There are two kinds of people in this world: those who eat to live, and those who live to eat. Our house is divided; my husband would just as well eat plain, grilled chicken every night. Me? I spend all day trolling magazines and food blogs for that one dish that will satisfy my taste buds until I get to cook the next meal.
During breakfast with special friends this morning, we were divided on the cook-or-eat-cereal-for-dinner conversation. Absolutely no judgement at K2.0 – there were plenty of nights when my husband traveled for business and my go-to dinner was a hunk of super sharp cheddar cheese, a slice of waaaaay over buttered, Pepperidge Farm, toasted, white bread, and a handful of green grapes. Salty, fatty, sweet and minimal prep. It checked all the boxes.
I’m the first to admit that cooking for one is not much fun. The pleasure of sharing a beautiful meal with a special person is the whole point, most days. I can’t help but wonder: How can people who hate to cook survive the Grab & Go Dinner, without sacrificing their health?
My answer: Rotisserie Chicken.
Building a simple meal around a pre-cooked rotisserie chicken is easy and it involves almost no work. If you are lucky enough to live near a health-conscious grocery, they will have a plain rotisserie chicken with no additives, no injected sodium solution, and no hormones.
Call around, ask your local butcher what they do to their “plain” chicken, where it comes from, and what is added to it. At K2.0, we’re all about the rotisserie chicken at Whole Foods. If you have a Whole Foods nearby, we recommend it for a quick meal that is clean and healthy. (Every Wednesday they are $2 off, as well!) The following is from the Whole Foods website:
Choose either traditional chickens regularly $8.99, or organic chickens, regularly $13.99.
•No antibiotics ever
•No added hormones
•No added solutions or injections
•Complete traceability to farm
Here’s some ways to enjoy a rotisserie chicken without ever turning on the oven:
Rotisserie Chicken Hacks
- 4 oz rotisserie chicken, white meat only, skin removed
- Hand Held: Place a few slices in half of 1 whole wheat pita, add sweet apple slices, a spoonful of plain non-fat yogurt or hummus, sliced red onion, and a few alfalfa sprouts. Sub out the apple for avocado.
- Chicken & Grain Bowl: Many markets offer grains on their salad bars. (ASK about additives and salt content!) If they have farro, quinoa or amaranth, consider adding them as the base of your bowl. Add chicken on top, and some fresh veggies or fruit.
- Chicken Dinner Salad: There are plenty of salad kits on the market, but it’s a healthier bet to pick up your own greens and fresh veggies. Fresh, peeled edamame or chick peas add fiber and bulk. For the dressing, stick to a little oil and a big splash of vinegar.
- Chicken Tacos: Char corn tortillas over the gas flame on your stove. Plate them with the chicken, some fresh veggies, mango or pineapple, a squirt of fresh lime juice or hot sauce, and top with fat-free plain yogurt.
- French Bread Chicken Pizza: Use a quarter of a whole wheat baguette, top with shredded chicken, fresh tomatoes, a little mozzarella, dried oregano, and broil. Garnish with fresh basil.
- Zucchini Spirals Chicken Salad: Pre-spiralized zucchini and yellow Summer Squash, fresh green beans, and cherry tomatoes. Toss in a bowl with shredded chicken, add oil, vinegar, and a Tbsp of Parmesan.
- Fruited Chicken Salad: Pick your favorite fruit. Toss with shredded rotisserie chicken, add goat cheese crumbles, 1 tsp olive oil, and brighten up the whole thing with a heavy squirt of lemon juice.