gf croutons.
Gluten Free Croutons:
8-12 slices of gf bread (I use the heels)
Preheat your oven to 350 degrees
Cut your bread into one inch squares and place in a medium sized mixing bowl. Drizzle with enough olive oil to coat the bread well. Add Italian seasonings and stir adding more if needed. You want all the pieces to looks like they have seasonings on them. Sprinkle with garlic salt. Stir and then pour out onto a cookie sheet. Sprinkle again with garlic salt.
Bake in a 350 degree oven 25-30 minutes or until the bread is golden brown and toasted through.
Cool completely and store your croutons in an air tight container and continue collecting bread heels for later! You can try a variety of seasonings for different flavors. Have fun with it!
So, what about meatloaf? The other night I made chili and cornbread. I use Bob's Red Mill Gluten Free Cornbread mix. I buy mine through Amazon's Subscribe and Save for the best price of $2.38 a bag. My family loves this cornbread, but there is always a couple of hunks left. After a day or so on the counter, the cornbread is very crumbly and perfect for meatloaf.
1 pound of lean ground beef
1 1/2 cups of leftover cornbread crumbs (I just crumble the hunks until it is the consistency of bread crumbs)
1/2 cup of soy milk or regular milk
2 T minced dry onion
1/2 tsp salt
1 1/2 tsp Italian Seasonings
2 T ketchup
1 T brown sugar
Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
Mix all the ingredients in a large mixing bowl until it is combined. Spoon into a loaf pan and top with ketchup or try this topping which has more of a barbecue flavor:
1/4 cup of ketchup
1/4 heaping tsp of mustard (prepared)
1/4 cup of brown sugar
Mix together and pour over the top of your meatloaf. Bake at 375 degrees for 45-50 minutes or until the meatloaf is cooked through.
I make two batches when I make meatloaf. The first, I place in a regular loaf pan. The second, I divide between 12 muffin tins. I bake them at the same time. You will have to watch the muffin tin meatloaves because they will cook faster and will need to be removed first. We eat the loaf for dinner and the mini meatloaves are placed in a ziplock bag and placed in the freezer to use later. This is a very budget friendly meal. Add steamed corn and a side salad for a meal which costs around $5.00.