Use these nutritious recipes to incorporate the ‘rule of threes’ on your plate

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Like several cooks, I viewed a ton of cooking exhibits through the pandemic. My display of option: all 18 seasons of “Hell’s Kitchen area.” Aside from persistently berating his chefs and ejecting them from his kitchen, Gordon Ramsay orchestrated worries intended to improve a unique place of the contestants’ culinary know-how.

A person certain challenge intrigued me, and I before long replicated it in my very own kitchen. Ramsay’s contestants spun 3 wheels, each individual one containing substances separated by group: proteins, greens and starches. No make a difference how irrational the combination was, the contestants had to spotlight those three components to Ramsay’s benchmarks.

I’m not sure how generally halibut, eggplant and lentils have been utilised with each other, but this was 1 of the many odd combinations I fabricated from my randomized ingredient range. Not only did this instruct me how to prepare dinner with confined foods selections, but it transformed my viewpoint about the foods I keep in my pantry, fridge and freezer, and eventually what foodstuff to provide collectively.

In faculty, I have discovered to learn the “rule of threes” when it comes to productive food prep, locating a few of the healthiest, most long-lasting food items that will simplify anyone’s 7 days.


Here are a couple of ways I blend and match various proteins, veggies and starches at Syracuse College:


This is a classification I believed would obstacle me the most at college. I am a pescatarian, restricting my solutions to seafood, which can be much more costly than regular meats. Even so, I have implemented a excellent offer of wide range when it arrives to proteins by means of the use of meat alternatives these kinds of as tofu and tempeh.

For fish, I advise acquiring it frozen and in large batches given that it can past in the freezer for in excess of a month. The identical ideology applies when food prepping with meats. Ideally you want to uncover your two beloved fish I are inclined to use a leaner white fish — cod or flounder are simple alternatives — and a thicker filet like salmon, my preferred. Canned fish like tuna and salmon are also quick options to cooked proteins, and they are effortless to retail store since they really don’t expire for years.

Tofu is also an underrated protein that I prepare dinner about 2 times a 7 days. I want to use it above tempeh because it arrives precooked, so all I do is both lower the tofu into cubes or scramble it into more compact chunks and get it wonderful and golden brown. A tofu press is a wonderful, fingers-no cost way to drain your ideal tofu portion.


Stocking up on a vast assortment of vegetables will make your food prep much easier. There’s no will need to overload on the freshest deliver — some rot promptly — and you definitely never need to have far more than eight to 10 forms of veggies in your fridge. Just like the proteins, it’s crucial to know which to acquire fresh new and which are alright to retail store in the pantry or in the freezer.

The two musts for fresh new veggies are spinach and lettuce owing to their versatility and because you normally do not have to cook dinner them. Bell peppers are a close 3rd, but they get a small more time to chop and clear. For heartier vegetables like carrots and broccoli, you can go for contemporary, frozen or canned. (Yes, canned, freeze-dried broccoli exists!) Both of those can be eaten uncooked, and they are easy to prep out of the freezer because you can just toss them on to the stove or into the microwave.

Beans and corn are best when canned, as are environmentally friendly beans and other lighter, smaller sized greens, which very last a tiny around a 7 days when raw.


Starches take the longest to cook dinner, but they are the easiest component to keep in the fridge and to cook in massive batches. They also present a nutritional benefit to any food that is frequently forgotten by faculty students. Whether you’re cooking rice, quinoa or even potatoes, each and every key starch demands a very identical cooking method.

Rice and quinoa — the most straightforward and most flexible starchy bases and sides to fulfill any food — are cooked just the same way, just with different cooking times. Quinoa requires the minimum amount of money of time on the stovetop. To last myself a week, I usually prepare dinner 3-fourths to 1 cup of quinoa. The exact same goes for rice, and I also like to combine them with each other.

For quinoa, the quinoa-to-water ratio I use is 1 cup of quinoa for every 1 3/4 cups of h2o. For rice, I use 1 cup of rice for each individual two cups of water. Incorporate the grains and h2o to a medium-sized pot and deliver the combination to a boil. When it’s boiling, cut down the warmth to very low and allow it simmer right up until cooked, normally when the h2o is absorbed and the grains have expanded. The taste test is commonly a reputable checker for doneness — the grains must be smooth and moist but not a mushy regularity. As soon as finish, switch off the heat, clear away the pot from the incredibly hot burner and let steam for no for a longer period than 10-12 minutes.

With these 3 meals groups, the opportunities of different meals are limitless. They each and every differ in cook dinner moments and flavor and can be interchangeable with nearly any protein, vegetable or starch. In this article are some of my go-to recipes to try for yourself:

Pan-seared halibut with broccoli and rice
– Pat halibut dry and time with salt and pepper. Also, oil and warmth a medium-sized skillet to medium-superior heat.
– Place halibut on the pan and cook for about three to 4 minutes on just about every aspect. Prepare dinner halibut until agency and golden brown.
– In the meantime, prepare dinner frozen broccoli in the microwave to offer specifications or on the stovetop until eventually defrosted and warm.
– Reheat rice in the microwave for 30-40 seconds.

Pan-seared salmon with sauteed asparagus, brussels sprouts and quinoa
– Chop brussels sprouts into thirds and snap off challenging finishes of asparagus. Increase to an oiled, medium-sized skillet more than medium significant warmth.
– In the meantime, consider out a pre-thawed salmon filet and pat dry with a paper towel and time with pepper.
– Clear away greens once they have some colour and are softened.
– Incorporate a lot more oil to the pan, if vital. Salt the salmon and right away position pores and skin-side down on the pan. Prepare dinner for three minutes on every single side — include or subtract a minute for thicker or thinner filets.
– Enable it relaxation for one to two minutes then provide.

Shallow fried tofu salad with quinoa
– Chop lettuce and spinach into the size of your deciding upon and insert to bowl
– Coat the base of a pan with oil, and heat above a medium-higher flame. Chop a third of a tofu block into cubes and period it with salt and pepper.
– Insert the tofu to the pan and rotate across all sides to arrive at a crispy, golden brown exterior. Once all sides are golden brown, flip off warmth and area tofu cubes on a paper towel to dry. Immediately salt tofu.
– Reheat quinoa in the microwave for 30-40 seconds.
– Mix components in the bowl and provide.


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