College Kitchen: Down with the sickness

Heal with meals.

The combination of dried rose hips, ginger, brandy, lemon juice, honey and water makes this warm drink the perfect cure for sickness.

Image by Bridget Bennett

The combination of dried rose hips, ginger, brandy, lemon juice, honey and water makes this warm drink the perfect cure for sickness.

by Lucy Nieboer

Kleenexes are strewn in a crumpled trail from one end of the room to the other. The trash can is overflowing with empty bottles of fever-reducers and bags of cough drops. The glow of old “Spongebob Squarepants” episodes flickers from a laptop. From under the twisted covers on the bed, a shivering lump of a student whimpers and sniffles.

Being sick and alone is one of the worst feelings in the world. Modern drugstore remedies are great, but they can only do so much to treat the symptoms. To get to the heart of a bug, it’s crucial to mend the body from the inside out. For common wintertime maladies, Dr. Kitchenista recommends a dosage that goes above and beyond orange juice and chicken noodle soup.


Spicy Rice

Breaking the fever is the first step to a full recovery. This spicy, salty combination will make you break a sweat and spark the few taste buds that aren’t totally out of commission.


1 jalapeno pepper

1 teaspoon cayenne pepper

2 cloves garlic

1/2 small onion

1 cup frozen peas

1/2 green bell pepper

1 teaspoon olive oil



1 cup rice

1 cube chicken bouillon

2 cups water

To begin, remove the seeds and chop the jalapeno carefully. Avoid coming in direct contact with the hot pepper and use the plastic bag from the grocery store as a makeshift glove while you chop. Dice the garlic, onion and green pepper. In a medium sauce pan, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the chopped vegetables and peas. When the onions are soft and translucent, add the water. When the water begins to boil, add the spices and bouillon cube. After the bouillon has dissolved, add the rice. Cover and cook for about 20 minutes. Let the rice sit for five minutes, and fluff. Top with hot sauce for an added kick.


Vitamin C Smoothie

Vitamin C doesn’t just protect from the nasty viruses lurking on every bathroom door handle and communal keyboard, it also helps restore your immune system once the germs have struck. With this smoothie, you can make a quick recovery and get back on your feet. The cool concoction will soothe your throat with sour notes of citrus and a sweet, icy blend of banana and mango.


Juice of 1/2 grapefruit

1 cup fresh orange juice

2 tablespoons honey

1/2 cup frozen mango

1 frozen banana

1/2 cup ice cubes

Juice all fruits. Put everything in a blender. Blend on high until smooth. Slurp pitifully out of a crazy straw.

Adapted from “Joy the Baker,” Super Citrus Smoothie.


Ginger Drink

Ginger has been used for centuries to suppress coughs and other respiratory ailments. Rose hips, packed full of vitamin C, were used during WWII as vitamin supplements when citrus was in short supply. These tried and true ingredients, when brewed into an intense tea, provide a lovely backdrop for the lumberjack’s cure all — brandy. This drink will have you back to class (if a little tipsy) in no time.


1/2 cup dried rose hips

3 1-inch pieces raw ginger

1 shot brandy

2 tablespoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon honey

2 cups water

Add ginger to water. Add rose hips. These can be purchased in the bulk section of a natural foods store. Bring water to a boil. Reduce to simmer. Simmer until water is reduced by half. Add brandy, honey and lemon juice. If you’re too ill to go to work or school, enjoy the opportunity to drink in the middle of the day.


Release the near-empty bottle of Nyquil from your clenched, clammy hand and pick up some tricks in the kitchen to quickly beat your bug. Godspeed.