One of the things I love about summer is the opportunity to have fresh produce. Growing up in Iowa has been synonymous with from field to table. Summers are awesome because I can hit the farmer’s market and grab a variety of fresh produce that the farmers picked that morning. It’s sure to have a longer shelf life than what I could get at the grocery store. Once winter hits, fresh produce isn’t quite the same. We buy what we need, but spend a lot more time being critical about how good (or not) it looks. Produce loses a good portion of life simply due to the amount of time lost in the transit and distribution.
One of the reasons I’ve quit buying cucumbers and some types of lettuce is because it goes bad before I can use it. I’ve tried leaving it in the store packaging, open in the controlled produce drawer or cleaning and placing in a plastic storage bag, but it seems fruitless. Some fruits, some vegetables fail to last very long.
That was before I discovered Rubbermaid FreshWorks. Designed with produce in mind, FreshWorks uses patented venting technology to keep produce fresher up to 80%* longer compared to store packaging. (*Based on strawberries in FreshWorks™ containers vs. store packaging. Results may vary depending upon produce and use.) The lid regulates the flow of oxygen and CO2 while the tray elevates the produce, helping create an environment that helps produce stay fresh. Now, I don’t feel the rush to use produce as I previously did. I can stock vegetables like green beans without the fear of slime. And can we talk about spinach for a minute? One of my favorite salads was Cranberry Feta Salad, but I stopped buying the spinach for the above mentioned “ick” reason. I simply couldn’t go through the container fast enough and usually ended up throwing half of it away. Now, I’m able to purchase a large package at Sam’s Club, use it once and transfer the remainder to my FreshWorks container. While we love the Cranberry Feta Spinach Salad, I’m also nostalgic for the Spinach Salad with Warm Bacon Dressing that I regularly ordered at a restaurant when we lived in California. With a combination of spinach greens and onions along with protein-packed eggs and feta, we don’t feel too guilty about the addition of bacon and a dressing made with bacon drippings instead of oil. Want to know how to make it? Here you go!
Sweet Bacon and Mustard Spinach Salad (serves 4)
6 Cups Baby Spinach
8 Slices Bacon
1/2 Small Red onion, diced
2 Hard Boiled Eggs, diced
4 Tbsp Feta Cheese
8 Tbsp Croutons
Warm Bacon Dressing
4 Tbsp Bacon Drippings
4 Tbsp Rice Vinegar
1 Tsp Stone Ground Mustard (we prefer Boetje’s)
1 Tsp Brown Sugar
Kosher Salt and Pepper to taste
Note: We regularly keep hard boiled eggs in our refrigerator for snacking. If you don’t, then prepare these first to ensure you aren’t waiting on eggs!
In a skillet or other pan, cook bacon until crispy. Chop, dice and prepare all ingredients while the bacon is cooking. Set aside. The key to this salad is the warm dressing and how it helps meld the flavors together so it’s important that the bowls are ready and waiting when the dressing is done.
Combine 1 1/2 cups baby spinach, 1 Tbsp Feta cheese and 1/2 hard boiled egg in each serving bowl. Top each with 1 Tbsp croutons. Evenly divide the red onion among the 4 bowls.
Once the bowls have been prepared, you can begin making the dressing. Reserve 4 Tbsp bacon drippings from the pan then discard the remainder. Return the reserved bacon drippings to the pan and turn to low. Add remaining ingredients (vinegar, mustard, brown sugar, salt and pepper) and stir until dissolved, adjusting temperature as needed.
Remove from heat and immediately drizzle over salad mix. This will cause the spinach greens to wilt a little while also softening (and warming) the remaining ingredients. Crumble 1 piece of bacon on top of each, garnish with the second, serve warm and enjoy!
While we previously would limit fresh produce purchases, with Rubbermaid FreshWorks we can feel confident in not needing to rush to use them. These containers are made in the USA and are BPA-free. With the addition of 3 new sizes, they can accommodate different vegetables and fruits so you shouldn’t have difficulty finding one that works for your needs.
- Large Square (11.1 Cups): Perfect for Tomatoes
- Long Rectangle (8.4 Cups): Great for asparagus or zucchini
- Small Rectangle (4.0 Cups): Will keep your green beans fresh.
- Small (2.5 Cups): Ideal for small berries.
- Medium (6.3 Cups): Perfect for strawberries.
- Large (17.3 Cups): Optimal for leafy greens.
With my new FreshWorks, combined with my Rubbermaid Brilliance containers, I’m able to neatly and confidently store a variety of foods. As a bonus, they’re all dishwasher safe! Rubbermaid dominates my cabinet as well as my refrigerator. You can learn more about Rubbermaid FreshWorks containers on their website, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. We’re pleased to be able to give away a couple pieces from their set. Enter using the form below.