When I was assigned to review a few KitchenIQ products, their variety of utensils really intrigued me - they carry a number of knife sharpening tools and kitchen gadgets. I was really excited to try them out, because cooking is one of my favorite hobbies.
As much as I love it, cooking is a little bitter-sweet in practice. I have a baby and a toddler who seem to want amazing food made up in a matter of minutes and sometimes that gets tricky. One thing that makes my job a lot easier as a Personal Chef to children is having a stock of good Kitchen Utensils to help get the job done efficiently.
I received three products for review: the 3-in-1 Mini Prep Multi Tool, the Veggie Slicer, and the Pepper Tool.
3-in1 Mini Prep Multi Tool
I use a peeler many times through the week because I love cucumbers, but not so much the skin. The KitchenIQ Mini Prep Multi Tool is a Ball-like utensil that had several kitchen aids on it. One side has a Peeler, which I used that right away while making a Sesame Oil Cucumber Salad. It worked Great! The utensil is in the shape of a round ball which makes the grip for peeling a simple task. The peel blade was sharp and peeled my cucumber with ease. There are cool little thumb grips on the Kitchen IQ ‘ball’ (as I call it) which I feel enhances safety with less slipping from the hands.
The other side of the peel is a scrubber. I am one of those people that is very picky about cleaning my potatoes, so I kind of felt like I hit the gold mine with this one. I have noticed that some people use kitchen sponges to clean their potatoes which personally poses a pretty big germ concern to me. I also don’t feel like rinsing the potatoes under water cleans them enough either. So the fact that I now have a designated scrub brush just for my potatoes makes me really happy!
Initially, I thought this was where the Kitchen IQ Utensil ended, but I was very mistaken. As I investigated more, I saw a little green handle in the middle of the IQ ball and as I gently pulled, out came a little round chopping knife.
I was making salsa at the time (recipe below!), so I decided to put the knife to some use. I had many veggies in different shapes and textures, and unfortunately I found that the knife part did not cut very well, through many vegetables. I first tried to cut a lime and it would not cut through the somewhat tough skin. Next I tried to cut a tomato and the knife just slid off the skin, and did not cut through. I was able to use it to cut through already peeled apples, as well as cheese, so it does work, but does not cut through fruit and vegetable skin well. I think this tool would be best reserved for chopping herbs in the future.
The Veggie Slicer
You can put 3-4 small round veggies (like grapes or cherry tomatoes) inside of the slicer and then run your knife through the slit on the top to cut through them evenly and more efficiently.
I am finding this helpful when making pasta salads because I do like to cut the cherry tomatoes as well as the olives in halves. This isn't a utensil I would use on a daily basis, but it does work well and saves time on cutting.
The Pepper Tool
I experimented with what it does on a variety of vegetables, even though the name points to its primary use as a way to core chiles and peppers.
Bell peppers are one of my favorite vegetables so I was eager to see what it would do.
I gave a light shove into the top of the bell pepper and the plastic spikes on the utensil dug into the pepper, in turn loosening the top and stem.
I was a little disappointed to see that although the device loosened the top, it did not take the top off of the pepper as shown in the images on their site. I used my hands and lightly pulled on the top to remove it manually.
KitchenIQ products can be purchased directly from their website, or you can input your zip code on their front page to see where they're available near you. The products are inexpensive ($14.99 for the Multi-Tool, $9.99 for the Veggie Slicer, and $7.99 for the Pepper Tool), and may be just what the cook in your home is looking for to make their job a little easier.
So how about a recipe??
Homemade Chunky Salsa Recipe
Head of cilantro
Big red onion
4 large garlic cloves
8 Roma tomatoes
2 fresh chile peppers (jalepeno or a mild chile like Poblano)
1 can of whole kernel corn (NOT sweet)
1 1/2 tsp garlic salt
Chop all vegetables coarsely into large bowl, along with drained corn. I emphasize to make sure the corn is not sweet because this will change the flavor of the salsa drastically (try frozen corn if desired).
Slice limes in halves. Squeeze limes into salsa mixture.
Add garlic salt and pepper, taste and adjust seasonings as desired.
I find that this salsa tastes the best after a day or two of marinating, but it's also such a hit in my household we are lucky if it lasts that long.
I really enjoy this salsa with a simple fish or chicken taco, or even just chips if I want a snack.