Using Staple Items to Keep Your Tummy Full During COVID-19 Isolation.

By April 16, 2020 No Comments

Are you trying to reduce your visits to the shops during the pandemic of COVID-19? 

Use your pantry staples to create delicious meals. Canned fish, canned beans/legumes/vegetables, rice, pasta and cereals are great options for creating budget-friendly meals that are easy, filling and the whole family will love. 

In Australia a significant amount of our main meals consists of meat and three vegetables; however, these foods are not sustainable for prolonged periods of time in our fridges (generally one week).  If you’re looking for some food items that are ‘everlasting’ in freshness and meal opportunities, find a list below of food items and example recipes that will assist in this unique and transitional time of food storage, preparation and consumption. 

Some of the most basic staple foods are listed below. Many of these items are likely to already be in the back of your pantry collecting dust for some time. Now is your chance to blow the cobwebs off and put these fantastic food resources to use!

– Oats
– Honey
– Flour – Self-raising and Plain
– Butter
– Pasta 
– Rice 
– Potatoes
– Eggs 
– Canned goods 
– Sauces (pasta sauce, cheese sauces, pesto, curry) 
– Long-life milks 
– Dried fruits, Nuts and Seeds 
– Dried herbs

You can basically buy anything in a can nowadays; potatoes in a can? Really?


 My favourite, most used canned items are listed below: 

– Tuna 
– Kidney beans 
– Chickpeas 
– Vegetables – Corn, peas, tomatoes 
– Canned fruits (pineapple, pears, peaches) 

I have crafted some nutritious and filling recipes to try at home:


Jacket potatoes with tuna, corn and herb filling (serves 1) 


1 small potato, scrubbed

½ cup canned corn 

1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil

1 x 185g cans tuna in flavoured oil (of choice), drained, flaked

1 tablespoon mixed dried herbs 


Step 1 – preheat oven to 200C Grease a baking tray

Step 2 – Pat potatoes dry with a paper towel. Pierce all over with a fork. Place around the edge of a microwave turntable. Microwave on HIGH (100%) for 4 minutes or until just tender (see note). Transfer to prepared tray. Drizzle with oil. Season well with salt and pepper. Roast for 25 to 30 minutes or until golden and tender. Stand for 5 to 10 minutes or until cool enough to handle

Step 3 – Using a small knife, cut a cross in the top of each potato. Gently squeeze the base of the potato to open top. Place on plates. Top with tuna and corn 

Step 4 – Serve sprinkled with dried herbs


Fried rice (serves 4)


250g Long grain rice 

3 tbsp olive oil 

1 onion 

4 eggs beaten 

1 can corn 

1 can peas



Step 1 – Cook the rice following pack instructions, then drain, spread it out to steam-dry and set aside.

Step 2 – Heat 2 tbsp of the oil in a large wok over high heat, then add the onion and fry until lightly browned for around 5 mins. Add the rice, stir and toast for about 3 mins, then move to the side of the pan.

Step 3 – Add the remaining oil, then tip in the egg mixture. Leave to cool a little, then mix in with the rice – stir vigorously to coat the grains or, if you prefer the egg chunkier, allow to set for a little longer before breaking up and stirring through. 

Step 4 – Add canned vegetables until warmed through. 

Step 5 – Serve


Tuna and chickpea patties (makes 8 patties)


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 x 400g cans chickpeas, drained, rinsed

2 x 95g canned Tuna in Springwater

1/4 cup plain flour

1/4 dried mixed herbs 

1 egg, beaten



Step 1- Heat a tablespoon olive oil in a frying pan on medium. 

Step 2 – Add drained and rinsed can chickpeas to a bowl with drained and flaked tuna, 1/4 cup plain flour, 1 beaten egg and dried mixed herbs

Step 3 – Heat a frying pan on medium and spray with oil. Shape mixture into eight patties, chill patties for 15 mins if possible.

Step 4 – Cook patties for 3-4 mins each side, until crisp and golden. Drain on paper towel. 

Step 5 – Serve.


Oats with dried fruits and seeds (serves 1)


1 cup rolled oats

2 cups long-life milk of choice

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

Pinch of salt

1/2 cup dried fruit/seeds and nuts of choice



Step 1 – Combine oats, milk, cinnamon and salt into a small saucepan and turn heat to medium/high.

Step 2 – Bring to a boil. Then, turn the heat down to low/medium and continually stir for around 3-5 minutes as the oatmeal cooks and thickens.

Step 3- Once oatmeal is at the desired consistency, remove from heat, add dried fruit, seeds/nuts of choice and serve immediately. (You can also add a little drizzle of honey if you like your oats on the sweeter side)

Honey oat biscuits


125g butter softened 

3 tablespoons honey

1-cup flour, self-raising 

1-teaspoon cinnamon

1 1⁄2 cups rolled oats

2 tablespoons sunflower seeds (or any seed of choice)



Step 1 – Cream butter and honey until pale.

Step 2 – Sift flour and cinnamon together. Add sifted ingredients and rolled oats to creamed mixture, stirring well.

Step 3 – Roll tablespoonsful of mixture into balls.

Step 4 – Place on a greased oven tray and flatten with a floured fork.

Step 5 – Bake at 180C for 15 minutes or until golden and transfer to a rack to cool.

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