Vegan One Pound Meals is the fourth book from chef Miguel Barclay. The USP of his books, as you can tell from the title, is that all the meals come in at around £1 per portion. Miguel’s One Pound Meals account on Instagram has over 300k followers and you can also check out how he makes the meals via his popular YouTube channel.
But how does that translate to real life, when you’ve got average cooking skills, a busy day on the go and you’re trying to get something together for tea?
The book contains 85 vegan recipes, and I was sent the ingredients to make three of them. So here are my attempts at:
- Indian Crumpets
- Thai Dauphinoise
- Sweetcorn Fritters
I started off with the Sweetcorn Fritters, because I’ve made these before and they’re delicious. The other main ingredient here is grated courgette. It’s one of those recipes that’s good for getting more veg into your kids. They think they’re getting a pancake and you know they’re getting lots of stealth veg. These turned out pretty well. The recipe says it makes 15 but I stretched it to about 20, plenty for several meals.
Then I moved on to Indian Crumpets, which looked like it would be equally simple to make. And indeed it would’ve been, if only I’d read the recipe correctly.
I think I was a bit bamboozled because I’d never come across this method of making batter before. You have to cook basmati rice, then mix it with flour and whizz the whole lot up in a blender to make a smooth crumpet batter. I added way too much water to the rice and ended up with a somewhat gloopy mixture. But still, I managed to salvage it into something edible.
Just goes to show that there is no recipe so simple that you can’t cock it up by failure to read.
And finally, I made the recipe which looked the most complicated, but was actually very simple – Thai Dauphinoise
This uses coconut milk to substitute for the cream sauce in the dauphinoise. It looks and tastes impressive for something that takes about 5 minutes to put together.
All in all I would say these are simple but imaginative meals which would be great for a novice vegan cook. I can see this making a good gift for students or anyone new to cooking and on a limited budget.
The book is well-illustrated with clear colour photos of every dish. I definitely plan to cook more from it, until the teenager spirits it away to uni.
The recipes in the book are for a single serving, though the amounts are generous and could easily stretch to two. Ingredients and techniques are kept very straightforward – there’s lots of lobbing in a handful of this and that, rather than having to worry too much about precise measurements. Miguel’s recipes are mainly savoury, so you’ll have to look elsewhere for dessert. I’m guessing that One Pound Desserts isn’t too far off.
Vegan One Pound Meals by Miguel Barclay is out now in paperback and Kindle, published by Headline Home. RRP £16.99, currently reduced to £10.79 on Amazon.
I was sent the book and a box of ingredients by Vegan Apron so that I could cook them. Contains Amazon affiliate link.