Use-It-Up Meal Plan! Pork Chops, Quesadillas, and Fried Rice

Wondering what to do with leftover ingredients? This meal plan is all about creating tomorrow's delicious meals from the remains of last night's inspired creation! This week, we're focusing on pork chops, quesadillas, and fried rice.

The joy of cooking can lead to the headache of using up half of a leftover pepper from one meal, the broccoli from another, and a quarter head of cabbage from that slaw you made last week.

Sometimes we just don’t have the mental energy to figure how to reinvent all of those lingering parts and pieces. The 3-day meal plan below is meant to help you make some great meals and use up your odds and ends in the process.

I start this week with a robust dinner of cabbage and pork chops, and follow it up the next day with quesadillas–which can be customized to whatever you have lying around. The quesadilla recipe calls for broccoli, but you can easily add spinach, black beans, or that half an avocado you have 30 seconds to use before it goes bad.

I round out the meal plan with vegetable stir fried rice. Toss in the remaining cabbage from your pork chop dinner and any broccoli left over from the quesadillas along with any other odds and ends you might have lingering in your fridge. Crack a couple of eggs and dinner is done! You can even add left over pork if your heart desires!

Let the recipes be your guide not your dictator! Consider this mini-meal plan our ode using things up.

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Pork Chops in a Skillet

Juicy pork chops cooked with cabbage and apples in one skillet make this dinner a weeknight win! It takes 20 minutes to prep, but the remaining time is hands off and you only have one pan to wash.

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Cheddar Quesadillas with Broccoli

These kid-friendly quesadillas are perfect for people who want a quick dinner or have littles at home. Take the flavor up a notch by making the pico de gallo. Save the leftover vegetables for tomorrow’s fried rice. (Also, make your pot of rice tonight so that it's ready for tomorrow's meal!)

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How to Make Vegetable Fried Rice

Use up the leftover cabbage, broccoli, and pico ingredients in tonight’s Vegetable Fried Rice. Toss in anything else you have laying around. Don’t feel like you have to stick to the vegetables listed. Celery, green beans, and onion are also great additions!

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Summer Miller

Summer Miller is the Senior Editor for Simply Recipes based in Nebraska. Her work has appeared in Bon Appetit, Eating Well, Grit, SAVEUR, and Every Day with Rachael Ray, among others. Her first book is New Prairie Kitchen (Agate Publishing, 2015).

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