Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Care for some tea?

At Becky's request, I am putting up a blog post about teas. Are you tired of being jittery from drinking millions of cups of coffee while outlining? Are you sick of the crash a few hours after drinking coffee? Are you annoyed by your headache from NOT drinking a cup of coffee? Are you ADDICTED to coffee? Well guess what? There is a healthier drink out there just waiting for you!

Care for a cup of tea?
These are my "Be Well" Red Teas by The Republic of Tea. They are amazing. There are many more out there and you can search through them on their website. They have some for PMS, for sore throats, for constipation, for clean skin, and the list goes on and on! And they all have super cute names, jars and explanations of how they work. I will discuss the ones pictured here from left to right. All of these teas are of the "Red" variety and are decaffeinated. They are all available at the Fresh Market for about $10 (for a can of 36 tea bags).
Get Lost: For Weight Control. Do you CRAVE sugar or dessert after a meal? Are you so hungry before your meal that you indulge and eat an exorbitant amount? This tea is for you! With a cinnamon flavor, the tea makes you feel like you are having dessert without adding to your waistline. This tea is delicious, I can't say enough about it.
Get Charged: For energy. Alright caffeine addicts...I'm talking to you. This caffeine free tea enhances your energy naturally, without caffeine, so that means...no crash. It has a delicious revitalizing flavor and gets you going without the jitters.
Get Some ZZZs: This tea is amazing for nighttime. I tried this last night to go to sleep. It was super relaxing and tasted great. It made me VERY sleepy, including all of my muscles so only drink it if you are actually going to bed within a few hours.
Get Clean: For detox. This almond-tasting tea is great after a meal where I ate a little too much or just feel bloated in general. Tastes great and helps you detox...(however, this is not for constipation, if you would like that one it is called "Get Going")
Pumpkin Spice: Ok this one is not from the "Be Well" collection but it is made by the Republic of Tea so I included it in this photograph. I just had a cup and it was very good. It's a tad sweet so remember that when adding sweetener/sugar. It's a nice way to have Fall in a can! This tea is made exclusively for the Fresh Market so you would have to buy it there.

Some additional tea recommendations I have:
Black teas: I would recommend Tazo Awake (pictured below Middle). This DOES have caffeine in it, so be aware, and I wouldn't drink it too close to bedtime if you want a good night's sleep! English Breakfast or British Breakfast and Earl Grey are excellent in the morning. Adding milk will make the transition between coffee and tea easier. I would add milk to Black, White and Red teas, but probably not Green.
Green teas: If you are a soda drinker, you could try substituting your daily soda with Lipton Green Tea with lemon. It is much better for you than soda and it tastes better than you would expect. Green tea is filled with antioxidants and is very good for you. I have a yummy mixed tea: Green and White (pictured below Left). Mixtures are good, but you obviously won't get all of the benefits of a full cup of Green tea if only half of the tea is Green. There are also plenty of varieties such as pomegranate and peach, to name a few. Republic of Tea makes many excellent options.
Chai teas: This flavorful tea is absolutely delicious for dessert. Its spices are breathtaking and the aroma itself will make you want to taste it! Add milk and sweetener/sugar to make it extra savory! Great with pumpkin or banana bread as well! (pictured below Right).
Chamomile Herbal Tea: The absolute BEST when you are sick or have a sore throat. Add honey to it in place of sugar, as sugar is coarse and dry and sometimes doesn't fully dissolve leading more more scratching of your throat) (or Agave Nectar which I will explain below).

One lump or two?
I'm not talking about the lumps on your rear end... I'll get to that in a minute ;-) I'm talking about sugar and sugar substitutes. Sugar in its natural form is perfectly fine, in the right amount...Don't dump it into your teas. If you are looking for an alternative, there are plenty.
Many people enjoy Splenda (including myself) which is a chemically tweaked sugar with no calories. It is 600 times sweeter than sugar so keep that in mind! Aspartame and Saccharin are on my sh*t list. I don't like them and I never have. I'm sure Splenda probably isn't much better but they have both been linked to diseases such as cancer and Alzheimers. Splenda may be next, so again, moderation is key. Saccharin (Sweet N'Low) is 300 times sweeter than sugar and Aspartame (Equal) is 200 times as sweet. Some other alternatives include Stevia and Agave Nectar (pictured below). Stevia is all-natural and calorie free. As always, moderation is key, and this definitely applies to Stevia. Agave liquid/nectar is an excellent alternative. It is extracted from the agave plant (hello tequila?!) and does not spike our blood glucose levels as quickly as table sugar. It has the same consistency as honey (less sticky I guess). Agave Nectar can be found in the Baking aisle of Harris Teeter (as can Stevia).

Your Health! Now I'm talking about "those" lumps:
Coffee, while good in many ways, can have many negative impacts including: sleep changes, anxiety, gastrointestinal problems such as ulcers, and it stains your teeth (and causes bad breath!) In addition, caffeine has been linked to increasing cellulite by affecting circulation... causing those lumps on your butt!* So instead of using that coffee as a stimulant to wake you up, why don't you drink a cup of decaffeinated tea instead and use the coffee grounds to get rid of cellulite?! Sounds like a great idea to me. Take about 3 tablespoons of coffee grounds and 1 tablespoon of shower gel and rub it vigorously on your thighs/butt. Caffeine has been shown to get rid of cellulite and J.Lo. uses this trick...along with another anonymous law student who gave me this recipe ;-)...so it must be true...just don't leave the jar by the shower or your dog could take it under your bed and spill all the grounds!

*citation for caffeine linked to cellulite: http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_m0FKA/is_8_64/ai_89379600/

There are literally thousands of teas to choose from...I invite you to try some and comment on the blog!


Blueberry Banana Protein Shake

Okay law kids...we are ALL busy, and yes, it is true, sometimes we don't have time to make a delicious lunch or breakfast...well look no further, I have a healthy, FAST solution for you! As some of you know, I have been on a running/health kick for a short time and protein shakes have really become a staple in my diet. Here is a simple one that has a bunch of substitutions that make many different options!

One Scoop or 4 tablespoons of EAS Whey Protein Vanilla (Why do I use this one? Well: 23g of Protein, 130 Cals, 3g of Carbs, 1g of Sugar and it tastes amazing!) You can substitute EAS Whey Protein Chocolate (also pictured) to get a different flavor...both are delicious and the nutrition facts are the same (or basically the same)! (p.s. they all come with a scoop, you may just have to search for it)...This protein is available at Harris Teeter in the Nutrition section.
1 Banana + 1 Handful of Blueberries (fresh or frozen)***
1/2 Cup of Ice (Optional--if you are going to use ice, I recommend putting that in the blender first and crushing the ice so that your shake doesn't end up being too icy and is more smooth--otherwise it will take awhile to blend to get it smooth and it may still have ice chunks in it).
1/2 Cup of Water (obviously the picture isn't necessary but I thought it was cute)

And VOILA! A yummy meal to take on the go! Power through law students!

***Feel free to substitute the blueberries with: strawberries, raspberries, blackberries, or a mixture!! I have tried it multiple ways and it is always delicious and filling!

Tuna Steak with Mustard Marinade
and Roasted Brussels Sprouts

This is actually quite a fast meal- I have no patience when I come home hungry, but this dish went from grocery store bag to plate in 25 minutes. I broiled the tuna in a toaster oven while the brussels sprouts were roasting, but you can grill the tuna or broil it in the oven.

Tuna Steak with Mustard Marinade

2-4 tuna steaks (can substitute salmon if desired)
Salt & freshly ground pepper to taste
3 tbsp. olive oil
2 tbsp. Dijon style mustard
1 tbsp. mustard seeds
1 tsp. ground cumin seed
1/4 tsp. red pepper flakes
1 tbsp. lemon juice
1 tbsp. orange zest
3 tbsp. melted butter
fresh chopped parsley to garnish

Sprinkle the fish with salt and pepper to taste. Combine the oil, mustard, cumin, red pepper, lemon juice, and orange zest in a flat dish. Whisk well. Place the fish in the marinade and coat well on both sides. Cover with plastic wrap and let sit for 15-20 minutes.

Remove fish, and grill or broil in a hot oven, 3 minutes each side. While cooking, melt the butter and add to the marinade. Keep the sauce warm. Once the fish is cooked, remove and slice diagonally. Spoon the mustard sauce over the warm fish.

Roasted Brussels Sprouts

2-3 cups brussels sprouts
Olive Oil
Salt and Pepper, to taste
Nonstick Spray (Pam, etc)

Preheat over to 400 degrees. Trim the ends off the brussels sprouts and halve. Spray the bottom of a rimmed cookie sheet with nonstick spray. Place the brussels sprouts cut side down along the pan. Drizzle with olive oil and cook for 25 mintues or until toasty.

ENJOY!! Recommended with wine :)

Low Fat Creamy Mushroom Pasta

photo courtesy of Bethenny Frankel's website
Hello Bloggers! So happy to be able to contribute to the blog. I made this for dinner last night and it was scrumptious! You can substitute greek yogurt for the sour cream to make it even less fattening if you would like (I used sour cream). A cream sauce with no heavy cream!?! Yes please! It was great and is brought to you through Bethenny Frankel, health food chef and star of the Real Housewives of New York (my other source of procrastination)!


  • 6 oz box whole wheat fettuccini or linguine
  • 12 oz mushrooms (Use two or more different kinds. I buy the ready-made slice baby bella or crimini mushrooms or gourmet blend of mixed mushrooms)
  • 4 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 large shallot
  • 2 tbsp butter
  • ½ cup low fat sour cream
  • ½ cup vegetable broth
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 ½ tsp truffle oil
  • ½ cup fresh parsley
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese

  1. Bring pasta water to a boil, seasoned with salt.
  2. In nonstick pan, over high heat spread out the mushrooms and the shallots with 2 tablespoons of oil. Sauté for approximately 5 minutes without touching or moving the mushrooms. Then flip them over and leave them sautéing for another 5 minutes. See below for tips on mushroom cooking*
  3. With tongs, remove pasta from water and add to pan and toss thoroughly.
  4. Add butter, low-fat sour cream, and vegetable broth, remaining olive oil, salt, pepper and truffle oil. Again, toss thoroughly.
  5. Top with parmesan to taste and sprinkle parsley on top.
*Don’t overcrowd the mushrooms in the pan; you don’t want them to get watery. The idea is to brown them. Do not add salt – add nothing. Salt makes them soggy and watery.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Pasta with Shrimp and Lemon Oil

Hello fellow bloggers and hungry law students!

Cooking has always been one of my favorite past times - unfortunately, the first two years of law school have really put a damper on my culinary practice. This is an easy recipe I make when I really want to eat something savory but don't have much time to spend in the kitchen. Enjoy!

For the lemon oil:
1/2 cup extra-virgin olive oil
1 lemon, zested

For the pasta:
1 pound linguine pasta or angel hair pasta
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 shallots, diced [shallots really make this recipe; you can substitute onion but it changes the flavor of the dish]
2 garlic cloves, minced
16 ounces frozen shrimp [I found that bigger shrimp works best for this recipe. You should cook the shrimp until it becomes pink and remove it from the stovetop - overcooked shrimp becomes rubbery and unsavory]
1/4 cup lemon juice (about 2 lemons)
1 lemon, zested
1 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3 ounces arugula (about 3 packed cups) [trust me on this - it really adds to the dish]
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

For the lemon oil:

Combine the olive oil and the lemon zest in a small bowl and reserve.

For the pasta:

Bring a large pot of salted water to a boil over high heat. Add the pasta and cook until tender but still firm
to the bite, stirring occasionally, about 8 to 10 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving 1 cup of the cooking
liquid. Do not rinse the pasta!

Meanwhile, in a large, heavy skillet warm the olive oil over medium heat. Add the shallots and garlic and cook
for 2 minutes. Add the shrimp and cook until pink, about 5 minutes. Add the cooked linguine or angel hair, lemon juice, lemon zest, salt, and pepper. Toss to combine. Turn off the heat and add the arugula. Using a mesh sieve,
strain the lemon zest out of the reserved lemon olive oil and add the oil to the pasta. The zest can be
discarded. Add some of the cooking water to desired consistency [this helps the texture of the pasta]. Add the chopped parsley to the pasta and toss to combine.

Serve immediately.

Sausage and Roasted Vegetable Penne!

In true slacker-law student fashion, I was wasting my Sunday morning/early afternoon watching the Food Network when I came across this recipe. The dish was enough to entice me out of bed and to Trader Joes for all the necessary ingredients. I don't eat red meat so I subbed in spicy chicken sausage instead. The dish was very easy to make. The only maybe slightly tricky part is timing it right. I roasted the veggies in the oven before adding them to the sauteed sausage, deglazed with white wine. Add the penne, top it off with some fresh parmesan, and it's a deliciously easy Sunday dinner!

Recipe courtesy Melissa d'Arabian of Food Network


  • 1 sweet onion, cut into wedges
  • 1 medium zucchini, sliced in 1/2 lengthwise
  • 1 red bell pepper, cheeks removed
  • 1/2 pound button mushrooms, stemmed
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
  • Kosher salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/2 pint grape tomatoes, washed and dried
  • 2 sweet or hot Italian sausages, thinly sliced or casings removed

  • 1/4 cup white wine
  • 12 ounces whole-grain penne, cooked according to package instructions, 1/2 cup pasta water reserved
  • Freshly grated Parmesan, for garnish


Preheat the oven to 400 degrees F.

In a bowl, toss all the vegetables, except the tomatoes, with 1 1/2 tablespoons oil. Season with salt and pepper, to taste. Arrange on a baking sheet and roast, until caramelized, about 30 minutes, turning vegetables halfway through the cooking time. In a small bowl, add the tomatoes and the remaining olive oil and toss to coat. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and add to the baking sheet, at the halfway point of cooking, to caramelize.

Meanwhile, in a large skillet over medium heat, add the sausageand saute until cooked through. Turn up the heat and deglaze with white wine. Once the vegetables are cooked, cool slightly, then coarsely chop. Add the vegetables and any pan juices to the sausage in the skillet. Toss in the cooked penne, adding reserved pasta water, if needed, to moisten. Season with salt and pepper, to taste, and serve in bowls topped with Parmesan


Hello. This is a blog devoted to sharing our kitchen creations as we count down the day until graduation. All bloggers are in their final year of law school law school and finding stress relief in cooking, baking, and eating. So join us as we put off studying, attempt new culinary endeavors, and share our (hopefully) delicious experiences. Bon appetit, bon cuisiner, bon tergiverser! (good appetite, good cooking, good procrastinating!)