Roast Two Juicy Whole Chickens
To have enough chicken for the week, roast two birds at once. Slather both with olive oil and salt/pepper; stuff one with halved lemons and the other with fresh thyme and a head of garlic cut in half. Roast at 375° till the thighs register 165° (50–60 minutes). Serve 1 breast with rice/quinoa and fresh spinach sautéed with garlic/onion.
SMART MOVE: Buy loads of spinach, make extra rice, and chop tons of garlic/onion to use all week.
Toss It into a Veggie-Rice Bowl
In a bowl, mix fresh spinach, chopped garlic/onion, warm brown rice—it’s super-filling and has a great nutty flavor—and a breast’s worth of chunked chicken (steam them in a pot, or nuke the rice and sauté the chicken in a nonstick pan with 1 tsp olive oil). Toss in your choice of walnuts/almonds, tomato, canned beans, or dried cranberries. Top with vinaigrette.
SMART MOVE: Make the world’s easiest vinaigrette: olive oil, balsamic or red wine vinegar, Dijon mustard, and a little honey, shaken then stored in the fridge in a smoothie shaker!
Stir It into a Robust Stew
Sounds crazy, but using V8 juice* as a stew/soup base is fast and incredibly tasty. Boil small potatoes in a large pot; drain half the water. Add V8, chicken stock, chopped celery, avbag each of frozen peas, corn, and green beans, and half a can of chickpeas. Sauté chopped meat from drumsticks and wings with garlic/onion, and add to pot; simmer 10 minutes. Feel free to spice it up with cumin, coriander, chili powder, and/or sriracha. Top with sour cream or grated cheddar.
SMART MOVE: Don’t skimp on celery—it adds major flavor (especially the leafy tops, if you can find them).
Whip Up Some Glazed Thighs
Warm 2 thighs in a nonstick pan with garlic/onion (or scallion). Add low-sodium soy sauce, sesame oil, rice vinegar, ground ginger, and a pinch of sugar. While it cooks (about 10 minutes), steam leftover rice in a pot, then add fresh broccoli to steam as well.
SMART MOVE: Super short on time? Buy some low-sodium teriyaki sauce and thin it with rice vinegar.
Mix it with Pasta, Cheese & Greens
It doesn’t get much easier than this. Make linguine or another pasta; drain all but a cup of the water from the pot when it’s done, add chunks from one chicken breast, olive oil, lemon juice, ricotta (it has the most whey protein of all cheeses), Parmesan, and fresh spinach. Heat for about 2 minutes.
SMART MOVE: Make a big batch of salad with spinach, onions, and mushrooms and use it all week to add to pasta, sauté for scrambled eggs, etc. To keep it fresh, layer paper towels over it, close it, and set it upside down in the fridge. Replace towels every two days.
Stack It On an Italian-Style Sub
Toss a sliced chicken breast with sliced peppers and onions, olive oil, balsamic vinegar, dried basil or oregano, and salt/pepper. Brown a split roll (like ciabatta) under the broiler, then layer on the chicken mix, tomato, and mozzarella; re-broil till the cheese melts (3–4 minutes). Top with basil leaves or pesto sauce (we like Buitoni, from the grocery’s cold case).
SMART MOVE: Freeze extra pesto in an ice cube tray, store the cubes in a freezer bag, and use them as you need them.
Finish It off in a Zesty Chowder
In a pot, mix a bag of frozen corn, rosemary, chopped garlic and onion, diced red pepper and green onion, salt/pepper, and chicken stock. Simmer for 15 minutes. Use an immersion blender to purée the soup till some (not all) is smooth and thick; stir in 1/4 cup of yogurt. Chop 2 chicken thighs and heat in a pan with olive oil, garlic, and chili powder. Add that to the soup and top with sour cream or yogurt.
SMART MOVE: Choose red peppers over green—they have twice as much vitamin C as green.