Chilli crab

Singaporeans love their chilli crab and as such we can’t go out and celebrate National Food Month in Melbourne due to the lockdowns that are happening.

So we brought Chilli crab to you. You can buy a mud crab in Footscray Market or Queen Victoria Market (yes, travel for food is essential and is allowed)! And the mantou and shallots you can buy them from an Asian grocer store.

Video courtesy of My Guide Network

How do I eat the Singapore chilli crab?

Eating it is really messy and you have to use your hands. Most restaurants will provide some sort bowl with warm water and a towel to wash your hands. They will also give you the other utensils such as the utensil to help crack the shells so that you can eat the meat.

If you are at home you need the utensil to crack the shell. You can buy it at many Asian groccery stores (they would be open under Stage 4 in Melbourne). And you would need some sort of bowl of warm water to wash your hands.

Most Singaporeans like it with mantou (which again you can buy it in Asian groccery shops). Mantou is stamed bread. They use the bread to soak up all the sauce.


Gumtree Goodfood

Gumtree Goodfood is a boutique place in South Yarra, Middle Park, and Albert Park. Here they sell the best items and before the Covid19 they used to let everyone taste stuff. We loved tasting the wines and now when restrictions are lifted I would love to go back there and buy a bottle just for myself at home.

Here they sell the freshest food and the nicest cheeses. Pre Covid19 they let everyone try the cheeses and the wines. The wines were really lovely and are all local

They not only sell fresh food but they sell pantry goods and ready made meals. I loved buying snacks and other sundries from there.

Do support them as they need your support. They only stock the best food around and they support local producers,.


Four ways to fight food waste

I was inspired by Creative Impact group’s article. Eat Fresh and feel good has written about this issue saying that the UK wastes about 800 pounds per year per household. In Australia we waste $20 billion per year, yet we have so many poor people who could do with that food

Give away food that is usable

Pantry goods is what the poor would want. I have often given away to Ascot Vale Little free Pantry on a few occasions. The poor could do with some free food during these hard times

Get creative with your food

And use up all your leftovers when you can

Foodwise will help you there. You go there and you click on the ingredients that you have and they will help you find some recipes. Supercook is another website.

In these challenging times we have been at home lots and we have had lots of leftovers. Thus this means no spending money when you don’t need to. We have use up all of our leftovers in days.

Make use of reusable lunchboxes and other sustainable ways of keeping food in the fridge.

Many places might offer discounts for people that use reusable lunchboxes. If you bring yours in you can get a discount. You can buy them online and support your favourite business in the process

YOu can buy beeswax wraps which will last longer and will keep you food fresh for longer in the fridge. You can buy these online and support small business in Victoria. They are made out of organic cloth so it is washable.

Eat smart when you go out

For example you can try Lentils as Anything. They use fresh vegetarian and vegan ingredients to make the best meals ever.

Or if you like to go to mainstream restaurants order a kids sized meal if you have a kid’s sized appetite. And then you won’t waste so much food.


Grow your own vegetables and herbs

Now that Covid is here and people can’t always afford vegetables and herbs. You can grow your own in your garden if you have.

This will be good for those that are in lockdown and are looking for something to do. Gardening is great for mental health.

You will save heaps of money on buying herbs and vegetables. The herbs that you grow in your garden tastes so much better than the ones that you get in store. The herbs that you grow are fresher and have no pesticide spray to them. And its the same for vegetables that you grow.

These are easy to grow and they will last a few years. But you will need some space to grow them. If you live in an apartment block why not have a shared vegetable and herb patch? You would just need to get the landlords permission to do so.

You can buy all the seeds and seedlings from your local nursery. If it’s your first time you could get some advice from the nursery staff about what to grown and when to grow them. You would need to make your own planter and you can buy the materials for that from your local hardware store. Bunnings have some great advice on how to do this.

Oh, and you will need the discipline to water them most days. But now that you are home you can do so. And you can watch them grow. Watching them grow gives you sheer happiness.


Penne pasta with tomato and bacon

This recipe is part of the $120 food challenge.

I love a simple pasta dish for dinner. Now you can use the penne pasta that you got in your Woolworths box or you can buy penne pasta for $2 at Woolworths and Coles. You can use the canned tomato sauce from the box if you like. You’ll also need some bacon.

Now you cook the pasta according to the directions on the packet.

This recipeis from Inspired cooking

Enjoy.


Cooking with Barilla pasta

Barilla pasta is so easy to cook with . Right now during the pandemic I have seen ads for it where they have advertised some live cooking class.

Barilla has many different types of pasta. Over the years I have tried lots of different dishes and love them all. My favourite one would have to be Spaghetti Carbonara as its sooo cheesy. The last time this was made we used the feta cheese that we got from Cheaper buy miles. The peas were from Birds Eye.

We made this when we were in lockdown. And to this day its still a very cheap dish albeit the bacon. Bacon can be a little bit pricey so if you can, buy it on special. Barilla’s pasta is about $2-$5 at the supermarket

We followed all the packet directions on the Barilla spaghetti to cook the pasta. Add to that you’ll need a small frying pan and your bacon and onion should be diced. We added the cheese at the very end.


The Happy Apple

The Happy Apple is a grocery store in Union Road Ascot Vale where they sell lots of unique items that I cannot find in supermarkets.

Photo by John Finkelstein on Pexels.com

During these crazy weeks of Covid19 I have been making some small trips there to buy my snacks and drinks at the end of my runs. Exercise is an essential activity that can be done outside and the Government has allowed this. So I have been ramping up my marathon training this way.

Here I once bought a mango lassi and it was low fat and very nice. Other times I have bought a protein ice cream and orange juice made by the Happy Apple. This juice has no added sugar to it.

Do come by the Happy Apple when you can. Do support small business. They also have another store in Seddon for those that live out west.


How to incorporate a healthy diet during Covid

Most of you will be in lockdown right now (or part lockdown) which means staying at home and not doing a lot of exercise. Where I live I can still do exercise outside.

Your daily intake of food should be around 1800-1900 calories each day. Make sure that you get in your 30-35 servings of vegetables a week and about 14-21 servings of fruit during the week. Add in your lean proteins and carbs and you’re good to go.

Ideally this should be five meals a day. This should be two snacks and three meals in a day.

Plate sizes- how big should my portion be?

For ladies- no bigger than one palm for meat and grains and no bigger than half the plate full of vegetables. Your fats should be one thumb size

For males- no bigger than two palms for carbs and two of meat (but if you’re trying to lose weight, just go for one) and half your plate should be full of vegetables. Your fats should be one thumb size.

Sugar

Its best to avoid added sugar at all costs if you can. Added sugar just adds fat to your waistline. Eat too much of it and you’ll feel the effects of sugar such as tooth decay and weight gain. Not to mention insomnia. Eating fruits is ok as they are natural sugars and they are good for you

Hydration

Its important to stay hydrated throughout the day. I would go for 3-4L of water which can include herbal tea. If you don’t like plain water why not add a bit of fruit to it? Or you could drink it with apple cider vinegar.


Easy vegetarian frittata

This Frittata is perfect for four people and it includes potatoes and eggs. There is no meat in this and it can be a perfect side dish with meat. This recipe would be great for the Coles Cook with Heart campaign which aims to reduce the risk of heart disease.

This recipe was from Coles website as it was a part of the cooking challenge

Ingredients

  • 6 baby Red Royale or baby white potatoes, thinly sliced
  • 1 cup (120g) frozen peas
  • 8 Coles Australian Free Range Eggs
  • 80g goat’s cheese, crumbled
  • 120g pkt Coles Australian 4 Leaf Salad

Method

STEP 1

Heat a greased 20cm (base measurement) ovenproof non-stick frying pan over medium heat. Add one-quarter of the potato. Cook for 1 min each side or until light golden and tender. Transfer to a plate. Repeat in 3 more batches with remaining potato.

STEP 2

Meanwhile, cook the peas in a medium saucepan of boiling water until tender. Drain well.

STEP 3

Lightly whisk the eggs in a medium bowl. Season.

STEP 4

Preheat grill on medium. Arrange half the potato over the base of the frying pan. Top with half the peas and half the goat’s cheese. Continue layering with the remaining potato, peas and goat’s cheese. Pour over the egg and gently swirl the pan to cover the potato mixture. Cook over medium heat for 6 mins or until almost set.

STEP 5

Cook under grill for 5 mins or until just set. Cut into wedges. Serve with salad leaves.


Top 10 emergency foods to have on hand

This article was written for the Coronavirus where many countries are struggling and their people might be in a lockdown. The lockdowns last about 6-8 weeks. In Australia we are really lucky that our lockdowns involve trips to the supermarket

But here is our list. You can mix and match the foods that you have to your liking. Our list is full of the foods that you’ll need to survive and stay nourished without putting on much weight.

  1. Frozen fruit and veg- it’s a good idea to stock up on the fruits and veg at the market or green grocer and then keep some of it in the freezer. They last up to a month or two. You can make smoothies and meals out of them. Even better if you have a veggie patch where you can pick your veg each day.
  2. Canned veg and tomatoes- this is good for soups and sauces such as bolognaise. You should have enough to get you through the lockdown
  3. Rice- you need some sort of carbs to get through the day. About 2 bags of 10kgs of rice will be enough for the lockdown
  4. Canned meat and tuna- we need to have our proteins each day. Get a variety of different meats and things.
  5. Soup stock- this will be good for making all sorts of soups when you need it
  6. Cooking oil- you should have about 5L which is enough to get you through the lockdown and safely on the other side of the pandemic
  7. Flour- you should have about 5-10kgs of flour for making bread and cakes and things like pasta
  8. Long life milk- this will come in handy if you want to make a whole range of things like pancakes and sauces for meals. Plus it is good for the bones. Get about 12 cartons of 1L milks to last you. These can keep for about 6 months.
  9. Frozen meat and fish- you should have enough to last you about 3-6 weeks. Frozen proteins can keep for a while in the freezer. You just have to defrost what you’ll need each day
  10. Herbs and spices- you should already have a whole thing of them and if you are lucky you might just grow them in your garden