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Eating well during COVID-19

Building our capacity to feed ourselves healthy nutritious food on a budget is an amazing opportunity.

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Post date: 24th April 2020

By Eric Bittner – Wangaratta GOTAFE Café Supervisor

People are pivoting right now during ‘The Great Pause’. During this time, we can either look at the problems, or the opportunities. Building our capacity to feed ourselves healthy nutritious food on a budget is an amazing opportunity.

It’s a chance to learn new skills, question the old ways of eating and re-write the food rules. I don’t need to create the content for you. So many talented foodies are giving their knowledge and skills away for free in a hustle to sell their brand, products or to just survive.

For a start go look at Jamie Oliver’s series Keep Cooking and Carry On or Adam Liaw’s Quarantine Cooking tips will take things a little further than these guys do. They make it all look glossy and beautiful. But home cooking is not always like that. All that matters at the end of the day is that the food is good for you, your bank balance and fills your tummy.

Right, here we go...

Stock your staples

Having some staples in your cupboard is a good place to start. Think eggs, oats, rice, pasta, flour, potatoes, onions and rice noodles. (But hey, this doesn’t mean you need to panic buy these things!)

Pasta is a great staple to stock up on

Fill your fridge with basic flavours

Fill your fridge door with some basic flavours that make your staples tasty; chutney, kimchi, , sriracha, chilli paste with soya bean oil (my fav – makes fried egg and rice a tasty meal), BBQ, tomato or HP sauces, mayonnaise and kewpie too.

Sauces are a great flavour to add to meals

Get your protein set

Go for the cheap cuts of meat and find the bargains. Mince is a given, chicken – Ilike thighs as they have more fat and fat carries flavour, and look for the eye fillet at Aldi – it is the tail of the fillet that restaurants don’t want. Add to the mix cheese, yogurt and legumes (always good to have a few tins of chickpeas or fourbeans mix in the cupboard).

Almonds great for protein

Pimp your pantry with veggies

If everything else is stocked, then you’ll just be restocking veggies. Buy veggies that keep, like cauliflower, carrots, broccoli and capsicum. You don’t even need to go out to a supermarket now as local groups like the Wangaratta Farmers Market have an online store.

Learning to purchase, cook and eat local produce is a skill for life. Connecting with a community of farmers also gives you knowledge of what grows in our climate and may inspire you to grow your own too.


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