How to make meals for £1 – chef Miguel Barclay’’s top tips

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Miguel Barclay has an array of cookbooks including Meat-Free One Pound Meals, Miguel Barclay’s Super Easy One Pound Meal and Vegan One Pound Meals. After partnering with the UK & Ireland Mushroom Producers, Miguel shares some tasty mushroom recipes, and how to keep them under £1. 

When thinking of cooking healthy, nutritious meals, many might think that this’ll come at a hefty price.

However, Miguel shares how eating healthy doesn’t have to come with a price tag.

He said: “You’d actually be quite surprised, there’s a sweet spot for eating healthy and the more restrictive your budget is, the healthier you actually eat.

“Imagine that you had £5 per meal to spend, it puts you right in that price bracket of being able to to get a microwave meal or a jar of sauce or even a kebab.

“But if you restrict it down to like a couple of pound, then you have to cook from scratch, so what you’re cooking with are raw ingredients so when you pick up a bulb of garlic, a leek or mushrooms, or a tin of tomatoes, those are the ingredients, whereas if you picked up a jar it’s got added salt, stabilisers and stuff you’ve never heard of.

“So if you restrict your budget like more than below £5, then you’re forced to cook from scratch and it means your meals actually get healthier.”

Cooking from scratch allows you to know what exact ingredients are in the dish, making it healthier and also cheaper. 

With winter just around the corner, the £1 chef explained how important it is to incorporate vitamin D into your diet.

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With there being little to no sunlight throughout the colder months, Miguel shares some tasty recipes incorporating vitamin D enriched mushrooms. 

The vitamin D enriched mushrooms that Miguel cooks with on a regular basis, give you your full recommended daily allowance of sunshine. 

They can be picked up in supermarkets nationwide and can be used to create some healthy, nutritious meals. 

Miguel explains that there are endless meals that can be made for less than £1.

He said: “You can almost make anything…One of my favourites would be a pasta dish, I get lasagne sheets, cook it like its pasta and cut it into really wide strips.

“Then I’ll cook some mushrooms with some garlic and lots of olive oil and it makes a beautiful mushroom pasta, it’s really simple, there’s no cream in it, it’s literally mushrooms, olive oil, garlic and pasta.

“That comes in at pennies, it doesn’t even come in near the £1, you’re probably looking at 50p a portion for that one.”

This can also be frozen when fresh, making it a great meal to batch cook. 

The £1 also shares how cous cous is a great, quick healthy meal that can be made in lots of different ways.

Miguel explained: “I am a big fan of cous cous…You fry up whatever veg you have, fry up onions, mushrooms and then that’s what is going to go inside of the cous cous.

“But instead of cooking the cous cous separate, you put your cous cous in the pan, take it off the heat and leave it for three or four minutes and then the cous cous has all fluffed up, it’s hot because it was in a hot pan and then you’re ready to eat it straight away.

“So that start to finish is probably like a seven minute dish.

“The hack there, is adding the cous cous to veg, whereas normally you would cook the cous cous separate and add the veg to the cous cous but you’re doing all of the process of hydrating the cous cous and heating it in the same pan.”

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