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No doubt the most unsavory cut on the subject of attorneys and edibles is the Irish chestnut, “The Devil makes his Christmas pie from lawyers’ tongues.” Flavia J. Tuzza, a practitioner of the law and gourmandise, aimed to lighten things with her newly released cookbook, “LegalEats,” from Writers Club Press, an imprint of the Internet publisher iUniverse.com. Lawyers may have bucketloads of stress on the job, and mere dribbles of time for personal life. But it doesn’t mean they must rely on “disgusting take-out junk food,” Tuzza said. It takes just as much time to dial up the greasy spoon and wait for the delivery guy to show up as it does to prepare something nice and clean, Tuzza suggests. And even if a lawyer is stuck at work, she noted, many firms nowadays come equipped with kitchens. So, no excuses! But by no means is Tuzza’s book a culinary screed. Certainly not with all the reprints of New Yorker magazine cartoons about lawyers, and recipes for such things as “Habeas Hummus,” “Client’s Chicken Breasts Florentine” and “Slanderous Shrimp Fra Diavolo with Penne Pasta.” Eating should be a healthful pleasure, Tuzza said, adding that she does not consider such a proposition to be an oxymoron. “I’m very fussy and finicky about what I eat,” she said. “But I don’t want to spend hours and hours in the kitchen, especially after work.” Tuzza’s recipes are indeed quick and nutritious. “I took some favorite things I’d grown up with, and sort of downsized them.” They can be prepared in minutes. Many dishes can be made several days in advance. All of them call for fresh vegetables, herbs and meats; olive oils for taste (save for “The Bench’s Biscotti,” where butter is a mitigating circumstance); and low-sodium broths. THREE-COURSE THEME The cookbook offers variations on a three-course theme: “Opening Statements” (appetizers, soups and salads); “Main Arguments”(entrees and casseroles); and “Closing Statements” (desserts, muffins and breads). “Most people, including lawyers, want to improve their eating habits,” said Tuzza, a former New York litigator associate with the firm of Zerin & Cooper, which ceased operations in 1993. In the mid-1980s, she married (a nonlawyer) and moved to suburban Atlanta, where she now practices real estate law. “But they’re busy professionals on the go, without much time for cooking,” she said. “If I can develop healthy habits, anybody can — with a little thought,” said Tuzza, who discovered some years ago that she had high cholesterol. “I just started making a few minor adjustments, a few substitutions and improvements. And they made a dramatic difference without altering taste, which is very important to me,” she said.

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