Wednesday, March 21, 2012

Share and Get Your Salad Spun!

Salad greens just bring out the fresh taste of a garden. Those earthy nibbles with dressing and a few of these and those added and you have my favorite salad. It is that simple. A little crunch, a little sweet, a little zip, and ooooooh some of those. Perfection in a bowl or on a plate. But please, no soggy lettuce. It is such an insult to the salad-eater's mouth. The texture goes from crunchy to squishy, just like that. Spin it. Please spin it.
The generous folks at OXO have given me another chance to spoil you. This time it is with one of their incredible salad spinners, so you won't have to eat soggy salads. If you have been following me for awhile, you know that I have a deep appreciation for what this company has to offer. Their attention to Universal Design wins me over time and again and their salad spinner is no exception.

Last summer, the Lil Man loved to grab the greens from our garden and place them right in the strainer bowl. He was able to do the washing, spinning and, most importantly, the eating of the salads. It is hit-and-miss when we try to feed him salads, but when he is in charge of the greens it is a slam-dunk. We introduced green beans to him this same way. Previously frozen, no way. From the garden, spun and steamed. All net.

Another cool thing about this spinner, not one that is advertised, is that you can use it as a traveling salad bowl. You see, the spinner top locks down and you can remove the strainer. Pretty handy.

The easiest way to use the spinner is to gather your greens and then give them a couple of good rinses through the strainer. Then I like to prep them. Tear or cut them into bite-size pieces and give them a couple more rinses. (I cannot emphasize the importance of sorting and rinsing enough. Yes, I had a tiny slug make it's way into my salad bowl after a rapid rinse and that is all I am saying. That is ALL. Organic gardening at it's best.) Insert the strainer into the spinner, place the top on and then push, push, push the plunger down and let'er spin. You would be amazed how much water this thing removes! Good ol' centrifugal force put to use in the kitchen. Then there is a handy little brake you use to stop the spin-o-rama.

Fresh from your garden items you can rinse in the spinner:
:: Lettuce
:: Kale
:: Chard
:: Spinach
:: Berries
:: Herbs
:: Peas 
:: Green Beans

Here are some of the features and benefits:
:: Easy, one-handed operation
:: Patented pump mechanism and brake button
:: Clear lid lets you see inside and comes apart for easy cleaning
:: Non-slip ring keeps bowl steady on countertop
:: Basket and non-slip bowl can be used separately
:: Bowl capacity is 6.22 qts; basket capacity is 4.95 qts
:: Top-rack dishwasher safe
:: BPA free

Enough Enough. I know you want one now. Well guess what. They sent me TWO and I already have one. So that means I need to give them to YOU. How you ask?

Well, the Good Apple came up with this one. He is pretty great that way. The Lil Man has been asking us what our favorite food is, every night, you know the way a 4 year old can. The GA had the good sense to change it up and ask, "What would you eat 3 nights a week if you could?" Everyone gave their responses and I said a variety of salads. Really. That threw him. He is a carnivore who eats what I cook. If the menu planning was left to him it would be homemade Mac n' Cheese, Chili and BBQ Chicken every night. Is your heart still beating?

How to enter
In the comments section, write the recipe (or leave a link) for your favorite salad. Then I will make them and the family will choose their favorite. One will be sent out to a reader somewhere in the US and the other will stay in the San Juan Islands. 

This giveaway will be open until Friday, March 30th at 11:00PM PST.  I can't wait to see what you come up with!!! Winners will be announced during the third week of April.
Just look for this button on the sidebar 
to come back and leave your favorite salad!     

Previous OXO Giveaways: 


  1. Ooo!! I'm so excited! I love salads as well and do not own a salad spinner.

    My favorite salad is this:

    A bunch of greens (Romaine, baby spinach, radicchio, etc.)
    1/2 cup grape tomatoes, sliced in half
    A few roasted red peppers, cut into strips
    1/4 cup dried cranberries
    1/4 walnuts or sunflower seeds
    A couple ounces of feta cheese, crumbled
    Balsamic vinaigrette
    Homemade croutons (see below)

    Toss everything together and sprinkle with vinaigrette and croutons.

    Homemade croutons

    A few slices of day-old crusty bread (sourdough is yummy)
    Parmesan cheese
    Seasoning of your choice (I like Lawry's seasoned salt, but I have also used lemon-dill)
    Olive oil

    Cut up bread into bite-sized chunks and put into big bowl. Sprinkle olive oil over bread until lightly coated. Sprinkle with seasoning. Pop into a 400 degree oven for a few minutes until golden and crisp (keep an eye on them so they don't burn)

  2. This is the perfect giveaway! It would be so nice to not have to stand outside twirling my lettuce in a tea towel. Okay, here is my absolute favorite salad of all time, but I can only make when when the figs are in season so I'm not sure it qualifies.

    Sexy Salad

    Enough baby mixed greens for two people
    4 slices prosciuitto ham, shredded [ I leave this off my plate, my husband gets it all]
    4 oz. cubed mozzarella cheese, cubed
    8 fresh figs, flowered

    Divide on two plates and drizzle with dressing that has been mixed.

    1 tablespoon honey
    6 tablespoon olive oil
    3 tablespoon lemon juice
    Sea salt and freshly ground pepper.

    1. Ooooh Tracey, I am going in search of figs. This one sounds incredible.

  3. Our favorite salad is:

    Mandrain Oranges
    Boiled Eggs.

    1. Amber, I like this one since it has the greens, the fruit, and the protein! What type of dressing do you like to use?

  4. One of my favorite spring salads. This one is going on my blog too!

    Roquette and Basil Tabouleh
    1/2 cup grams coarse brown bulghur (cracked wheat) or quinoa
    2 medium red onions
    250 grams roquette (arugula)
    2 bunches of basil
    Juice of 2 organic lemons
    2 cloves of garlic
    1/4 cup extra virgin olive oil
    sea salt and pepper

    Cook 1/2 cup bulghur in about 2 cups of water about 15 minutes on low heat (if using fine bulghur soaking is enough cooking)
    Finely chop onions and tomatoes
    coarsely chop basil and roquette
    finely mince or press garlic and juice lemons
    whisk together olive oil, lemon juice and garlic
    Assemble greens, tomato and onion and bulghur in a large salad bowl.
    Drizzle dressing over mixture and toss well.
    Season with sea salt and pepper and enjoy.

    1. Jacqulyn, This sounds right up my alley. I haven't used tabouleh before and this is just the spot to try it. Sounds delicious!

  5. I love tabbouleh salad.

    1/2 cup cooked bulger wheat
    4 large fresh tomatoes, chopped
    1 cup seeded & cubed English cucumber
    3 scallions, sliced thin
    1 1/2 cups chopped fresh flat leaf parsley
    2-3 TBLS. chopped fresh mint
    Juice from 1 lemon
    3 TBLS. olive oil
    salt and pepper to taste

    Cook the grain according to package and then add the rest of the ingredients and chill. The complete recipe is on my blog at

    1. This sounds just perfect for summer and potlucks! I am going to try this one served on greens. Yum!

  6. This is our favorite salad. I sometimes leave out the walnuts. Just thinking about this salad makes me want to go dig in the garden already!

    Feta Cheese with Basil Salad

    1/2 cup chopped walnuts
    1 pint cherry tomatoes, halved
    1 bunch fresh basil leaves, sliced
    1 bunch green onions, sliced
    1 avocado, peeled and diced
    1 (6 ounce) package crumbled feta cheese with basil and sun-dried tomatoes
    1/2 cup kalamata olives, pitted and chopped
    1 red bell pepper, seeded and diced
    garlic salt to taste
    1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar, or to taste
    1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil, or to taste

    1.Place the walnuts in a small skillet over medium heat. Cook, stirring constantly, until golden brown.
    2.In a bowl, gently mix the walnuts, tomatoes, basil, green onions, avocado, feta cheese with basil and sun-dried tomatoes, kalamata olives, and red bell pepper. Season with garlic salt, and drizzle with balsamic vinegar and extra-virgin olive oil. Allow to sit about 15 minutes, and toss again just before serving.

    1. This has all of my favorite things in one place!! I can't wait to try it.

  7. This is our favorite salad

    Spinach & Strawberry Salad with Homemade Poppy Seed Dressing

    10 oz fresh spinach
    1 qt strawberries, sliced

    1/2 c olive oil
    1/2 c sugar
    1/4 red wine vinegar
    2 Tbl sesame seeds
    1 Tbl poppy seeds
    1/2 tsp minced onion
    1/4 tsp Worcestershire sauce
    1/4 tsp paprika

    Combine all ingredients. Pour over salad just before serving.

    1. I can't wait to try this dressing. We love spinach and strawberry salads as well and they are perfect for spring. I am on a bit of a homemade dressing kick right now, so I will be happy to add this one to my repertoire.

  8. There are some amazing salad recipes in your comments. I will have to try some of these too! OK- I need a salad spinner, so here is the best I've got. My girlfriend calls this "Famous Salad" bc every time she makes it, she gets a request for the recipe. I can never make it as good as hers.

    2/3 cup sugar
    1 teaspoon dry mustard
    1 teaspoon salt
    2/3 cup distilled white vinegar
    3 tablespoons apple cider vinegar
    4 ½ teaspoons onion juice
    2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce
    1 cup vegetable oil

    Combine sugar, dry mustard, salt and vinegars. Stir until sugar is dissolved.
    Whisk in onion juice and Worcestershire. Add oil slowly, whisking continuously until blended. Toss with salad. Please note: You will have dressing leftover if you only use 4 cups of mixed field greens.

    Spicy Pecans:
    2 large egg whites
    1 ½ teaspoons salt
    ¾ cup sugar
    2 teaspoons Worcestershire sauce
    2 tablespoons Hungarian Paprika
    1 ½ teaspoons cayenne pepper
    4 ½ cups pecan halves
    6 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted and cooled.

    Preheat oven to 325 degrees. Beat egg whites with salt until foamy. Add sugar,
    Worcestershire, paprika, and cayenne. Fold in pecans and melted butter. Spread pecans evenly on a baking sheet. Bake 30-40 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes. Remove from over and COOL. Store pecans in airtight container. Yields 4 ½ cups ( plenty leftover for snacking as only I use 1 cup in salad!)

    4 cups mixed field greens ( I use lots more!)
    2 green onions, chopped
    4 ounces blue cheese, crumpled ( 1 cup) .. Once again, I use lots more!
    1 Granny Smith apple, cored, seeded and chopped.. Gala’s work great too!!
    ¼ cup coarsely chopped Spicy Pecans ( I never chop mine!)

    Optional ingredients which work wonderful!!
    Avocado, Rotisserie Chicken, Red Onion!

    Bon Appetit!
    Tracy- found you on VB!

    1. This one will be dinner one night next week for sure! Complete with the chicken, avocado and red onion. You may have won the Good Apple over with the Bleu Cheese.

  9. I don't have a salad recipe to share, but I copied all these great recipes and will try them out, too! :)

    1. Isn't this an incredible collection? I am so excited to get started!

  10. I too don't have a salad recipe so I guess I will have to buy my own spinner and then come back and try all these great salads!! What a fun giveaway Val! Thanks for a really fun post!

    1. Kathy, If you try them out, let me know which is YOUR favorite!

  11. Val, what a great review, and I love the way you structured the giveaway...bravo, something different and no rafflecopter! Okay, I have to go check out some of my favorite salad recipes and come back!

    1. No offense to those who use Rafflecopters, but they kind of make my skin crawl. I figure if people want to "like" or follow my site, they will on their on volition and then they really will be followers. I am working on some other giveaway concepts...stay tuned!

  12. Ok, this one is a little different with fruit, and it's from one of my favorite foodie bloggers, Masala Herb...

    1. THat is a great blog. I will be trying this salad out...and others!

  13. My kids love this salad!!

    Spinach/Avocado Salad:

    -Baby spinach
    -1-2 avocados, diced
    -Cherry tomatoes, quartered
    -Red onion diced
    -Parmesan cheese, shaved

    Vinaigrette — 1/4 cup avocado oil or ev olive oil, 1 1/2 tbsp seasoned rice vinegar, 1/2 red wine vinegar, 1-2 cloves of garlic, minced, 1/2 tsp sugar, sea salt and Freshly cracked pepper, to taste. Make the dressing 30 minutes before serving to maximize the flavor.


    1. Oooooh, what is not to love in this one? Sounds like spring perfection! I think I will try this one with some grilled chicken next week.

  14. Okay this one is my favorite. It's very simple, but even my 3yr old loves it.

    Cherry Tomatoes
    Shaved Parmesan Cheese
    Sliced Avocado
    Balsamic Vinaigrette Dressing

    YUM!! I could seriously eat this every day for weeks and never get tired of it.

    1. Oh my goodness. I made almost the exact same salad last night! I always knew you had incredible taste. ;)

  15. To mix it up I love to make this broccoli salad. How handy it would be to have a great new spinner to wash and dry my broccoli =)

    3 cups broccoli florets
    2 cups med. shell pasta cooked
    3/4 cup golden raisins
    8 slices bacon crumbled
    1/3 cup sunflower seeds

    It is great with a mayo, vinegar and pinch of sugar dressing

    1. Do you want to bring it on Tuesday? Perhaps you could even try out MY spinner. HA HA. This sounds delish and you know the Good Apple loves bacon.

  16. What a great giveaway! Spinners are great for getting the excess water off your veggies and any remaining dirt you might have misssed.


  17. Wow all of these sound good. I don't have a "recipe". I'm the only one in my house that will eat a salad for a meal. My standard salad is some variations of those listed above so I will tell you about my salmon salad. It's pretty much mixed greens, salmon and Italian dressing. I buy the fresh salmon with no skin. Rub olive oil on both sides so the seasoning will stick. Season both sides with whatever you like. I use sea salt, black pepper, and a spicy garlic seasoning. I squirt a little lemon juice as it is cooking. I blacken it (I think the lemon juice helps it scorch), by cooking it high and fast about 3ish mins on each side. I'm jiggling the pan so it can slide back and forth without sticking. Then I put a piece directly on top of the mixed green and add a few drops of Italian dressing. It is delicious. The salmon should flake off in yummy tender slithers. Grab a forkful of salmon and mixed greens for each bite. Now I just told you that no one in my house will eat salad for a meal. They WILL eat this one. Yum, I might have to go get some salmon today. Maybe I'll blog about it very soon!

    1. Oh, now you have hit upon one of my weaknesses and THANK YOU. Now I have an excuse to go buy some. I HAVE to try out each salad you know. Brownie points!

  18. My favorite salad I've been eating for lunch almost every day the past week.

    -chopped romaine lettuce
    -sauteed/caramelized red onion, chicken breast (add some frozen pineapple chunks in at the end and some fresh or dried sage)

    -toss the above mixture with your favorite barbecue sauce, toss with the romaine and top with shredded cheese.

    1. Oh my. I would be eating that one everyday as well! That sounds really good. I like the addition of pineapple and sage. We have a ton of sage in our yard and I am always looking for new ways to use it. Thanks for the great idea!!

  19. Tex Mex chicken salad by Anne g.
    Romaine lettuce
    Black beans, drained and rinsed
    Fresh corn kernels
    Chicken mixture as follows
    Mix shredded chicken breast with half block cream cheese at room temp. Add half small can of green chilles, 2tbsp chili powder, 1 tsp cumin and black pepper and mix well. Add to salad and top with Monterey jack shredded cheese.

    1. Ole! Love the sound of this. I don't know if you have followed MC for long, but we ALWAYS have some beans cooked up around here. This just might turn into a family favorite!

  20. I love a simple salad I can make anytime in the summer. Baby spinach, sliced strawberries, fresh blueberries and grapes, halved, blue cheese or feta crumbles, and a light-mayo, sugar, S&P quick and easy tuna salad to eat along with the spinach and fruit. No dressing needed, but a raspberry vinaigrette adds something special as well. I'd love to win!!

    1. P.S. My name is Melissa Shipman, but I commented using my blog id.

    2. You got me at tuna. Geez. I could eat a salad for every meal day and night and I LOVE tuna with a spinach salad. This could be a lunchtime fav for me!

  21. Well, I grew up in Thailand, so one of my favorite salads of all time is Thai Green Papaya Salad! Exotic sounding, huh? It's a worldwide favorite though, and our family loves it to death! If you haven't tried it before, prepare to have your tastebuds wowed!
    Here's the recipe:
    Thai Green Papaya Salad (Somtam)
    1/2 green (unripe) papaya
    1/8 teaspoon salt
    1 clove of garlic
    1 tablespoon Thai chilies (optional, if you like it spicy)
    2 tablespoons roasted, crushed peanuts
    1 tablespoon dried shrimp (optional—I like it without shrimp)
    1 lime, cut into quarters
    6 cherry tomatoes, cut in half
    2 long green beans, cut to 2 cm in length
    2 tablespoons fish sauce
    1 tablespoon palm sugar
    1 tablespoon tamarind juice
    2 tablespoons lime juice

    1. Peel and shred the green papaya. You can either use a special shredder designed specifically for this, or using a box shredder. We always did it the Thai way, where you chop the unripe papaya rapidly with a knife, and then cut off the shredded pieces, continuing until you get to the white center.
    2. Pound salt, garlic and chilies in a mortar until mashed together well. Add the peanuts and shrimp and pound again until well mixed. Remove garlic peels.
    3. Add the lime quarters, cherry tomatoes French beans, pounding each one before adding the other and pound, crushing them just a little.
    4. Add the green papaya and pound again, making sure the ingredients are blended together nicely.
    5. Add the fish sauce, palm sugar, tamarind juice and lime juice. Season according to your taste!
    6. If you have access to sticky rice, this delicious papaya salad goes perfectly with it, and you can use your hands to eat it, using the sticky rice to get all the yummy juice that you don’t want to see wasted! If not, you can eat as is with a spoon! ENJOY!

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