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let zest be your new year’s resolution!

if diet and health are at the top of your new year’s resolution list, let zest help you achieve your goals. we’re all about maintaining a healthy and sustainable diet and lifestyle throughout the year. we’ve all tried the gym membership and the zero carb diet resolutions. this year, it’s time to resolve towards something that provides long lasting health and happiness.

add our 3 tips to your existing resolutions and you’re on your way to a healthy, happy new year.

zest

1. practice moderation and balance.

anything in excess is unhealthy, even something like exercise. Going to the gym seven days a week is great, but it might seem like a lofty goal as the year progresses. If you want your goals to be sustainable, know your limits and maintain balance. we like adding a little yoga from our friends at salt lake power yoga to our routine for both exercise and some r&r. 

everything in moderation, including moderation
— oscar wilde

2.  avoid using extremes

when making a resolution, avoid words such as never, no more, quit, stop, eliminate, zero (you get the idea…) because you are essentially setting yourself up for failure. for example “no more sugar” – c’mon now, let’s be realistic. Instead, get real and commit to things like “limit sugar” or “cut down on sugar” and suddenly your goal is much more realistic and obtainable.

3. treat yourself

ohh, you worked out for two hours today? feel free to live a little. if chocolate cake or a night out on the town are calling your name then go for it! and might we suggest, have your cocktails at zest - made with freshly squeezed juice or mamachari kombucha, we have drinks that are actually good for you! think of it as "earning" our cocktails....

pomegranate, grapefruit, carrot orange, orange basil, beet ginger lemon, and our house green juice of the day which includes kale, apple, spinach, swiss chard, yeah we know it sounds weird but its amazing!

pomegranate, grapefruit, carrot orange, orange basil, beet ginger lemon, and our house green juice of the day which includes kale, apple, spinach, swiss chard, yeah we know it sounds weird but its amazing!

keep your healthy resolutions going this year by dining and dancing at zest!

let us know your healthy new year's resolutions! comment below and share with us on facebook.

all wrapped up in 2014

a zest year in review. 

ny 2014 12.jpg

in case your missed it, we're wrapping all the fun and festivities from 2014. tv appearances, hot blogger reviews, fabulous food, and glamorous parties - sprinkled with a little zest! 

a visit from kutv - the refresh

watch the video here!

watch the video here!

from salt lake city's finest:

You won’t leave hungry or feeling like you dined on rabbit food. Each dish has layers of vibrant flavor and different textures
— amanda eats slc
My LUV for Brussels sprouts was elevated with Zest’s take on my favorite veggie.
— foodluv

the fun.

zest pours
zest summer nights
zest cocktails
zest halloween

the food.

zest stir fry
zucchini noodels
pear salad
brunch
baked ziti

we're looking forward to 2015 and serving salt lake city all the fresh and healthy goodness that is zest.

the healthiest food on the planet...

is all here at zest.

When dining at zest expect a mouth full of flavor and ingredients that are packed full of health.

we did a little research on foods that are considered the healthiest on planet. it was no surprise that the healthiest foods listed are also all on zests' menu. we selectively choose high quality and often organic ingredients to feature on our menu that are filled with nutrients, vitamins, and antioxidants.

Find out what foods made the cut as the healthiest on the planet! And where can you find them on Zests’ menu.

#1: Spinach

Why it’s good for you:

  • helps protect against inflammation and cancers such as stomach, skin, and advanced prostate.
  • Antioxidant rich including vitamin A, C, and
  • Promotes bone health (spinach is packed with calcium and magnesium)
  • Decreases blood pressure
  • Protects against eye related problems such as macular degeneration

#2: Kale

Why it’s good for you:

  • Anti-inflammatory benefits with high amounts of vitamin K and Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Lowers cholesterol
  • Supports the body’s detoxification process
  • Cancer prevention benefits (especially in prostate, ovarian, and bladder cancers) 

Try our Kale Salad!

kale salad

#3: Brussels Sprouts

  • Excellent source of vitamin C, K, and Omega-3 fatty acids
  • Helps with inflammation-related conditions such as Crohn’s disease, IBS, and ulcerative colitis
  • Strong supporter of the body’s detoxification process
  • Prevents cardiovascular problems such as heart failure and heart disease
  • Great for digestive system support

Try our brussels sprouts & silvered almonds w/ masala almond sauce.

Check out how one of our guests fell in LUV with our brussels sprouts again!

#4: Avocados

Why they’re good for you:

  • Promotes heart health (with vitamin E, K, B, potassium, magnesium)
  • Their anti-inflammatory nutrients help with various forms of arthritis
  • Promotes blood sugar regulation
  • Promotes healthy digestion
  • High in anti-cancer benefits
  • Excellent source of health-supportive fats

Try our Stuffed Avocado Salad!

#5: Quinoa

Why it’s good for you:

  • Serves as an excellent complete protein source
  • Contains all nine essential amino acids
  • Excellent source of health-supportive fats
  • Serves as a healthy grain substitute for gluten-free allergies
  • May assist in lowering the risk of type 2 diabetes

Try our Ratatouille with Spinach Quinoa 

We hear the phase “you are what you eat” time and time again, so why not eat the right food to keep you healthy!  

please click to make a reservation or call the restaurant at 801-433-0589 *reminder we are a 21+ establishment*

zesty winter soups - all december long!

it's time to get in the holiday spirit with zest.  

cozy up with our delicious winter soups. each day this month we'll feature healthy & hearty soups.

zest soup calendar

let us know your favorites and share it with us on facebook!

zest soups

holiday side dishes

it's time to switch things up this year and try something new! spread the holiday cheer at your next get-together with our delicious gluten free side dishes - call us to order 801-433-0589

our raw cranberry sauce is just the right amount of sweet & sour - pair it with raw lemongrass blueberry bark from The Chocolate Conspiracy and you have yourself a festive dessert - order it all season long! 

cranberry side dish

 is your mouth watering yet?

This week only...20% off zest gift certificates!

purchase online, print it out & give your gift today (offer ends 12/7)

gift certificates

check back to our blog for more holiday specials and updates!

saturday brunch is back!

saturday brunch is back at Zest and just in time for the winter season! Get out of the cold and into zest for our simply scrumptious brunch entrees.   

every saturday 11am-4pm  (sunday brunch coming soon!)

brunch menu

Buckwheat pancakes w/ fruit compote & maple syrup

buckwheat pancakes

Warm quinoa cereal w/ banana, berries, pecans, almonds, candied pumpkin seeds, almond milk, & maple syrup

quinoa cereal

Savory chickpea pancake w/ sautéed mushrooms, wilted spinach, & smoked cashew crème sauce

chickpea pancakes

Greek omelet w/ three eggs*, spinach, feta*, Kalamata olives, red onion, red bell peppers, & cracked pepper

brunch beverages

Need a little pick-me-up from the night before? Let zest help out with our happy hydrators and cocktail menu – b/c brunch just wouldn't be the same without fresh juice mimosas!

Cozy up with our signature hot tea & rum drink – trust us, you’ll feel warm all the way to your bones with this one!

hot tea and run drink


zest holiday dining w/ a healthy twist

bring a little zest into your holidays this season with our freshly prepared side dishes, warm soup selections and festive event space to spread the love and joy this year. 

zest is offering salt lake a healthy twist on traditional holiday dining as the only 100% gluten-free downtown restaurant. one bite of our savory stuffing and scrumptious carrot cake, it’s hard to imagine you’re partaking in some guilt-free dining!

if your’re a meat eater and that “scares” you - please, don’t let it stop you. zests’ food is hearty and filling, not to mention, delicious!
— chelsea of heartbeat nosh blog

holiday side dishes:

tired of cranberry sauce in a can? switch it up this year! impress your guests with our homemade cranberry sauce. You make the turkey; let zest help out with the rest. now until december 31st, enjoy our freshly prepared side dishes, such as our brussels sprouts, butternut squash, and cranberry sauce. for the full holiday menu, go to www.zestslc.com/holiday-menu.

 a zest holiday tip: cranberry sauce served with raw chocolate blueberry is absolutely delicious! - don't miss out out on a new holiday tradition! order here.

weekly winter soup:

stop by zest and cozy up with our healthy homemade soup selections. each week we will feature a new winter soup made with love. be sure to pair the soup with our mouth-watering grilled cheese sandwich (you choose: local beehive cheese or diaya vegan cheese). 

wintersoup

holiday event space:

our local beers, organics wines, and infamous fresh squeezed juice cocktails, make us the destination spot for your holiday party or adult get-together. zests’ chic and relaxing dining area and event space can hold up to 100 guests per event. reminder, zest is a 21+ establishment, which gives you the perfect excuse for a night out downtown.

zestcocktail

let zest brighten up your holiday celebration with delicious seasonal sides, yummy winter soups and the perfect dining space for your office get-togethers and friendly gatherings.

please email casey@zestslc.com or call 801-859-8505 with any questions.

 

A Zest Guide to Vegetarian Diets


In honor of world vegan day and Zest's delicious vegetarian, vegan and 100% gluten-free options, we thought we would provide a quick guide to the main vegetarian diets. With all the veggie-diet variations out there, it can get a little confusing. (Think Jimmy Kimmel and the gluten-free episode). So the next time someone tells you that they’re “flexitarian” you won’t have that deer-in-headlights look.

A Zest quick-guide to vegetarian diets:

Vegan: No meat, meat bi-products (including gelatin and meat broths), and animal bi-products (including dairy and honey)

Vegetarian: No meat or seafood consumption. Will eat animal bi-products (such as dairy and eggs)

Flexitarian: Eats mainly a vegetarian diet, but still consumes meat, fish and seafood.

Latco Vegetarian: No meat and seafood consumption. Will eat dairy.

Ovo Vegetarian: No meat, meat bi-products or dairy. Will eat eggs.

Latco Ovo Vegetarian: No meat and seafood consumption. Will eat dairy and eggs. (basically the same thing as a vegetarian).

Pollotarian: No red meat or seafood. Will eat poultry, eggs, and dairy.

Pescatarian: No red meat or poultry. Will eat fish, seafood, eggs and dairy.

While Zest is a vegetarian restaurant with vegan items, all carnivores and veggie-diets are welcome!  

Come on in to zest to experience our new fall entrées   

5 little things about zest that make a big difference

there’s something different about dining out at zest. yes, we are among the few vegetarian/gluten free restaurants in Salt Lake City but we also bring a lot more to the table than you might think. every detail of your dining experience is considered from the water we pour at your table to the organic hand-picked produce on your plate.

here are some of the little things you may not have noticed while dining at zest:

those plants on your table - those were cultivated in Casey’s (the owner) living room.

plants at zest

we only cook with coconut oil - why? coconut oil is one of the best oils to cook with since it can withstand higher temperatures than other oils, eliminating cancer-causing carcinogens in your food.

we use natural sweeteners - instead of sugar, which can cause obesity and health problems, we use natural sugar substitutes such as organic agave nectar and maple syrup.  Go ahead and try our chocolate cake and let us know if you still miss sugar…

we use reverse osmosis water - whether we are serving you a craft of drinking water or washing our local produce, we use reverse osmosis water. reverse osmosis water is a type of filtered water than takes out unhealthy contaminants and minerals that can be found in regular tap water.

we support local - whenever it is possible we will use local farms, vendors, and businesses in all areas of our restaurant. We know that when we use local goods and services we are supporting the environment and our community.

we recycle - all of our containers are made out of recycled materials, including our glassware. throughout the year we have compost bins in order to recycle wasted food.

we use natural himalayan crystal salt - no table salt used here. himalayan salt is known to have enormous health benefits such as regulating a healthy pH balance in the body and promotes anti-aging.

we help the environment - did you know that eating one meatless meal a week for a year can save 84,000 gallons of water, 10 billion animals, and 7,000 square feet of land? Since we serve vegetarian food every day we are certainly helping out the environment in a big way – not to mention a healthier lifestyle.

we like to take a close look at the big picture of serving food. the next time you're dining out at zest just remember all the love, care, and concern that went into making that zucchini manicotti – and enjoy!

we want to know! - what small things do you do in your life that make a big difference? 

fall into zest!

the fall season is finally upon us and with that means crisper air, colorful leaves and a seasonal harvest of mouthwatering cuisine at Zest! fall, to us means taking advantage of the ripe butternut squash, pumpkins and apples and turning them to delicious entrees all season long.

check out our new fall menu preview:

coconut curry forbidden black rice w/ sesame stir fry vegetables

carmelized butternut squash with candied ginger cashews with cinnamon oil & sage

farmers market eggplant ratatouille with quinoa spinach

bbq lentils with farmers market root veggies

not sure which one to choose?

join us during Fall Zest Fest on October 23rd where we will be featuring a five-course tasting menu that will be sure to add some zest to anyone’s pallet this fall season!

what to expect at Fall Zest Fest?

when: Thursday, October 23rd

time: 6:00pm - 8:00pm

where: 275 S, 200 W

what: five-course tasting menu, including appetizers, small entrée tasters and seasonal desserts. We will be pairing the fall-themed entrees with local pumpkin beers.

make your reservations for Fall Zest Fest here!

support the ching farm animal rescue & sanctuary by eating at zest

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The Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary works to rescue farm animals from cruelty and to educate the public about cruelty-free living. Some of the animals that can be found here include traditional farm animals such as cows, chickens, and pigs to the more exotic emus and llamas and the everyday cats and dogs. Founded by Faith and Mike Ching in Utah in 1998, this organization was incorporated into a non-profit in 1998 and now relies on the assistance of donations and volunteers to help out. As part of our effort to help improve the lives of these animals, besides supporting animals everywhere by eating vegan, zest will donate 25% of your ticket if you mention you would like to donate to the Ching Farm Rescue & Sanctuary.

big budah visits zest

if you're a regular viewer of fox 13 news, than this is probably old news. zest played host to a visit from big budah to kick off downtown alliance's dine O'Round. during his visit, big budah spoke with zest kitchen & bar owner casey staker about our special $30 dinner menu offered during the two week event. you can see the videos in fox 13's blog Big Budah stops by Zest Kitchen & Bar. These are some of the photos taken during his visit: Budah with Casey from Zest Zest Budah Casey Cocktails   Budah Casey Zest outside 1 Budah Casey Zest outside 3

Do You Believe What the Meat Industry Tells You about Protein?

The age old question that's plagued vegans, vegetarians, and omnivores alike: am I getting enough protein.  Sunfood has answered it with some staggeringly impressive facts.

Fact 1: heat actually alters molecular structures, causing 50% of the protein in meat to be destroyed in the cooking process.

Fact 2: T. Colin Campbell's The China Study, published in 2006, noted that 6,500 Chinese, observed over a period of 20 years, were more prone to modern ailments such as cancer and heart disease the more they consumed animal protein.

Fact 3: Many of our larger mammalian friends in the Animal Kingdom--such as hippos, rhinos, elephants, giraffes, and cows--are able to sustain large muscle mass solely on plant-centric diets.

Now, about the protein question.

Protein is constructed from amino acids that make up the muscles, tissues and enzymes present in our body.  There are 20 different of these amino acids.  Almost half can't be produced in our body, meaning that they need to come from food.  While it is possible for humans to receive protein from animal sources, Sunfood has presented some rather incontrovertible evidence to the contrary.  Health professionals recommend that 10-35% of our daily calories come from some protein source--this is, of course, dependent upon age, gender and lifestyle.  So what are some other, more efficient options?  Green vegetables, legumes, whole grains, nuts and seeds are all great sources and can easily be added to just about any meal.

Naturally, we at zest are happy to hear this because every dish on our menu features at least one of the protein sources on the list with many providing up to three.  And the best part is: they taste great!

Via Sunfood

zest stir-friday

zest's nightlife stands second to none in salt lake city. one of our regular fan favorites is none other than our stir-Friday event with our resident deejay flash & flare. check out these amazing photos by ian matteson.

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omnivores welcome: why zest will satisfy any eater

here at zest we recognize that, while our celiac and vegetarian patrons might jump at the chance of having a wide selection of gluten-free food and beverages, not everyone might have those same dietary restrictions.  read the reviews at yelp, urbanspoon, and foursquare and you'll see ringing praise from self-proclaimed omnivores.

so, why is this?

zest defies societal consensus that vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free food and drink needs to be dissatisfying, unappetizing, or bland because  we take a creative approach to our ingredients, utilizing proteins like nuts, non-gluten grains such as quinoa, rice, lentils and seasonal vegetables and fruits for our menus and drinks.  not only that, but everything that goes from our kitchen to your plate is home made, capitalizing on the full flavor potential of the ingredients we use.  it's possible to count on your hands the number of items we don't make on site such as specialty pastas, organic & gluten-free chips, and coconut milk. other than that, everything you're tasting is pure zest.

what is gluten-free?

  James Rickwood/ Flickr

James Rickwood/ Flickr

  what does gluten-free mean and why is it important? gluten is a protein complex found in wheat, barley, and rye. and, for some people, eating products such as bread, pasta, crackers causes them to suffer from a condition known as celiac disease which can manifest itself in the form of intestinal distress, skin irritation, or general fatigue and weakness. a gluten-free diet, therefore, proposes not eating or drinking anything made from grains--which includes beers and some wines. while not eating products made from grains can prevent the aforementioned discomfort, celiac disease can lead to other problems such as anemia, osteoporosis, and possibly raise the risk of developing lymphoma. naturally, here at zest, everything made in our kitchens or concocted in our bar is gluten-free from our zucchini noodles with fresh tomato sauce, pesto, & pine nuts to our chocolate beet cake with avocado mousse. we're living proof that not only is it possible to cut gluten specific items out but it can be nutritional and good. we achieve this by using grain alternatives such as quinoa, nuts, fresh fruit and vegetables, a variety of herbs and seasonings, and whatever the season offers us.

zest at the Taste of the Wasatch

we are excited and honored to have recently been confirmed for participation in the <a title="Taste of the Wasatch" href="http://www.tasteofthewasatch.org/">Taste of the Wasatch</a>: Salt Lake City's premiere culinary event. held on August 4th at Solitude Mountain Resort, all proceeds goes to supporting the efforts to fight hunger in Utah. <a title="General Admissions Tickets" href="http://tasteofthewasatch.tix.com/Schedule.aspx?OrgNum=4074">general admissions tickets </a>start at $90 dollars with $75 being deductible on your taxes, and go up from there in cost for VIP tickets and reserved tables.


visitors will be able to enjoy tastings from 50 different restaurants, bakeries, wineries, and breweries; live entertainment; and the opportunity to bid on two $20 zest gift cards in their auction. and, as always, our food will feature seasonal, fresh produce and will be vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free.


all photos are courtesy of Taste of the Wasatch and were taken by Tenacious Lens Photography

February is Heart Health Month

February is national heart health month so now is a great time to discuss how what we put in our bodies affects our hearts and the rest of our body.

We’ve decided to focus on two ingredients that we use often at zest - Beets and Red Wine, which are both great for heart health.

 Beets are great for heart health

Beet juice is helpful in the treatment of high blood pressure, angina and heart disease. A recent study at London's Mary University found that one small glass of beet juice a day was more effective at lowering high blood pressure than medication.

Beets also have many great qualities, including anti inflammatory, anti-cancer effects from the phytonutrient proanthocyanidin, also, an immunity booster with vitamin C, also high in vitamin B.

Beets are high in the minerals manganese and potassium. Manganese is great for healthy bones, liver, kidney and pancreas. Potassium helps insure healthy nerve and muscle function.

Red Wine for heart health

We've all heard the heart healthy benefits of red wine as well, being full of reservatrol and anti oxidants which prevent heart disease by increasing levels of "good" cholesterol and protecting against artery damage.

Now of course this red wine thing is in moderation, don't get too excited friends and drink the whole bottle!

zest combines both of these heart friendly ingredients to make a great heart healthy drink- beet sangria. If you have not had our beet sangria yet, it is delicious and very popular.

Cheers to a happy heart.

- Casey Staker

7 Benefits of Cashews

Here at Zest Kitchen we love cashews! We use them in a variety of dishes and we even make our own cashew cheese. We feel like a lot of people don’t know about the health benefits of consuming them, and sometimes think twice about eating them because of their “high fat content” (which is mostly the healthy kind of fat). We want to give you a little bit more information and show you how incorporating them in your diet can actually bring many benefits to your health.

The cashew tree is native to Brazil, where its fruit is considered a delicacy. In the 16th century, the Portuguese introduced them to India and some African countries, where they are now also grown. What we call the cashew nut is actually the seed of this fruit. Cashews are rich in iron, phosphorus, selenium, magnesium and zinc. They are also good sources of phytochemicals, antioxidants, and protein.

 Here are seven health benefits of cashews.

Cancer Prevention
Cashews are ripe with proanthocyanidins, a class of flavanols that actually starve tumors and stop cancer cells from dividing. Studies have also shown that cashews can reduce your colon cancer risk. Their high copper content also endows the seed with the power to eliminate free radicals and they are also good sources of phytochemicals and antioxidants that protect us from heart disease and cancer.

Heart Health
Cashews have a lower fat content than most other nuts and most of it is in the form of oleic acid, the same heart-healthy monounsaturated fat found in olive oil. Studies show that oleic acid promotes good cardiovascular health by helping to reduce triglyceride levels, high levels of which are associated with an increased risk for heart disease. Cashews are wonderfully cholesterol free and their high antioxidant content helps lower risk of cardiovascular and coronary heart diseases. The magnesium in cashews helps lower blood pressure and helps prevent heart attacks.

Hair and Skin Health
Cashews are rich in the mineral copper. An essential component of many enzymes, copper plays its part in a broad array of processes. One copper-containing enzyme, tyrosinase, converts tyrosine to melanin, which is the pigment that gives hair and skin its color. Without the copper cashews are so abundant in, these enzymes would not be able to do their jobs.

Bone Health
Cashews are particularly rich in magnesium. It's a well-known fact that calcium is necessary for strong bones, but magnesium is as well. Most of the magnesium in the human body is in our bones. Some of it helps lend bones their physical structure, and the remainder is located on the surface of the bone where it is stored for the body to use as it needs. Copper found in cashews is vital for the function of enzymes involved in combining collagen and elastin, providing substance and flexibility in bones and joints.

Good for the Nerves By preventing calcium from rushing into nerve cells and activating them, magnesium keeps our nerves relaxed and thereby our blood vessels and muscles too. Too little magnesium means too much calcium can gain entrance to the nerve cell, causing it to send too many messages, and leading to too much contraction.

Insufficient magnesium leads to higher blood pressure, muscle tension, migraine headaches, soreness and fatigue. Not surprisingly, studies have demonstrated that magnesium helps diminish the frequency of migraine attacks, lowers blood pressure and helps prevent heart attacks.

Prevent Gallstones
Data collected on 80,718 women from the Nurses' Health Study demonstrates that women who eat at least an ounce of nuts each week, such as cashews, have a 25% lower risk of developing gallstones.

Weight Loss
People who eat nuts twice a week are much less likely to gain weight than those who rarely eat nuts. Cashew nuts are indeed relatively high in fat, but it is considered "good fat." This is attributable to the ideal fat ratio in the nut, 1:2:1 for saturated, monounsaturated, and polyunsaturated, respectively, which is recommended by scientists for tip-top health. Cashew nuts contain less fat than most other popular nuts, including peanuts, pecans, almonds and walnuts. They are dense in energy and high in dietary fiber, making them a very valuable snack for managing weight gain.

So, 'cashew' feel the joy yet?

-Nahum