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Southwest Orange Thursday, Jul. 29, 2021 11 months ago

Summer School Zone: Sunday gratitude dinner and recipe

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Windermere Prep student Asha Sharma shares about her family's Sunday tradition and explains how to make lemon-garlic chicken.
by: Guest Writer
Asha Sharma, Windermere Prep

By Asha Sharma, Windermere Prep 

When you have a family tradition, it can lead to many positive results. Family traditions help create nice memories, build better relationships and give family members conversations to which they can look forward. Food and gratitude can be important elements in some family traditions because it brings everyone together. 

In my family, we have a tradition of sharing what we are grateful for every Sunday night during dinner. It really doesn’t matter what food we eat. At some point during the meal, each family member discusses some of the events in the week for which they are grateful. By doing this, we feel more connected with one another. We try to make Sunday dinner feel special by eating at a different table than our regular dining table or even a different place in the house. Once, we had a picnic and sat in front of the fireplace. Some Sundays, we may order takeout, pizza or make something simple. It’s not about the meal but about being together.  

When you express gratitude, you receive many benefits. Some of these benefits are better moods, being more mindful and strengthening family relationships especially in times of stress. When you are mindful, you are more present and feel more connected to your family. When you are grateful, you are focusing on positive things and not negative things. Just like food is important for your body, gratitude is important for your mind and soul. Also, I like to hear my family talking about gratitude because it makes me feel happy. When my family talks about what we’re grateful for, it feels soothing and like love is in the air. This is why we made our Sunday dinner a gratitude dinner.   

Usually, my mom is the one who makes the family dinner, but to show my gratitude, I will make dinner this Sunday. I will make a delicious lemon, garlic chicken with mashed potatoes and carrots. It’s an easy recipe, and I will show you how to make it, too. It really doesn’t matter what meal you are eating. What matters is that you are spending time with your family, being grateful and having a great time.

Lemon, Garlic Chicken with Mashed Potatoes and Carrots

Serves: Four           

Prep Time: Eight to 10 minutes      

Cook Time: 30 minutes

INGREDIENTS:

  • 4 chicken breasts
  • 1 lemon (cut half in slices and squeeze the juice from the other half)
  • 5 to 6 small potatoes
  • 2 teaspoons of garlic powder
  • Any type of oil 
  • 2 teaspoons Italian seasoning 
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 1/2 tablespoons of butter
  • 4 carrots
  • 2 tablespoons of honey

METHOD

  • Preheat the oven to 400 degrees.
  • Wash, peel and cut the carrots into circles about ½ an inch thick. 
  • Wash, peel and cut the potatoes into halves.
  • Add the potatoes to salted, boiling water.
  • Melt the butter in the microwave for 20 seconds and then add the garlic powder to it.
  • Put the carrot slices onto a tray and drizzle the honey and ½ teaspoon of oil on it.
  • Toss the carrots around and season the carrots with salt and pepper, to taste.  
  • Using a paper towel, pat the chicken breasts dry.
  • Cover the chicken breasts with wax paper and pound it to 1/4-inch thickness. 
  • Put the chicken breasts in a large pan, and brush the chicken breasts with the garlic butter sauce.
  • Season the chicken with lemon juice, salt, pepper and the Italian seasoning. Add the lemon slices on top. 
  • Put the chicken in the oven for about 30 minutes or until cooked through.
  • Put the carrots in the oven for about 15 minutes, until roasted. 
  • Meanwhile, reserve 1/2 cup of the potato liquid and drain the rest, leaving the potatoes in the pot. Before you mash the potatoes, put the pot on a low simmer.
  • Slowly add dashes of the potato liquid as you mash the potatoes. 
  • When the potatoes are mashed, add salt and pepper to taste. 
  • When everything is cooked, serve on a plate and enjoy!

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