The Ralph Nader and Family Cookbook: Classic Recipes from Lebanon and Beyond by Ralph Nader
“As dining at home moves toward necessity, we can look forward to a cookbook release next month by Connecticut’s own consumer advocate and political activist Ralph Nader. The Ralph Nader and Family Cookbook: Classic Recipes from Lebanon and Beyond is due out April 7 and features family recipes from the Winsted native whose family owned the Highland Arms restaurant.”
—The Republican American
“Talking to Ralph Nader about his new cookbook, you can’t help but wish you’d been around the dinner table when he was growing up in Winsted with his brother and two sisters. Not only did they discuss important life issues, but the whole family enjoyed healthy, home-cooked Lebanese cuisine.”
—The Danbury News-Times
“The food that really impacted Nader’s life–and his future career as a crusading advocate for fresh, healthy food–was the Lebanese food that his mother cooked at home, and that she insisted that everyone in her family eat, together at the table, while they discussed the issues of the day.”
—The Lakeville Journal
“Sharing a wide variety of dishes, along with personal commentary from Nader, this book allows the reader a rare glimpse into an important aspect of Nader’s childhood.”
—Princeton Alumni Weekly
“Nader’s parents owned and operated a restaurant called the Highland Arms in Connecticut, where they served classic American food by day, but they mostly ate Lebanese food at home, and here Nader shares many of his mother’s traditional Lebanese recipes for hummus, tabouleh, and kibbe (meatballs formed from onions, bulgur, and ground lamb), along with some surprising dishes, such as a creamy apple parsnip soup with cardamon, baked eggplant stuffed with ground lamb and pine nuts, and a light and lemony apple cake.”
Included in Publishers Weekly‘s Cooking & Food Adult Announcements for Spring 2020
Ralph Nader is best-known for his social critiques and his efforts to increase government and corporate accountability, but what some might not know about him is his lifelong commitment to healthy eating. Born in Connecticut to Lebanese parents, Nader’s appreciation of food began at an early age, when his parents, Rose and Nathra, owned an eatery, bakery, and delicatessen called the Highland Arms Restaurant. The family eschewed processed foods and ate only a moderate amount of lean red meat.
Nowadays, the Mediterranean diet is considered one of the healthiest on the planet, but in the 1930s and ’40s of Nader’s youth it was considered by many Americans as simply strange. Luckily for Nader and his siblings, this didn’t prevent their mother, Rose, from serving the family homemade, healthy meals–dishes from her homeland of Lebanon. Rose didn’t simply encourage her children to eat well, she took time to discuss and explain her approach to food; she used the family meals to connect all of her children to the traditions of their ancestors.
The Ralph Nader and Family Cookbook shares the cuisine of Nader’s upbringing, presenting Lebanese dishes inspired by Rose’s recipes that will be both known to many, including hummus and baba ghanoush, as well as others that may be lesser known, such as kibbe, the extremely versatile national dish of Lebanon, and sheikh al-mahshi–“the ‘king’ of stuffed foods.” The cookbook includes an introduction by Nader and anecdotes throughout. The Ralph Nader and Family Cookbook will entice one’s taste buds, while sharing a side of Ralph Nader that may not be commonly known, though will not surprise anyone familiar with his decades of activism and involvement in consumer protection advocacy.