Breakfast ideas from the Woolworths box

We have gone back to isolation times which means that people are poor. So we wanted to talk about the Basics box and give you some ideas for breakfast with it.

plate with tasty breakfast placed on edge of white table
Photo by Polina Tankilevitch on

Woolworths’ Basic Box Ingredients




Toilet paper

Soap (or other hygiene products)


Long-life milk (or a dairy substitute)

Fruit juice

Weet-Bix, oats (or breakfast cereal)

Crackers (or similar)

Spread (jam, Vegemite, honey or peanut butter)

Lunch and dinner

Pasta (or rice, lentils, noodles, quinoa, couscous)

Pasta sauce (or similar)

Canned tuna (or other canned meat)

Canned items – soup, vegetables and fruit

Baked beans (or similar)

Tortilla bread (or similar)



Biscuits (or chocolate wafers, sweet snacks)

Muesli bars (or dried fruits)

Listed above are the contents of the box. It is $80 but Woolworths get no part of the profit. And the delivery is included

Some ideas for breakfast

  • Breakfast crepes
  • Baked beans on toast
  • Oatmeal with milk and dried fruits (or canned fruits)
  • Toast with jam and tea
  • Plain pancakes with just jam
  • Weetbix and milk
  • Waffles

Periods don’t stop for pandemics

Last week was Menstrual Health day and I got the idea from Bethan Taylor-Swaine who talked about this day on her Facebook page.

Photo by cottonbro on

Here in Australia some of the vulnerable and poor people don’t have access to period products and at the Kensington and Ascot Vale little Free Pantry people have been getting these products. In March Share the Dignity does these drives. The price of period products has been going up. Per year they would cost between $400-$700 altogether. Factor in food and rent and bills and some people would not be able to afford them. Last March people went crazy stockpiling pads and tampons and left none for the poor.

Periods don’t stop for those that are poor. Those that are poor risk staining their underwear and outer clothes. This in turn embarasses them and people think of them as dirty.

Poor people also don’t have access to clean water. Poor people also don’t have access to health services in the world right now.

Actions needed right now:

  • Donations would be appreciated everywhere. If you can, put some pads in a little free pantry somewhere.
  • Ongoing interventions to tackle period stigma. We need more free access to health services. Hopefully during this crisis the Government would spend more money on the homeless and this can be a part of the money that they spend on women’s health.
  • More access to clean water and washing facilities all over the world. In third world countries people don’t have access to clean water. Hence they always smell.

Chinese hotpot

The Chinese love their hotpot and everywhere around the world there are some restrictions about going out due to the Coronavirus so I thought I’d talk about it here.

Image courtesy of r/food on Reddit

You can easily make this yourself with you and a few friends. All you need is a few ingredients such as some meats, tofu, Chinese vegetables, fishballs, beefballs, seafood, rice vermicelli, noodles and rice. Outside in the Chinese restaurants it costs $30-$40 per person. But you can get all this at the markets for about $40 for four people.

This dish would go down well during Winter. Right now it is nearly Winter in Melbourne. During lockdown if you live with four people you can bond well over a Chinese hotpot cooked at the table. You would need a huge pot and electric stove, four bowls of rice, wooden chopsticks for cooking the food, small bowls of soy sauce, chopsticks and a small plate to put food on.

This recipe is by Yunzhu Hu and we use this recipe instead there is no spicy soup base as the flatmates don’t like a lot of spice.

You can have a lot of fun doing this dish and bonding together as a group at home.

Homemade sticky rice

The Chinese Zongzi is the one that I mean. You have this at the Chinese Yum Cha. But now that the restaurants are closed due to Coronavirus, you can make it at home

This is a great winter dish. Here it takes a few hours to make and doesn’t cost much. You can make many of these to eat for when you come home late from work. You can freeze some of the pouches. It takes about half an hour to cook on the stove but you can relax whilst its cooking.

Here you’ll need the dried lotus leaves, rice, and other goods that you can get from your local Asian grocery store (note: they are classed as an essential good here in Australia and are open).

Here is a recipe from Happy Wok. This is the one that I use.

Healthy fats and oils- how much should we eating

These are tough times that we can help each other. We should help each other out during this time.

Photo by Elle Hughes on

This is the question that I get asked a lot. This topic is brought to you by Dietician Connection. Our Australian dietary guidelines are a bit out of date. The Australian olive oil industry is lobbying the government for the health star rating to appear on their extra virgin olive oil. People don’t know the difference between the oils. Extra virgin olive oil contains 73% of unsaturated fat. Olive oil among with other fats like fish are good for heart health and can reduce the risks for cardiovascular disease. Olive oil reduces the amount of oxidation of bad cholesterol that we have in our system. America is known for their fatty lifestyles.

The dietary guidelines don’t allow for the amount of olive oil for people to have to get the health benefit. Nuts is also a conflicting food.

A tablespoon of olive oil is good for heart health. It helps to lower blood pressure. We should consume this about 3-4 times a week. You can add olive oil to salad dressings, in pasta dishes, some fish dishes and bread and butter. You can even make olive bread.

Fish is another healthy fat that you should eat three to four times a week. You can have canned tuna or you can steam fish whole. I love all kinds of fish. Salmon is great with eggs in the morning. Eggs is another healthy fat that you should have once in a while.

So don’t be scared of eating the good fats. Its the bad fats that we should be scared of such as trans fats. If you are out in the supermarket make sure that you choose the correct brand- we love Moro and Cobram Estate olive oil as they taste great and are good for the heart.

Chicken curry with Masfoods

I got this packet of Vegetarian curry for free at one of the Asian festivals in Crown last year and it had been sitting in my pantry for quite some time. During this coronavirus lockdown we decided to use it. The curry is non spicy and has a bit of msg and oil in there. Malaysians are known for their oily curries and food.

Masfoods is a Malaysian brand that does curry pastes and sauces. Here we tried the curry with noodles and rice (we made two-three meals out of the curry). The one with the noodles tasted so much better as the curry had been sitting for one day after we made it.

Chicken curry is a good Winter’s dish and seeing as we are coming into Winter do give chicken curry a try with Masfoods. You can find the Masfoods pastes and sauces at your local Asian grocery store.


Daiso is a Japanese department store and they are all over Melbourne. Almost everything here is $2.80. Well almost everything.

Their range changes from month to month but the categories of things they sell is the same.

You can buy your kitchenware and your grocery needs. Here they have a range of assorted items from Japan. I tried a milk tea and it was a little too earl grey for me. This tea reminds me of earl grey and Teh tarik. I have also tried their range of Japanese snacks and it was all good.

I have also bought their cute notebooks and kitchenware from here. No problems. One time I have bought a drink bottle and it lasted a while. I also buy headphones and a usb charger whilst there.

I think that during the Coronavirus times they will stay open purely because people need their homewares and foods as well as things for DIY.

Protein snacks and are they worth the hype?

I guess it is a grey area. But generally if you are looking to lose weight without the exercise then it’s a no. Because you get enough of it from food. They are usually pricey and some of them don’t offer much in terms of nutrients and protein.

According to the Guardian, people obsess about these protein snacks. Last year they were a huge thing. That year protein ice cream was introduced in the market and people wanted it. When there were free tubs at Fitness first people took them and the fridge was always perpetually empty.

We tried many protein based snacks and loved the ice cream and the yoghurt. But some of them are sugar laden as well. These protein based ice creams don’t have a lot of sugar according to Cassetty (2018, The John west one was priced at $4 but it didn’t have much to give. I can buy that same thing as a meal for just $3.50 and they offer better value. Quest’s protein chips are just chips that are priced at $5.50. I wasn’t full afterwards. Protein is supposed to make us feel fuller afterwards.

A treat is certainly fine.

But if you want real protein its best to get it in the form of a shake or meat/vegetarian sources. We usually don’t need that much protein unless you are a bodybuilder or a marathon runner. These people would need about 1.2g-2g of protein per kg that they weigh.

In short: we usually eat enough protein without the need for those protein snacks. But of course a treat is perfectly fine if you want to have it. But don’t obsess about the protein.

Why businesses and households should give away toilet paper and other toiletries

Photo by Elle Hughes on

These days due to the Coronavirus there have been more and more people left without toilet paper and other basic essentials. More and more people are losing jobs due to the recession. More and more business are struggling.

During last week there was a bit of toilet paper craziness which meant that low income earners were left without. But then Woolworths and Coles introduced a new shopping hour for the elderly and disabled. But still many people are left without toilet rolls and other essentials.

So how can businesses and people donate toilet paper and other toiletries?

They can

  • Hold a donation drive with their local charity
  • Donate to the free little pantries such as Ascot Vale little pantry
  • If they are a big corporation maybe they might be able to donate to OzHarvest or Foodbank or another charity.
  • If it is a business they could let people that are on low income take their toilet rolls (but maybe limit to two per person)

St Patricks Day

We talk about St Patrick’s day which is celebrated in Melbourne with good food

St Patricks Day is an Irish day and its on the 17th of March. It is a celebration of Irish culture and it is a day where St Patrick was born. St Patrick is one of Ireland’s saints. Whilst in Ireland it’s spring in Australia its Autumn.

Here it is all green and many of the pubs here have their St Patrick’s day parties. This year due to the Coronavirus there aren’t many St Pat’s celebrations. People celebrate it in Irish pubs with Guinness and Irish food. Guinness is an Irish beer which is dark and fruity in flavour.

If you choose not to go out this year, here’s how you can celebrate it at home with cake and Irish food.

In Melbourne many pubs would offer specials. The pub that I like is called Bridie O’Reilly’s and its on Chapel st in South Yarra. Here they are lovely and vibrant. In the days before St Patrick’s day they would have their free beer days.

I have had their food and its equally delicious.

Find them at:

462 Chapel Street, South Yarra Victoria 3141, 03 9827 7788