I really, really love croutons.  No, really.  And, ever since I changed my lifestyle (no dieting, here) in August 2009, I’ve had to control the amount of croutons I eat.  Before that time, I never knew that (about) 5 croutons average 30-50 calories – doesn’t sound like a lot, but they go down so easy! I used to (and I always see people) cover salads in croutons, which is a surefire way to suck the nutrition out of an otherwise good salad.  So, in order to satisfy this addiction, I decided to make my own.

my ingredients – you can use any spices you want

I bought a french baguette (a day old loaf works too), pulled out my EVOO, salt, pepper, onion powder, crushed red peeper, chopped onions and fresh garlic.  As you can see in the picture, I cut up the bread into small squares.  I then drizzled the squares with EVOO until they were just slightly damp – not drenched.  (I’m very non-scientific when  it comes to cooking, so sorry there’s no measurements!)  I seasoned with the spices to taste, cut up a clove of garlic and sprinkled that on top.

the result – yum!!!

I then put the mixture in a small pan and popped it in the oven for 15 minutes at 400 degrees.  (They should be golden brown and crispy when they’re done.)  And, I must say – these are some of the best croutons I’ve ever had!  Plus, these have no preservatives and have less calories than the ones in the bag!  I promptly made a salad with romaine lettuce, egg, bacon, homemade vinaigrette and put these right on top.  Can’t beat it!