One roast chicken, six ways

I'm back at uni for the year, starting my Master in Nutrition and Dietetics this semester (yay!) and that means more time studying, and less time making money, and complicated meals. But that's ok, because with some planning it's still quite simple to make healthy meals that are quick and easy, but also relatively cheap. Throughout March I will be showcasing some cheap eats, that are also healthy, easy and tasty, starting with a roast chicken that was transformed in to six different meals throughout the week. I used an organic, free range chicken from the farmer's markets that was 1.7kg and $17, and I used this for 12 meals which is around $1.40 per meal which is definitely a cheap protein source in my books.   

I hope to show you that if you cook a roast dinner on Sunday evening, you don't just have to eat the same thing for the whole week. This is what puts many people off, but it's actually really easy to mix it up and create a different meal everyday, your only limitation is your imagination!  

1 - Roast chicken with paprika, thyme and lemon. 

A roast chicken has to be one of the easiest things to cook, simply wash chicken with cold water, pat dry with paper towel. Rub some olive oil and herbs, spices, salt and pepper on the skin, and squeeze lemon juice on the skin then place the lemon in the chicken cavity. Place into a 180° celsius oven, and cook for 1 - 2 hours or until the juices run clear from the chicken. Stand, covered for 10 minutes and then carve. There are countless seasoning variations, or you could just keep it simple with olive oil, lemon, salt and pepper. 

Serve roast chicken with your favourite roast veggies, and some greens for a balanced meal. 

2 - Veggie bowl with roast chicken. 

Slice up whatever veggies you have on hand, and arrange nicely in a bowl with some chicken and some pesto (or could use hummus or just a salad dressing) and you have a veggie bowl :) Cooking some starchy veggies (potato, sweet potato, corn, peas) at the beginning of the week will make this super easy.  

3- Shredded cabbage salad with corn and roast chicken. 

Similar to this shredded cabbage salad with poached chicken, corn and avocado, but I just replaced the cucumber, capsicum, herbs and avo with carrot and some black sesame seeds. A little more simple but still delicious.

4 - Roast chicken, cheese and veggie sandwich.   

You can use any combination of veggies, your favourite cheese, and the bread type and amount that you like, and then toast your sandwich or have it fresh. I toasted a piece of burgen rye, topped it with pesto, tasty cheese, grated carrot, roast chicken, cucumber, and basil for decoration, delicious!

5 - Roast chicken, pesto pasta. 

Cook pasta, defrost veggies, and shred chicken, then mix with pesto and voila easy as chicken pesto pasta. Using wholemeal or high fibre pasta is a healthy swap with the traditional white pasta too. 

6 - Roast chicken, veggie and brown rice soup. 

The chicken carcass with leftover chicken still attached can be used to make a hearty chicken soup, with a rich flavour. Here is a great Jamie Oliver recipe that I found, I simply used onion, carrot, celery, brown rice and rainbow chard to make my roast chicken soup. You can also make chicken stock with the leftover chicken carcass, and then freeze it for when you have a recipe that requires it. I froze the chicken soup that I made because it was too much for me to eat at the time, so it will make a great easy dinner in the weeks to come.   

What are your favourite ways to use leftover roast chicken?