Author: VicHealth in partnership with Nutrition Australia. VicHealth works with health promotion experts to create a Victoria where everyone can enjoy better health and wellbeing. Last updated: 25 Aug, 2020

Popping out to the shops is not as simple as it once was, so having some pantry staples on hand will help you answer the question ‘what’s for dinner?’.

Any coronavirus information mentioned is accurate at the time this blog was ‘Last updated’ (see above). For the most up-to-date information about coronavirus restrictions, please visit the source: www.coronavirus.vic.gov.au

 

Certain supermarket items are worth their weight in gold when it comes to both meal options and bang for buck. Limiting the number of times you go to the shops to slow the spread of coronavirus is just one of the many reasons to have these pantry staples on hand.

 

Don’t panic if you can’t find the exact ingredients you need

 

Pantry staples are all about keeping your options open.

 

If you find yourself having to go to the supermarket again and again to get specific ingredients for specific meals, check out this recipe swap factsheet from LiveLighter for ideas on some simple swaps you can make if your local supermarket has run out of the item you need.

 

Then the next time you’re writing your shopping list, remember these trusty staples and try one of the delicious, healthy meal suggestions below.

 

Learn about some pantry staples that can help you cut down on shopping trips – during coronavirus and beyond.

Image of rice 3 ways

 

Rice is a staple in many different dishes. A serve of cooked rice is around one quarter of your plate, and there are many ways rice can be enjoyed.

 

  1. As a side dish to curries, dahl or stir fry.
  2. With added spices, sultanas and nuts to make it the star of the dish.
  3. With vegetables and fried egg to make a delicious fried rice. 

4. Don't have white rice?

Try brown rice or cous cous instead.

Remember, pantry staples are all about keeping your options open.

Use this recipe swap factsheet from LiveLighter for more ideas on swapping recipe ingredients for what's available in your cupboard or at your local supermarket

 

Ready to get started? See the stir fry recipe in the video below and get more rice recipes at www.cookwelleatwell.org.au.

 

Lentils

image of lentil loving meals

Lentils are cheap to buy either canned or dried, making them a great pantry staple!

 

We love lentils and you should too! Why?

 

  1. Lentils keep you fuller for longer
  2. Lentils are a plant-based source of protein and a fantastic alternative to meat
  3. Lentils are super easy to cook

4. Don't have lentils?

Try chickpeas, kidney beans or split peas instead.

Remember, pantry staples are all about keeping your options open.

Use this recipe swap factsheet from LiveLighter for more ideas on swapping recipe ingredients for what's available in your cupboard or at your local supermarket

 

Ready to give lentils a go? Check out the lentil dhal recipe below, or head to www.cookwelleatwell.org.au to watch more quick how-to videos or download the recipe cards with written instructions.

 

 

Flour

image of flour 3 ways

There’s a lot to say about the humble packet of flour. A staple in most kitchens, flour is inexpensive, easy-to-use and incredibly versatile. It can be used to bake bread, thicken sauces, mix into muffins and so much more.

 

Here we have three quick recipes that taste great and are simple to make:

 

  1. First, 5-minute flat bread, the quickest addition to your next meal.
  2. Next, hearty zucchini and corn fritters, the easiest way to use up leftover veg
  3. Lastly, oozy cheese and vegetable muffins, a delicious afternoon snack.

4. Don't have flour?

For fritters and muffins try oats instead. There are also other types of flours like almond, coconut, spelt or chickpea, but you’ll need to look at the cooking instructions for them as they’re a bit different to plain white flour, which is made from wheat.

Remember, pantry staples are all about keeping your options open.

Use this recipe swap factsheet from LiveLighter for more ideas on swapping recipe ingredients for what's available in your cupboard or at your local supermarket.

 

Check out the savory muffin recipe below, or get all the latest flour recipes at www.cookwelleatwell.org.au.

 

 

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About the tips and recipes from Cook Well Eat Well

Cook Well, Eat Well is an initiative led by VicHealth and Nutrition Australia to promote healthy eating in Victoria during the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic. This website contains a range of free healthy eating resources for organisations working to support Victorian communities. This includes recipes, videos and factsheets with a focus on simple and easy to digest information.

 

Have a coronavirus question?

For all coronavirus questions visitwww.coronavirus.vic.gov.au or call the Victorian Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS) hotline on 1800 020 080.