Total Prep time:
2.5 hours with whole uncooked chicken
*1 hour 15 minutes with pre- cooked rotisserie chicken*
3.5 pound whole chicken
2 - 4 oz steaks
3 heads of broccoli
2 yellow squash
1 bag or bundle of spinach
2 cups brown rice
1 can low sodium black beans, drained and rinsed
4 -1oo% whole wheat pitas
2 cups of quick oats
4 cups low sodium chicken broth
Salad dressing of your choices
Salt and pepper
1. Set racks evenly apart in the oven (to cook both chicken and vegetables the last 20 minutes). Preheat oven 415 degrees . Remove chicken from packaging, drain off any liquids, and place in cooking dish. Drizzle generously with olive oil, salt, and pepper. Place in oven and cook for the first 20 minutes at 415 degrees, then reduce temperature to 350 degrees. For this 3.5 pound chicken it cooked for for 1 hour and 20 minutes. You will base your prep schedule on the chicken cook time so be sure to calculate an estimated cook time based on the weight of your chicken before you begin preparing other dishes. A rule of thumb is approximately 20 minutes per pound, but as always when cooking chicken check temperature with thermometer and chicken is done when internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
2. While the chicken is cooking. Wash and chop vegetables placing squash on one sheet and broccoli on the other. Wait to season the vegetables until closer to cook time. The vegetables will be added to the oven the last 20 minutes of the chicken cook time. To season drizzle with olive oil, salt, pepper, and increase the oven temperature to 415 degrees.
3. Next cook the rice. In a large pot add 4 cups chicken stock and 2 cups brown rice, bring to a boil then reduce heat to low. Cover and cook for 35- 40 minutes.
4. At this point the chicken likely still has at least an hour of cook time so if desired use this time to prepare other foods for the week. Options include cooking hard boiled eggs, chopping single serve fruits or vegetables, preparing instant oatmeal packets, or planning next weeks meal prep. As pictured I prepared oatmeal with 1/2 cup oats, 1 tsp brown sugar, 1/2 tsp of cinnamon, and 2 tbsp. raisins or crushed walnuts. I also use this time to clean up any mess and dishes used thus far.
5. As the chicken has ~ 40 minutes left to cook work on the steaks. Season each steak with steak seasoning or other seasoning of your choice and cook over stove top or outdoor grill. Remove from heat and allow to cool. While the steaks are cooking open black beans, drain, and rinse then set back in the can.
6. Once the chicken nears completion with ~ 20 minutes left increase the oven temperature to 400 degrees, season the vegetables and place in the oven to cook. While the chicken finishes and vegetables are cooking set out all your single serve containers and begin to fill with prepared foods.
7. Remove chicken from oven and check temperature with meat thermometer (make sure it reaches an internal temperature of 165 degrees). Remove from cooking juice onto a new plate to cool. Remove vegetables and allow to cool.
8. While chicken is cooling begin assembling single serve containers with beans, brown rice, spinach, and steak. Once chicken and vegetables are cool add to the meals.
4 Meals - Black bean + Broccoli + brown Rice + chicken
2 Meals - Spinach salad + roasted yellow squash + steak
2 - Meals Chicken + Spinach + Roasted broccoli + chicken + 100% whole wheat pita
4 Meals - Oatmeal with cinnamon + raisins or walnuts + (Add milk or milk alternative when ready to serve)
*The bulk of this meal prep time is spent cooking the chicken to save time use a store bought rotisserie chicken. If using a pre-cooked chicken skip the first step. start your meal prep by preheating the oven to 415 to heat up for the vegetables then cook the rice. From there proceed to step 2 and continue with the meal prep eliminating or portions of steps that pertain to cooking the chicken.