Friday, January 1, 2016

Dusting off my Lettuce Spinner – The Road to Becoming a Meal Prep Master

This is our OXO Good Grips Salad Spinner.  
Max is jumping for joy because he knows a healthy lettuce eating mom has more energy to play!

I LOVE eating salad but one of the big obstacles to eating salad is the fact that it requires some preparation and when I am hungry (or “hangry” as some would say) there is usually an unhealthy, ready-made alternative that I can just pop in the microwave instead.  When I open my fridge to “grab” something to eat, a tasty salad often crosses my mind but I usually think “but then I would have to wash the lettuce!”

But this year, that is not going to be a problem because I am going to keep my great big lettuce spinner filled with crisp, clean, lettuce.  I want eating a bowl of lettuce to be the easy alternative to junk food as I work on my New Years Resolution of building healthy habits and becoming a meal prep master.

 Some of you might be rolling your eyes and mumbling something about how “lettuce spinner” and “easy” should never be in the same sentence together.  If you are a skeptic, stay with me until the end of the post.  You may change your mind.

My first salad spinner experiences were laughable at their best and nightmarish at their worst.  My mom and mother-in-law both have dinky little spinners that basically defeat the purpose of using one.  The few times I have tried to use theirs, I have ended up with wet lettuce and water all over the counter, the floor, and myself. Then I have a wet salad, which I inevitably end up drying with paper towels.  This I might add, defeats the purpose of the spinner in the first place.  Oh, and did I mention that it is an awkward contraption to clean so after you spend a million years washing and drying your lettuce, you spend another million years washing and drying the spinner.

I never understood the beauty of a lettuce spinner until I bought a really big one.  The biggest one that I could find.  When I picked it out I thought, “there is no way I am going to fit this in my fridge”.  But, I made room for it and I am glad I did.  Unfortunately the habit of using my lettuce spinner fell by the wayside for a while and it has since been collecting dust, until this week.  Over the last several days I have eaten at least 1 salad a day, Alejandro has had a few, and we have only washed lettuce twice!

There is a big up side to using a lettuce spinner, IF you get a big one.  A big enough lettuce spinner can allow you to wash and dry 2-3 heads of romaine lettuce at a time.  What? You don’t eat 3 heads of lettuce at a time?  That’s ok because you can keep all of the leftover lettuce in the spinner for days and it stays crisp and fresh.  In fact, I notice that the lettuce stays more fresh in the spinner than when I leave it in the store package.  And the best part is, you don’t have to wash and dry the lettuce or the spinner the next time you want a salad.  Your lettuce is just sitting there, waiting for you to eat it!

Before you jump all in and start spinning lettuce like crazy, here are a few tips:
  1. Don’t skimp on size, go big or go home!  A big lettuce spinner will make it worth your time to use because you can wash and store a lot of lettuce at a time.  You don’t want the small spinner disasters that make many people weary of all lettuce spinners.
  2. Take a few minutes to make a home for your lettuce spinner in your fridge.  You are more likely to use it if it is easy to get in and out of the fridge.  Be sure to put it in a place where you won’t be temped to pile other food items on top of it.
  3. Keep pre-cut/cooked/assembled salad toppings in a container that you can just throw on a bowl of lettuce.  I sometimes even add my salad dressing to my toppings so that they are fully marinated.  And lets face it, I can be pretty lazy so any time I can cut out a time consuming step like ‘opening a bottle of oil and vinegar’, I’m game.
Ok got it?  Good.  Now go dig out your dusty lettuce spinner.  If you have a little lettuce spinner (mom this is for you) throw it away and get a new one, seriously... just don't forget to use a coupon if you are going to Bed Bath and Beyond.


  1. I never gave much thought to my little salad spinner until now! I can totally relate to drying the lettuce with paper towels!

    1. I try not to think about little salad spinners... they bring back bad memories, haha ;)

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  2. Replies
    1. I can totally see you using one... in fact I am surprised you don't have one already.

  3. LOL. Great read, good tips. Is it terrible that I don't wash my lettuce...

    1. Julie let me just let you in on a little secret... I barely washed lettuce before I got a lettuce spinner. Probably not the best idea but now with the lettuce spinner it is actually easier to take lettuce out of the spinner than the store package (unless it is the precut kind in a bag).

  4. LOL. Great read, good tips. Is it terrible that I don't wash my lettuce...