Let’s face it: even as someone who loves to cook, my weeknight meals need to make a lot of sense with my schedule in order for that end of the workday ease to be felt.
I plan out my weeks – grocery lists, recipes – so that the meals are delicious but also make my life easier, have ingredients that work together, and create leftovers that can be eaten for lunch and repurposed. A big piece of that is minimizing food waste, recycling ingredients, and not having loads of odds and ends in my fridge at the end of the week that sit there.
Note that this week’s menu contains meat, and it can be made dairy-free and gluten-free quite easily. Happy cooking, and tag me in your photos when you try these recipes!
The OG of meal prep for the week, a roast chicken is the literal gift that keeps on giving. We’ll use the meat throughout the week in soups and salads (and it can be eaten on its own of course), and use the entire carcass to make stock.
Don’t forget to consult my compost guide throughout the week to know what you can and cannot save – the leftover chicken bones post-stock cannot be sent to your local compost site.
This gorgeous golden yellow chicken broth is not only explosive with flavor (think turmeric, ginger, star anise) but so healing for your gut and body as a whole. You’ll use that whole chicken carcass from the roast chicken, and add some aromatic veggies too (save them after – I always eat them). This broth can be drunk on its own (I love a mug in the morning for breakfast or as an afternoon snack), but the bulk of it will be used for our next recipe.
You didn’t know chicken soup could be this good. We’re building on our last 2 recipes and bringing it allll together in this epic winter soup that’s both comforting and out of this world flavorful. You’ll shred some of your leftover chicken (I like the breast meat in this), and use up the rest of that celery, plus use up all of the celery leaves in your garnish too. Don’t skimp on the crunchy chili oil – you’ll want leftovers to drizzle over your eggs for breakfast the next morning.
Kale always feels like a fall and winter salad staple to me, and I love that this hearty recipe can be your dinner or a quick weekday lunch before diving back into work. It hits all of the notes with nutty hazelnuts, sweet and sour pomegranate seeds, creamy feta, and some farro for heft. Add the rest of your shredded leftover chicken here too, if you so desire.
To make it gluten-free, sub out the farro for quinoa. Cut the feta if you’re skipping dairy. And use up the rest of your pomegranate seeds the next day over your oatmeal or Greek yogurt.
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