Miss Smart Sells Out

by Sarah on August 31, 2011 · 20 comments

Today’s post is brought to you by the numbers 1, 2, and 4:
1 box that showed up on my doorstep.
With 2 special bags inside, featuring 4 hamburger and 4 hot dog buns.*
*Which equals 8, but the bigwigs over at corporate were getting a little stressed about how many sponsors we were trying to fit into one post. There were some time allotment issues or something.
And yes, this post is ALSO brought to you (aforementioned-in-the-footnotes corporate heavyweights be darned!) by the letter R, for Rudi’s Gluten-Free Bakery, without whom I wouldn’t have been eating so well over the past few days.


So, for today’s What I Ate Wednesday post, we do have a corporate sponsor. My apologies to Jenn, but let’s just call this What I Ate Wednesday: The Blatant Product Placement Edition, shall we?*

*Reel Big Fish have graciously provided the soundtrack with their late 90s hit, “Sell Out”Thanks to Tighe, a former camper of mine who now happens to work as a Digital Coordinator (fancy, no?) for Rudi’s, I was sent a package of Rudi’s new Multigrain Hamburger and Hot Dog buns to taste and test…and, because it’s me, turn into something entirely different. [But more on that in a minute.]

Now, you can read more about my experiences with campers and co-workers who’ve been forced into gluten-free existences, and my thoughts about going gluten-free as a diet trend here, as well as read about my taste-test of a gluten-free pizza dough…which, although I still ate it, wasn’t exactly the most pleasant dining experience I’ve ever had. So I have to say, I wasn’t all that sure about what arrived for me in the mail.The hot dog buns were a little ‘tough’…and really quite thin. (No gluten = no doughy “poofing” action)I had a little difficulty cutting them like hot dog buns, because when I would try to “cut and bend”* them, they would, in a cookout-style homage to Elle Woods, instead just “bend…and snap!”I’m not much of a hot dog person anyway, so I was undeterred. Instead, I tried to make a sandwich with some Pesto Chicken Salad.I blame the lack of mayonnaise and NOT the bun for what happened.It wasn’t until AFTER this that I realized popping these bad boys into the microwave for 45 seconds softened them up wonderfully.

You live and learn…and then get Luvs?(Yes, that is a heart-shaped mushroom. Be jealous.)

Slicing the top and bottoms (very carefully…remember, they are thin!) made for a nice panini bread. I was all set with some of my free-from-the-vendor Baby Zach’s Smoked BBQ Hummus…

…as well as some veggies pre-cooked in a pan for a few seconds (including that heart-shaped mushroom you just fell in food lust with)……and also mustard, because after growing up hating mustard I now am in love with the stuff…and mixing it with BBQ (sauce or hummus…doesn’t matter) makes me feel like I’m in South Carolina.

It wasn’t until this moment that I realized I didn’t have a panini press, nor did I know where the George Foreman that belongs to my roommate was. So I made a “grilled cheese.”

Without cheese.

(Who cares? It was DELICIOUS.)
Before you think that I neglected to even attempt using the hot dog and hamburger buns for their intended purpose (would be SO like me, wouldn’t it?), I did pop a Boca Burger onto one of them (and more mustard…and mushrooms—another things I used to hate).It made for a nice bun, strong and sturdy and able to stand up to juicy tomato toppings. [But again, a quick zap in the microwave worked small miracles for the ease of eatability.]This was all for show, as I actually swapped out the grapes for carrots and packed it up for lunch (with tomatoes kept separately of course). Unfortunately for my lunchbox, it didn’t make it past a late-night, home-from-the-movies-and-not-full-from-popcorn snack.I thought about how these buns might best be used, and my mind kept going to Sloppy Joes (or Sloppy Texans?)…or as a chili dog (or burger). You know, something really soppy-n-sloppy that would soak real well into the thick bun.
Like a runny egg?
Spinach, roasted red peppers, a slightly-off-center poached egg…and more mustard. I want to eat it again right now just looking at the beautiful picture. Although I was becoming strangely addicted to the slightly crisp, cornbread-flavored undertones of these buns (seriously, I took one hot dog bun to work and just dipped it in hummus for a snack), I decided to see what else I could do with them. And there were two things I could think of to do with ‘slightly tough’ bread:

Make bread crumbs…

(which resulted in some delectable Indian-Spiced Spinach Balls, if I do say so myself)

…and make breakfast (or lunch…or dinner) casserole!Breakfast casserole is something I really only ever ate at summer camp…and it was a delicious mix of white bread, eggs, cheese, and sausage, that I looked forward to with strange zeal every Saturday morning. I no longer eat a lot of cheese…or sausage for that matter…but I did have bread.

…and eggs.

And because when I’m not wishing I were eating in India, I’m wishing I were eating in Greece…I had some items that one might call “Mediterranean.”*

*OK, you got me. I only “had” the roasted red peppers. The artichoke hearts and olives I purchased for the sake of this recipe.After somewhat attempting to “de-crust” two of the hamburger buns (to make about 2 cups of very tiny bread ‘cubes’ [slash] ‘chunks’), I tossed them together with half a cup of artichoke hearts and roasted red peppers, both coarsely chopped, as well as 2 tablespoons finely chopped olives.I whisked together 4 eggs with 1/2 cup of milk and 1 teaspoon Italian seasoning. [Greece…Italy…I was at least in the correct region, people!]

Then I poured it over the top of everything and stirred it all up.

I let it sit for 30-40 minutes (5 minutes of photographing, 30ish minutes in the fridge), and then popped it into a 350 degree oven for 30 minutes.

It came out with beautiful browned edges…

…and a lovely toasted top.

And it was so delicious that I actually passed up yogurt-and-cereal to eat it for breakfast this morning.*

*That would be Tuesday. Not THIS morning. I don’t know what I’m eating for breakfast on Wednesday morning yet.

And, as usual when I don’t know what else to do with “plating,” I put it on a bed of spinach and called it a day. [You might want fruit. Or toast? Or…bacon?]

Gluten-Free Mediterranean Egg Bake*
*I don’t say “breakfast bake” because it’s good any time of day.

2 Rudi’s Organic Bakery Multigrain Hamburger Buns (or other GF bread of your choosing)[approximately 2 cups cubed]

2 Tbsp. chopped olives

1/2 cup quartered artichoke hearts, chopped

1/2 cup roasted red peppers, chopped

4 eggs

1/2 cup milk

1 teaspoon Italian seasoning blend

salt and pepper, to taste

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Prepare a loaf pan by coating it with cooking spray.

2. ‘De-crust’ the buns or bread (optional) and ‘chunk’ [slash] ‘cube.’

3. Combine bread, olives, artichoke hearts, and peppers in loaf pan.

4. In a separate bowl, whisk together eggs, milk, and Italian seasoning (and salt and pepper if you like).

5. Pour egg mixture over bread mixture in pan and stir well.

6. Bake for 30-35 minutes, until top is browned and eggs are set.