Ayurveda says one should only eat “fresh” food. What does that mean? How does that translate into having delicious food making the best use of every bit of it without waste and without having all of our time being devoted to creating it (from start to finish). Is making a fresh dish from a food item from yesterday’s meal “stale” food? I don’t think so, but then, I am not an ayurvedic practitioner. I am fairly certain it is less “stale” than “fast” or packaged food. And I am too much the New York grandchild of peasant immigrants to forego making the most optimal and complete use of all the food that enters my kitchen. Also, the simple efficiency of leftovers are too important a component of having the most personally and lovingly prepared food I can with my life style.
Here are some of my favorite ways to eat bread the day after it was a fresh accompaniment to a salad, sandwich, or larger, festive meal. (Obviously, this is not for all of those who cannot or do not like to eat bread, which I think of as indeed the staff of life.) Here are some of my favorites, not in any particular order:
Crostini/Bruschetta (topped with tapenade, salsa, chopped tomatoes and cucumbers, etc.)
Bread salad (with the best of the summer tomatoes and fresh basil)
Croutons (for salad or soup, my favorite is rubbed with a little garlic)
Red pepper spread with pomegranate molasses and walnuts (bread is the thickener)
Skordalia (also can be made with potatoes or a mix of bread and potatoes)
Stuffing for squash
Bread crumbs for a whole variety of things
Savory bread pudding
From my Philadelphia working class childhood: french toast ( I think there are vegan versions if you don’t eat eggs) and apple brown betty. For the latter, my Mom would save stale bread ends in the freezer (to prevent mold) until there was enough. My husband’s similar, but southern, family cut up the leftover cornbread in cubes and ate it for breakfast with milk on it, like cereal.