It’s been fun to have so many people join my in the 10 day produce and protein challenge! We just got back yesterday from our camping trip and I am ready to jump back into eating lots of vegetables (If my strained arms let me, that is! Trying to wakeboard after not a lot of physical activity in 6 years results in strained arm muscles. Owww).
Several of you have been asking about salad spinners and which ones I’ve used. I thought I would share which brands I’ve used and liked and also a few other finds that were very helpful for me as I was making all of those salads for my book. All of these items are helpful and very nice to have, but not absolutely necessary for making delicious salads in your home.
Let’s start with the salad spinners. I’ve personally owned two. As I was looking for the links on Amazon to the two I owned, I noticed that overall salad spinners don’t get high reviews, which kind of surprised me. But that may be because the salad spinners I’ve owned got decent reviews. The first I owned was the OXO Large Salad Spinner. I found it a big step forward when compared to my mother’s salad spinner (this brand), which it should be, considering it cost quite a bit more. It has a larger capacity and also didn’t have holes on the bottom of the bowl so that I could wash the lettuce right in the salad spinner (as showed in my video). But something happened to that salad spinner. I think that it was dropped and it got cracked, if I remember right. So when we went to a kitchen store to replace it we got my current salad spinner, the Zyliss Smart Touch Salad Spinner. I’ve had it for about 3 years and it’s worked great. Just recently, after all of those salads I was eating, it started getting a bit noisy and a little harder to use. I would recommend it, except it really didn’t get the greatest reviews on Amazon. So, keep that in mind. The nice thing about the design is that you don’t have to use a lot of energy to spin the lettuce (you can probably see that on my video). Another brand has a very similar design but got a bit higher reviews is the Chef’n Large Salad Spinner. But the first salad spinner that I owned has gotten really good reviews and I have fond memories of it, so I suspect it may be the better choice. And they even have a stainless steel version . One brand that I noticed on Amazon that I haven’t tried but got really good reviews was the Starfrit Salad Spinner. The style is not quite my style, but it’s gotten really good reviews……so I am keeping that in mind when I need to replace mine.
What I recommend in salad spinners: Large capacity (those small ones just aren’t big enough for us), a salad spinner that doesn’t take much energy to spin (such as the ones listed above), and a salad spinner without draining holes on the bottom so that you can wash the lettuce right in the salad spinner.
However, a possible alternative is salad bags. Ever heard of them? I stumbled upon them when I was looking for a way to replace the plastic bags I was storing my lettuce in as I tried to cut down on plastic consumption in my house. They are made out of microfiber material. The neat thing is this. They do away with the need for salad spinners. You wash the lettuce and put it in the bag without drying it. In fact, part of my problem in using the salad bag is that I am so used to drying my salad that I always dry it somewhat before putting it in the salad bag. For it to work well, your lettuce actually needs to be damp. I haven’t experimented a lot with the salad bags yet because as I mentioned in my video, we were eating so many salads that I just used my salad spinner to prepare my lettuce right before eating. But it should work to dry the lettuce as well as store it (without plastic in either the bags or the salad spinner). Three options (I own the first two): HIC Harold Import Salad Sac, Silvermark Microfiber Salad Bag, Clipper Mill Salad Keeper Bag (this one isn’t microfiber, but even cheaper). I feel that this could be a more sustainable and cheaper option that would also take up less room in your kitchen!
Finally, I used the Pure Komachi 2 Hollow-Ground Santoku Knife for all of my slicing and dicing these last 6 months or so. I had a mid priced santoku knife that I loved and it got left behind on one vacation and I never got it back. It was really sad, especially as we couldn’t afford to replace it. I made do for a while without it, but I got a little desperate for a santoku knife as I love how thinly and easily it cuts vegetables. We still couldn’t afford to replace it, but I stumbled upon the Pure Komachi knives really on accident and I noticed that they were both really inexpensive and got really high reviews on Amazon. I will be talking more about these knifes this next week, so stay tuned (giveaway anyone?). But I thought I would mentioned them here as well. (By the way, they also have a whole Knife Set).
Salad servers are also really handy to have. I personally like wooden salad servers that aren’t too clunky (they are more gentle on salads than metal salad servers). I couldn’t find a link to the exact ones I love so much, but these French Olive-Wood Handcrafted Salad-Server Set (sustainably grown) look about the size that I like, the 12 inch ones aren’t too expensive, and they are beautiful too. I’ve been using a similar wood salad server set with a three dollar glass salad bowl from Ikea and I’ve thought it looked quite classy and pretty for a very affordable price.
Those are some of the kitchen tools that I’ve used in my kitchen. Anyone else have experience and thoughts on salad spinners, knives, salad servers, salad bowls, or other kitchen equipment?