It’s much easier to stick to healthy eating when we have a plan. By roasting an organic chicken at the beginning of the week—and spending just a few minutes planning—you can stretch leftovers into 4 more healthy meals. Don’t forget to make the meat go farther by incorporating lots of veggies!

First, start with the best chicken you can buy: Switching to Organic eating allows us to avoid harmful chemicals that can accumulate in our bodies. It’s especially important to buy organic meat products because pesticides, hormones, and other toxins concentrate in animal tissue and travel up the food chain, to us. Organic livestock is fed an organic and non-GMO diet, raised without antibiotics and hormones, and given access to outdoors and sunlight—making them healthier for us to consume.

Meal 1: Roasted Chicken with Potatoes and Broccoli

My favorite way to roast a whole chicken is the Spatchcock method (removing the backbone and butterflying the bird). Preparing the chicken this way reduces cook time to about 45 minutes, and ensures that all of the skin gets nice and crispy.

To prepare:

1. Place the chicken breast side down on a work surface. Starting at the tail end, cut along both sides of backbone with kitchen shears (a sharp serrated knife can be used if you don’t have kitchen shears). Open the chicken and push down on the breasts to flatten.

2. Separate the skin from the breasts just enough to put a pat of butter between the skin and chicken breast. Rub additional butter over the rest of the chicken, and sprinkle with salt, pepper, and your favorite herbs

3. Slice baby potatoes and onions and add to a pan with a sprinkle of salt and herbs. Place the chicken over the top (I like to add the organ meats to the pan and place the chicken directly over them. They can be eaten with the chicken or finely diced and added to a soup later in the week).

4. Roast at 450 degrees for about 45 minutes, or until the thickest part of the breast reads 165. Carefully transfer chicken to a cutting surface and allow to rest for 5-10 minutes before carving.

5. While the chicken rests, pour some of the pan juices into a separate pan and cook the broccoli.

Tip: roast the backbone that you removed and the chicken neck so you can add them to the rest of the bones for making a bone broth later.

Meal 2: Chicken and Spinach Salad with Bacon

Serve some of the leftover chicken meat over a fresh spinach salad with sliced pears, red onion, bacon, and blue cheese. Adding lentils or chickpeas will make the salad more filling by adding fiber, protein, and healthy carbs.

Meal 3: Chicken Broth Soup with Beans

Prepare bone broth with the chicken bones, and use it as the base for a bean soup. The broth will provide minerals and some protein, and adding beans gives the soup a hearty feel without meat. I like to finely dice the organ meats from the roasted chicken and add them to the soup at the very end, before serving.

Organ meats are a concentrated source of vitamins, minerals, healthy fats, and essential amino acids. By finely dicing them, you can “hide” them in the soup and stretch every ounce of nutrition from the chicken.

Meal 4: Tahini Chicken Salad

Dice up some of the leftover chicken and use it in place of tuna in this Tahini Tuna Salad Recipe!

Meal 5: “Fried Quinoa” with Chicken

Using quinoa in place of rice bumps up the nutrition in this classic Asian comfort food dish. The high protein levels found in quinoa along with the eggs allow you to use less chicken and still end up with a satisfying, protein rich meal. Get the recipe here.

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About the Author

Allyson Meyler

Allyson Meyler cooks, photographs, and eats the recipes found on her blog Reclaiming Yesterday. After struggling with her own health issues—and becoming frustrated with the Western medical system—Allyson took it upon herself to search for healing. She found relief through diet and lifestyle changes, and became a strong believer in food as medicine. She now shares her recipes and experiences through her blog in hopes to inspire others to get into the kitchen and take control of their health—and to eat some delicious food along the way! Follow along on Instagram and Facebook.