One thing is for certain – croutons are just all around good stuff. And thankfully homemade croutons are super easy to make with whole-wheat sandwich bread and SO yummy. Talk about an extra special and unexpected addition to your dinner salad. My kids go nuts over these things, and I honestly have to do what I can to stop them from just eating this crunchy goodness plain so we can actually enjoy them with dinner. After you try this recipe, let us know what you think in the comments!
This is the stuffing of my childhood – minus the store bought boxed croutons and canned condensed soup that is. Before I knew better I used to absolutely love this stuff and crave it every Thanksgiving (and would be outright upset if for some reason it was left off the menu)! So I just had to sit down and figure out how to “real foodinize” this recipe so I could bring it back to our Thanksgiving table and also share it with all of you of course! And just like with any “made over” recipe that no longer contains processed ingredients or unwanted additives – it’s even better than the original. :)
It’s no secret that we absolutely LOVE cheese in our house. And we don’t discriminate either. Whether it’s sharp cheese, soft cheese, or even “stinky” cheese…there’s always a place for it in our kitchen. That’s why I was so excited when La Bonne Vie asked if they could send me some cheese to develop a recipe with (um, ya!). La Bonne Vie, which translates into “The Good Life,” offers a variety of both Brie and goat cheeses…two of our favorites. To find out where you can purchase their products in your area just enter your zip code on their “store locator” page. Then after you get a hold of their cheese we’d love for you to try out some of the “real food” recipes below. And in my opinion the “Grilled Brie and Apple Sandwich” would be fabulous with the addition of some leftover turkey on it (hint, hint). A big thank you to La Bonne Vie for sponsoring this post today!
If you are looking for some “real food” holiday dishes to add to your Thanksgiving table then you are in the right place! Below is a fabulous recipe for the pictured Chestnut and Prosciutto Bread Stuffing that you put inside your turkey or bake as a separate dish on the side. We also have some other tasty real food holiday dishes in our archives including the following (and please be sure to share your favorites in the comments below…don’t forget links!): Pesto Cream Cheese Bake – The perfect appetizer to snack on while waiting for the bird to finish cooking! Sweet Potato Casserole – Kind of like the old favorite…except with a lot less sugar! :) Whole-Grain Corn Bread – Bake these in one casserole dish or as individual muffins (that can even be made in advance and frozen). Butternut Squash Soup – One of our all time favorite fall dishes whether it’s a holiday or not. Brown Rice Risotto – A dish that for years has always made its way to our family holiday table. Salad Inspiration – Lots of different salad combo ideas. Shortcut Chocolate Pecan Pie – Made with a simple homemade whole-wheat crust. Whole-Wheat Biscuits – What is Thanksgiving without some yummy homemade bread to “sop” up all that gravy left on the plate?
This recipe could go two ways. You could make this dish the next time you have guests over for brunch, especially since the mixture could be made and put into the muffin cups in advance. Or you could bake a big double batch this weekend and freeze them for those busy weekday mornings. If you decide to freeze them with the foil muffin holders still on then you’ll be able to pop them right into the toaster oven. Or if you take the muffin holders off before freezing they’ll be microwave ready. Either way I do recommend taking them out of the freezer the night before so they can thaw out overnight. Whatever you decide to do with this recipe though I don’t think you’ll be disappointed…it’s hard to go wrong with breakfast food!
The key to this recipe is definitely the bread. One of the most important lessons I hope people take away from this blog is that you must always read the ingredients label (if it is processed enough to have a label) before buying/eating anything. For years I bought my husband Arnold’s “Whole Grains” Health Nut Bread from the grocery store until one day we finally read the ingredients. If it only takes a handful of key staples to make bread (flour, water, yeast, salt) why did we find 40 items on the list? It was rather disturbing so we of course immediately made a switch and started buying our bread from a true bakery (and no, it’s not one of those so-called bakeries located in the grocery store…don’t let those fool you either). Our bread now only has 5 ingredients, and it is by far the best whole-wheat bread I’ve ever tasted. I’ve actually been toying with the idea of trying to make my own bread (with a bread maker of course), but I’m a little worried that it won’t be as good as what we get from Great Harvest! So making French Toast or not….please make sure you are at least starting off with the right kind of bread.
All I have to say about this sandwich is OMG! It is so incredibly good that my husband and I almost could not believe it. I was momentarily in shock that my kids didn’t like it, but then I said oh well – more for us! It certainly would be more convenient if they liked it too, but this is one of those things that we like so much that it’s worth it to make something different for them (like a plain grilled cheese). Don’t let us stop you from trying it on your kids though! You can also eat this pimento cheese cold on plain bread, which is still good too. But once we discovered the cooked version (which is like a grilled cheese sandwich with a kick) we were hooked! Just imagine the soft pimento cream cheese mixture melted between two pieces of crispy bread that are grilled to perfection. Need I say more?
When I get around to making these breadcrumbs I usually make a big batch and store the leftovers in an airtight container in the freezer. This way, it isn’t such a pain when a recipe calls for breadcrumbs.