Beyond the Saladmaster Set Part I
By: Janet Potts, RD, LD
I’ve been a Saladmaster owner since August of 1994. As a registered dietitian, I was always trying to get my husband to eat healthier food. I often joked that we would have to go to our favorite Vietnamese restaurant every weekend so that my husband would get his "weekly" vegetables. When my sister hosted a Saladmaster dinner, Jeff and I actually practiced saying "No, thank you, we don’t need anymore cookware," on the drive to her home. But as the evening progressed and I noticed how Jeff was actually eating his vegetables and raving about how wonderful the chicken was, I started to consider how nice owning a set might be. At one point Jeff took me aside and said, "You know, food is your career, and with all the recipe creation that you do, you might as well be using the very best cookware." But all I could think about was "It would be worth it at double the price if this man would just eat his vegetables." The deal was sealed when Jeff and our dealer, Pete Updike, cooked up a plan to have me demonstrate healthy recipes at Pete’s quarterly local Saladmaster Cooking School.
Over the years I’ve added many pieces to my set and developed hundreds of healthy recipes, many of which I demonstrated on our local CBS television affiliate. Now I manage a hospital foodservice department that prepares nearly 2 ½ million meals each year. And we’ve been blessed with a daughter in 1995 and a son in 1998. My "bonus" daughter (stepdaughter) currently lives in Guam and has been building her Saladmaster set since she was a teenager. Life is busy! But I still find time to enjoy recipe development and writing nutrition articles for Saladmaster.
Many people have asked what pieces I have, which ones I would recommend and what specific foods I cook in each piece. I’ve decided to write this two-part article to answer these questions and hopefully give you additional practical ideas for healthy eating.
Like many of you, I started with a basic set that included the food processor, electric skillet, 7-quart roaster, 3-quart sauce pan and insert, 1 quart sauce pan, large skillet and small skillet. Although I could cook just about anything in my basic Saladmaster set, it wasn’t long before I started to expand my horizons. The following is a list of the add-ons that I have obtained over the years, reasons why I love these pieces and links to my favorite recipes using them. If you’re thinking about adding pieces or creating a holiday wish-list, I hope you’ll find the list helpful.
Multi-Purpose Electric Roaster, 5 quart (MP5).
Here’s a confession. When I first bought my basic set, I did not want to give up my old slow cooker. Rarely have I been so excited to see a piece of cookware unveiled as I was at my first glimpse of the MP5. This is far from your ordinary slow cooker! The touch-pad heat control and built-in timer allows you to select temperatures from 150 degrees F (simmer) to 450 degrees F (stir-fry, pan broil). You can’t do that with an ordinary slow cooker! I especially enjoy using my MP5 for entertaining. One of my favorite recipes is Apple Nachos, , which is a football game favorite. And the MP5 makes for a gorgeous serving piece that I am proud to put on a fancy buffet or take to any party. Bye-bye, old slow cooker!
Soups are especially easy from start to finish in the MP5. Watch for my Turkey and Rice Soup recipe coming in the December newsletter. It can be made in either the MP5 or the 4 quart roaster, and it’s an excellent use of leftover turkey.
1 ½ quart Sauce Pan.
There are times when the 1 quart sauce pan is just a bit small, or already in use. It’s nice to have a pan that’s midway between the 1 quart and the 3 quart. This pan is the perfect size to heat leftover soup or chili and to make our favorite sauces. All my Saladmaster-owning family members now have this sauce pan.
4 quart Roaster.
This is one of my favorites. Another mid-size pan, between the 3 quart and the 5 quart, the 4 quart is just right for cooking smaller amounts of pasta, and it’s my official "green bean pan." Try frozen whole baby green beans with a little fresh dill and slivered almonds. That’s one of my favorite side dishes for entertaining.
16 quart Roaster.
What a pan this is! It’s the largest piece that Saladmaster makes, and you probably wonder what you would ever do with a pan that large, especially if your family is small or average size. When we moved 3 years ago, I was so happy that my new kitchen was nicer and larger. Except for the oven that is. I had gone from a full-size oven to a single wall oven about half the size. My friends wondered how I was going to cook Thanksgiving dinner. Fortunately, Saladmaster owners have little need for ovens. Did you know you can cook up to a 22-pound turkey in the 16 quart roaster? Especially for the upcoming holiday, I’ve developed a must-try recipe, Savory Saladmaster Turkey, which will be featured in the November newsletter. Order your 16 quart pan now!
The 16 quart roaster also helps me with efficiency. A trip to Ireland inspired me to create healthy cream-type soups. After developing my Cream of Tomato and Basil Soup, regular canned tomato soup will no longer do. I found that I can use the 16 quart roaster to make 3 gallons of my tomato soup base at a time, and the base freezes well in 3-cup disposable containers. What a comfort food this is to friends who need a pick-me-up!
Special food safety note: When you finish cooking large quantities of food in this pan or any of the other large Saladmaster pans, be sure to put the food in smaller containers to cool. Doing so will assure that the food cools quicker, and does not hover in the "danger zone" of 40-140 degrees, at which bacteria thrive.
These aren’t near all of my favorites. Watch for next month’s newsletter, and learn why I also love the Gourmet Trio, all the Griddles, Woks, Indoor Grill, Cutlery Set, Kitchen Tool Set, and what item you just might need two of.