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I wanted to give you all a peek into a quick lunch I like to have quite often. I realized that if you look at our recipe collection you may get the idea that we consume sweets constantly. Which, of course, is simply not possible. I want to try a bit harder to show you some of the recipes we have in our home on a daily basis. The “real life” things we eat. Because I’m sure that you also can’t eat sweets all the time and would appreciate some healthier variety. This simple watercress salad with homemade croutons is a fast and easy lunch that I can whip up on a busy day. It’s hearty enough that I don’t feel I’m eating like a rabbit and light enough that it feels refreshing and kind to my thighs.
- 2 cups fresh watercress washed and trimmed
- 3 slices of bacon cut into pieces
- 2 tablespoons fresh parsley use another herb if you prefer
- 2 tablespoons olive oil
- 2 1/2 tablespoons balsamic vinegar
- homemade croutons
- Start frying bacon in pan.
- Place clean watercress in a bowl and add croutons (as many as you prefer)
- When bacon has finished cooking add olive oil, parsley, and vinegar to the pan.
- Remove from heat and stir oil, bacon, parsley, & vinegar. Cool briefly.
- Add bacon & oil mixture to watercress. Toss to coat.
- If desired, add a splash of balsamic vinegar to the top of the salad.
If you have never made homemade croutons I encourage you to give it a try! They are easy to make and a fantastic way to use up bread ends. For those that are gluten-free, it is also a great way to get gluten-free croutons. You simply use your gluten-free bread instead of something else. Making your own croutons allows you to use different herbs, breads, seasonings, and more. You can control the calories, nutrition, fat, and salt content yourself. And for how easy they are to make…why not make your own?
Another advantage; you won’t stab the roof of your mouth trying to bite them. Store bought croutons can be deadly weapons, but these croutons are different. They have a nice crunch, but haven’t been dehydrated to the point of being rock hard dangers. You’ll actually be able to eat them along with other parts of the salad, rather than having to pay close attention to when the croutons are in a bite and might try to stab you to death.
- leftover bread cut into pieces don't let it sit out and get stale too long, however---you'll end up with rock hard croutons!
- olive oil
- Cut your leftover bread into pieces and place in a large bowl.
- Coat with olive oil (you are going to eyeball how much. Try to get the pieces lightly coated)
- Toss with fresh herbs, salt, & pepper (again, this is an eyeball thing. Roughly 1 tablespoon fresh herbs per cup of bread pieces)
- Pour a single layer of the bread pieces onto a cookie sheet.
- Bake at 350 degrees for about 10 minutes (keep an eye on them...they burn quickly)