Having fun with Water

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I think most of us know that drinking water is mucho importante`. Although I find a glass of ice water refreshing, it also can get boring.  There are so many ways to make water more exciting and dress it up – you know, with a little extra panache and color!  Friends and family that have been to my house for a meal know that I seldom put a pitcher of plain water on the table. This blog post features some of my favorite water additions which not only add some fun flavor and color, they also bring some extra nutrients and vitality.

Water + Lemon + Thyme: Thyme has a minty and lemony flavor and pairs perfectly with freshly sliced lemon. Fresh thyme is also quite replete with Vitamins A & B6, Zinc, Folate & Manganese. For the full skinny on thyme, click here.

Water + Cucumber + Orange: This combo has been a huge hit in the TeamZ house.  Cucumber is loaded with Vitamin K, which is necessary for proper blood coagulation and essential for proper metabolic activity of bone growth and strength maintenance. And apropos of the charity for which we are running the triathlon, Vitamin K may play a role in the pathogenesis of Alzheimer’s disease by limiting damage to vital neuronal processes. Click here for more nutrition facts on Cucumber!

Seltzer + Blueberry + Mint: There’s nothing wrong with water having some bubbles, right? This mix is perfect for a picnic outside, as the mint adds some freshness, while the blueberries add a delightful mix of sweet and tartness. Blueberries are loaded with beta carotene antioxidants, which if you may or may not know, help rid the body of harmful free-radicals that can stick around in the body to cause inflammation, degenerative body changes, and even cancers.

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Spring is in the air and we are spending more time outside in the sun and working out.  It is important to make sure to stay hydrated with plenty of cold water – especially with adding some of the above ingredients because they can certainly help aid any and all activities in which you’re partaking!

How do you like to dress up your water?

xoxo Team Z.

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Brie and Raspberry Grown-up Grilled Cheese

When I was thinking of “the best thing I ever ate” for this month’s link-up theme, foods that fall in the “comfort” category came to mind. To me, grilled cheese is a classic comfort food which brings back memories of childhood lunches – especially when nothing else would satisfy my discerning taste buds. As an adult however, my palette has expanded long past plain macaroni with ketchup and Ritz crackers with cream cheese. That being said, my grilled cheese needs a grown up boost!

Giada De Laurentiis has a recipe for a mozzarella, jam, and brown sugar panini that I once tried and have never been able to get out of my mind. Today though, I have chosen to augment some of the ingredients and go with a brie, raspberry, honey, and rosemary panini on ciabatta bread: my adultified and (somewhat) healthified version of grilled cheese.

Brie cheese is mild and sweet, which I feel goes great with fresh berries and honey. And because I am a fresh herb junkie, rosemary is a must in this sandwich. You can just smell the delicious, fresh aroma released as you chop it up. The ciabatta bread, which we bought at a 100 year old staple of the Upper East Side, Orwasher’s Bakery, is light, airy and fresh. The exterior of the bread is dusted with flour and makes for an outstanding panini bread.

Ingredients:

  • 1/2 pint raspberries
  • 1 tsp honey
  • honey for drizzling
  • 3 oz brie cheese
  • 1 sprig of fresh rosemary- chopped
  • whole wheat ciabatta loaf or rolls
  • 1/4 cup olive oil

Instructions:

Step 1: Preheat panini press.

Step 2: Mash fresh raspberries in a bowl with 1 tsp of honey.

Step 3: Layer raspberry mash and brie cheese on one side of the ciabatta bread. Sprinkle rosemary over the raspberry and cheese.

Step 4: Sandwich the bread slices together and use a pastry brush to spread a little olive oil on both sides of the bread. Drizzle the top with honey.

Step 5: Gradually press down for 3 to 5 minutes, or until the cheese has melted and the bread is golden and crispy.

If you don’t have a panini press you can use a grill pan.

Health points: Rosemary contains vitamin A, manganese, calcium, and iron. Raspberries are extremely high in antioxidants and vitamin C.

So eat up!

p.s. prior to this sandwich matt told me he does not like brie cheese- I showed him!

Click on the blue frog below to check out the other kosher blogger’s “best thing I ever ate” recipes.

Spinach and Strawberry Spring Salad

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When the weather gets warmer it means we move our workouts to the outdoors and add some fruit to our salads. My sister Jeni’s spinach and fruit salad is the perfect way to start off a springtime lunch! Strawberries are key in this salad since it is now peak strawberry season and they add a delicious burst of flavor. If you are a sweet and salty person, crumbles of feta cheese is the perfect addition.

Ingredients:

12 strawberries: stem removed and sliced

1/2 red onion- thinly sliced

1 avocado- sliced

1lb spring mix or spinach

handful of toasted and chopped walnuts – this adds a nice crunch to the salad

6 oz feta cheese – adds a nice salty flavor.

1 garlic clove, minced

1tbsp honey (Jeni uses sugar)

4 tbsp mayonaise low fat: although I am not a fan of using mayo I think it is fine in moderation, plus this addition really enhances the salad.

4 tbsp balsamic vinegar

pinch of black pepper

Instructions:

Place spinach, strawberries, avocado, onion, and walnuts in a large bowl.

Whisk together honey, mayo, balsamic and garlic – drizzle on salad.

Finish it off with fresh pepper, toss, and dig in.

Serves 6-8 sweet and salty people

My sister makes this salad wherever she goes and it is always a hit! Here is a pic of the salad being made at my bachelorette party with the addition of mango. So make it for your friends and family and enjoy!

xoxo luvin fruit in salad season