Roasted Chicken with Carrots

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Money, Money, Money!

A hot topic when you’re trying to eat healthier is MONEY! How do you stay within a reasonable budget and feed your family well? It is not as hard as you may think; there are tons of creative ways to save money and stretch your dollar at the store. Healthy food doesn’t have to be expensive or pretentious. We’re about to get real here and talk… budget.

One of my favorite ways to save money is to buy a whole chicken. I roast it, we have leftovers for days, then I make broth with the bones. For our family of three, we can have four meals from one six pound chicken. Guess how much I paid for my last six pound chicken? $4.74!!! It was on sale for $.79 a pound! Add a $.79 bag of carrots and some potatoes (on average 2-4 dollars per five pound bag), and you’ve got a few healthy meals for under ten dollars! *insert happy dance here*

So was my cheap chicken organic and pasture raised? Unfortunately, no. While I want to be able to buy everything grass fed/pasture raised/organic, we are simply not able to do so on our budget. My husband is an E5 in the Marine Corps, and I am currently staying at home with our daughter; right now, we have a tight budget, but I am doing the best I can to feed our family healthy, real foods.

Don’t guilt yourself if you can’t afford to shop at Whole Foods, or if you have to dig through the “reduced” bin at the store; you’re doing the best you can for your family. What do you think is healthier: a “regular” chicken from the grocery store, or a bucket of Colonel Sanders’ chicken? The answer is obvious, and, actually cheaper! (4.74 vs a 20 dollar 10 piece bucket)

The bottom line is just do what is right for your family. If you can afford grass fed beef, pasture raised chicken, and organic produce, that’s wonderful and I’m a little jealous, but you should buy it! If you can’t, get what you can afford! I shop at our base commissary, Walmart, and Aldi; I use coupons, I buy in bulk (I bought a ten pound bag of chicken leg quarters yesterday for $5!), and I shamelessly dig through the “reduced” bin of frozen meat. All to save us money while still eating healthy. You know how people ask what you would do if you won a million dollars? Well, I would go to the grocery store and NOT get out my calculator! Big spender!

Okay, enough talk about budget, let’s get to the chicken. Some ideas for leftovers: shred and add sauces (like hot sauce or BBQ) to top baked potatoes or salads, make sandwiches, or chicken salad! Then be sure to save the bones for a nutritious, low sodium chicken broth for all the soups you’ll be making this fall! This chicken is simple, healthy, and cheap, and it makes the perfect centerpiece for either a weeknight or a nice Sunday meal. Add some of my Roasted Potatoes or Creamy Whole30 Mashed Potatoes for the side, and if you want more veggies other than carrots, try my Crispy Brussels Sprouts. There you have it; a simple, budget friendly, healthy, complete meal!

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Roasted Chicken with Carrots

Serves 10. 

Ingredients:

  • 5-6 pound chicken
  • One lemon, cut in half
  • One head of garlic, cut in half widthwise
  • Two stalks of celery, cut in half
  • 1/4-1/2 tbsp kosher salt (I use kosher because it makes a better crust on the skin)
  • 1/4-1/2 tbsp pepper
  • 1 tsp dried rosemary
  • 1 tsp dried thyme
  • 6-8 large carrots, quartered lengthwise

Directions:

  • Preheat oven to 425 F
  • Set quartered carrots on the bottom of a 9×13 baking dish
  • Season with a little salt and pepper
  • Remove giblets and neck from bird, if necessary
  • Dry inside and out with paper towels
  • Season liberally inside and out with salt and pepper
  • Stuff the cavity with lemon, celery, and garlic
  • Season the outside with the dried herbs
  • Tie the ends of the drumsticks together with twine and tuck the ends of the wings into the bird
  • Set on top of bed of carrots
  • Roast for 70-90 minutes, until meat thermometer reads 165 degrees F
  • Baste with juices
  • Let rest for 10-15 minutes

You will feel so fancy roasting a whole chicken, and it truly is a great way to save money. Not to mention, delicious! Feed your family well, keep your budget on track…and enjoy your pinch of crazy!

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