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Dana Pollan's Family Cookbook Encourages Healthy Eating

The Pollan Family Table, a cookbook coauthored by alumna Dana Pollan 80F, her sisters Lori and Tracy, and her mother Corky, was recently featured in the New York Times and Wall Street Journal.

Hampshire College alumna Dana Pollan 80F and her family have always loved cooking and sharing recipes with each other. She and her two sisters—Lori and Tracy—are busy mothers with children to feed, and sometimes get stuck trying to come up with new ideas for dinners.

Pollan Family Table

They all turn to their mother, Corky, for recipes she made when they were growing up. Finally, they decided to collaborate on a book, which became The Pollan Family Table.

This was the first cookbook the Pollans have written together. The process involved a lot of hard work, including writing, editing, and testing recipes. “We were surprised that our writing styles were so similar,” Dana says. “Often when we would go back to edit chapters, we couldn’t remember who wrote what.”

The book contains over 100 recipes, which inspire healthy eating and the use of fresh, local ingredients. Dana cites the Supreme Crispy Quinoa Vegetable Burgers as her current favorite recipe from the book, and says her kids love the Citrus-Roasted Chicken with Grand Marnier.

In addition to healthy eating, The Pollan Family Table also encourages families to eat and cook together. Dana describes how nowadays there are a lot of forces pulling families away from each other. Busy schedules and the distraction of social media prevent children from eating with their siblings and parents. By eating together, a family becomes closer. “The family meal is where we listen to others, express opinions, and wait to take turns—all of which are extremely important for developing social skills,” she says.

Her experience at Hampshire, where she concentrated in literature and psychology, has had an important impact on Dana’s life: “The learning process at Hampshire is so project-driven and collaborative, and the Divisional program is all about self-discipline and motivation.” These aspects of her Hampshire education helped her with her first career—co-founding the Pollan-Austen Fitness Center in New York City—and with writing The Pollan Family Table.

Dana is a full-time mother and lives in New York City with her husband and three children. She is working with her sisters and mother on a Pollan Family Table blog. They are also working on collecting recipes for another book.

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