Rock Weeknight Dinners Like a Super Star


I am always worried about how well my kids eat, it’s part of being a parent, right? Especially on weeknights when we are all pressed for time and dinners are often the last thing to do on an already long list. Enter Rotisserie Chicken! This versatile and convenient food is packed with flavour and nutrition, and will help you manage weeknight dinners like a rock star.

I was recently invited on CHCH Morning Live to share tips on how to rock those hectic weeknight dinners. The conversation went from tips to ease weeknight dinners to the pressure that is on parents to cook meals from scratch. On top of that, consider nutrition, flavour and of course no repetition.

“I want to eat something interesting, Mom”.

Of course the definition of “interesting” changes every day. Kids, huh?

You can see how the TV segment went if you scroll down, but in the meanwhile here’s how to ease those stressful weeknight dinners. Buy a rotisserie chicken from the grocery store. It’s a lifesaver because it cuts down on meal prep time and helps get dinner on the table quickly. Crazy school night quickly. And you get brownie points for variety!

Rotisserie Chicken – are they all the same?

Here are a few things to look out for when buying your chicken:

  • Read the label – as few (or no) additives or complicated ingredients. Pick the one with the shortest ingredient list. Less is definitely more when you are buying a rotisserie chicken.
  • Compare the sodium content – this is the big one and thankfully it’s easy to spot. We can all do with less salt in our diet.
  • Check the date. Pick a rotisserie chicken that is made fresh daily and has not spent hours sitting under a heat lamp.

What can I do with the Rotisserie Chicken

Yay! You bought the rotisserie chicken. Now what?

Shred it first. Rotisserie chicken is best shredded while the chicken is warm or at least at room temperature. Discard the skin if you are looking for a lower fat option.

Store what you will not use immediately. Divide the chicken in 2 to 3 containers. If you think you may not use it all within 3 days, freeze one container. The rest can stay in the refrigerator.

Make chicken broth. Use the bones. Put it in a stockpot with enough water to cover it. Add a few cloves of garlic, a bay leaf, some peppercorns, roughly chopped celery and carrots. Simmer gently for about an hour. Skim the froth and store it. You can use this broth to add flavour to your gravies, soups, rice or pasta. It’s full of nutritional benefits. And you are reducing food waste. This is worth repeating again and again.

Buying a whole chicken is a way more earth-savvy choice. It means less wastage at farms and the processing plant. If you take it one step further and use the bones for broth or stock, then there is less food wasted in your kitchen too. Winner, Winner, Chicken Dinner!

What about the shredded chicken? The options are endless! You can add it to salads, wraps, tacos, fajitas, rice bowls and curries. I even mash it up with lentils and make these fritters. All these options make for great weeknight dinners and even school snacks. All you need are vegetables and lentils to round off the plate.

I love that we can reduce food waste, make a healthy, delicious plate and ease the stress around weeknight dinner with such little effort. And it’s almost homemade, right?

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About Puneeta

Author, Educator, Speaker

Puneeta is a writer, food advocate and guide for those who seek earth-friendly, delicious solutions that work for real life.

Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma, Food Writer, Climate Advocate, New cookbook - Good Food, Healthy Planet - out April 2024
Puneeta Chhitwal-Varma
Photo by Diana Muresan
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