Updated: Sep 17, 2022
That saves you time and money too!
I'm a fan of kitchen gadgets only if they earn their keep in terms of money spent, time saved and kitchen real estate. I find some kitchen shortcut tools more work to assemble, operate or clean than the effort of performing the task by hand. It's not the case with a manual food processor. It makes food prep easier by chopping, mincing, grinding, and blending raw or cooked ingredients quickly without electricity. I liken its discovery to that of the salad spinner and wonder how I managed without it all these years?
Know from the outset that manual food processors can't replace electric food processors as they lack the power to handle large amounts and things like sticky doughs. They won't entirely eliminate the need for a knife either - the food still needs to be cut into small enough pieces to fit inside the work bowl. Manual choppers are great for coleslaw, guacamole, pico de gallo, tabbouleh, tapenade, caulirice, baba ganoush, bread crumbs, meat salad sandwich filling or any dip that needs texture.
I like the Trudeau brand. It's medium sized, portable and easy to store. There are a couple little tricks for optimal success - the work bowl needs to be at least half full and only chop ingredients with similar textures together (meaning don't try to chop carrots with tomatoes). It’s also important to note that the blade is incredibly sharp; I have the scar to prove it!
Considering the upcharge of prepared ingredients, preparing caulirice and chopped salads alone justify the small investment of a manual food processor. Chopped salads are a portal to fresh, raw salads that are just like regular salads, only with a different presentation. The ingredients are chopped, greens and all, and incorporated together instead of layered. Avoid throwing out vegetables by scoping out the fridge every couple of days. Just place odds and ends of cleaned vegetables in the manual food processor, sprinkle with Qspice, a drizzle of oil and a squeeze of lemon juice. Ta-da... a different tasty salad each time!