Family-Friendly Food Review: Nesco Food Slicer
As a budget-conscious parent, you’re always looking for ways to save money on your food bill and still serve your kids fresh, healthful meals, right? I know I am. If your kids are like mine, sandwiches are daily fare. And of course lunch meats are outrageously expensive and also full of additives that you might not want your kids to eat very often. The answer? Get a food slicer.
I recently acquired a Nesco FS120T food slicer. It is really easy to use and also really easy to clean. I want to note right up front: Often, I review products that parents and kids can use together when cooking. THIS IS NOT ONE OF THOSE TIMES. (This is a meat slicer, people, and fingers can count as meat.) So even my older kids, who have been actively cooking with me for the past decade, can't touch it for a few more years. So I try not to show how fun it is to use, lest they get tempted. But that's okay, we moms sometimes need to take our fun where we can get it. And boy, does this appliance make the Mendon Foodie feel powerful and professional.
I call the Nesco FS120T slicer a "family-friendly" appliance, because with a little planning, you will never run out of lunchbox ideas again. Leftover roast beef, turkey breast, even the leftover corned beef from St. Patrick’s day dinner are all excellent to slice for sandwiches. Thus roast beef, ham, and turkey breast do double-duty in a way that makes you look like a culinary genius: Toss it into the oven for an easy, delicious dinner one night; in the days to come, the Nesco slicer makes for great lunches that your kids' classmates will envy.
The tilted platform and double safety switch make using the Nesco FS120T super-easy and safe. There is no way to operate it without keeping both hands safely out of the blade’s way. A tip for slicing leftover beef: if you like it really rare, like I do, put it in the freezer for 30 to 60 minutes to make it easier to slice. Don’t let it freeze completely, though.
You can use the Nesco FS120T food slicer to slice vegetables as well. Try slicing some potatoes into super thin slices, tossing them with a little olive oil, and baking them in a hot (400 degree) oven for homemade, low-fat potato chips that your kids will love. (Don’t forget to sprinkle them lightly with kosher salt. For the grown-ups add freshly ground pepper and minced rosemary. Dust with Parmesan cheese when they come out. You’ll never want to eat chips from a bag again.) Here is a link to a baked potato chip recipe from Stephen McGuire at Salon.com, which discusses technique. That's his photo, too. Doesn't it look yummy?
The blade easily adjusts to different thicknesses so you can slice zucchini or carrots into ribbons. Use the ribbons in a vegetable lasagna, or brush them with olive oil, salt and pepper and grill them. Zucchini ribbons are fabulous sautéed quickly with garlic and then mixed with freshly cooked pasta. Or, use the sliced carrots as spaghetti! Take the long, thin slices from your slicer and then stack them, julienne them and serve orange spaghetti to your kids, either alone or mixed with regular pasta! Either way, you are going to create colorful, healthful meals your kids will love!
© June Santini, 2010