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Chef, presenter and cookbook author of ‘One Pound Meals’ Miguel Barclay shares his top tips for keeping up your meat-free lifestyle, whatever your budget after Veganuary.

Chicken Curry Linda McCartney

Image: Linda McCartney

2020 has been a perfect excuse to shake up our routine and try new things for the future of the planet. For anyone who has tried to reduce their meat consumption during Veganuary but is concerned that it could be too expensive to keep up, chef Miguel Barclay, author of 5 best-selling One Pound Meals cookbooks, has plenty of solutions.

He believes there’s a real misconception around the cost of eating vegan and meat-free, which can be off-putting for those looking to try to reduce their meat consumption, but if you’re clever it doesn’t need to be expensive.

Miguel Shot

Miguel has teamed up with the pioneers of the meat-free movement, Linda McCartney's, to show how your meat-free journey can blow your mind, not your bank account.

So what better time to grill him on how to continue your vegan journey after Veganuary.

You’re famous for making meals that cost under £1 a serving. What one cheap ingredient should we be making more use of and why?

Juan Manuel Nunez Mendez  CaLXVUfD8g Unsplash

Image: Juan Manual Nunez Mendez

"It would have to be plain old boring flour. I love making wraps, flatbreads and shortcrust pastry from scratch along with beautiful-plant based sauces. I really would be lost making £1 meals without flour."

What’s your favourite cheap eat from around the world?

Enchiladas Linda McCartney Copy

Image: Linda McCartney / Miguel Barclay

"Pizza will always be my favourite - it’s so simple but so tasty and I can never have too much. But recently I’ve been getting into those soft shell corn tortilla tacos - you can get them in so many varieties and flavours, and they look really good too, bursting with colour. For me, this makes Mexican food is the perfect cheap eat."

Where do you think our readers could save money on their weekly shop? 

Chicken Curry Linda McCartney

Image: Linda McCartney 

"I think pre-cut veg is one of the biggest areas where people spend money unnecessarily - it’s so easy to chop veg, and the money you save on buying whole vegetables can go towards a more exciting meal. But perhaps the most important skill you should learn is cooking rice. It’s so easy, just 1 cup of rice with 2 cups of water and simmer with a lid. That’s it! It’s that easy!"

What are the key herbs and spices that are worth investing in when you're on a budget?

Credit Andra Ion

Image: Andra Ion

"I’m a big fan of Italian food so my number one herb is without doubt oregano, I use it a lot. Next would be a decent curry powder, this is a huge shortcut to easy Indian cooking and takes out all the hassle and expense of blending spices. After that, I would add cumin as it gives a nice earthiness to dishes, followed by paprika and chilli flakes for heat. Herbs and spices are a great way of adding depth and flavour to a whole load of dishes, and having a handful in the cupboard means you can easily spice up your cooking."

Non-vegan food is often associated with luxury be it cream, butter, cheese – how do you add opulence to vegan food?

Vegetarian Pulled Pork

Image: Linda McCartney 

"People can sometimes think that vegan food is all about being very healthy and sometimes think they won’t find it filling, but that’s not true at all. There are loads of options that are hearty and comforting, and will definitely fill you up. Sweet potato loaded with tasty toppings is one option, and if I want something really delicious and easy then I love Linda McCartney’s range. Alongside handy everyday go to products, they have some really exciting ingredients including Vegetarian Pulled Pork and Vegetarian Shredded Hoisin Duck."

With lots of food outlets vegan-ising their offerings – what’s your favourite eat this year outside of the home?

Vegetarian Sausage Rolls Linda

Image: Linda McCartney 

"I really enjoyed the famous sausage roll! It was in such demand that it took me three attempts to get one, and I really wouldn’t have guessed it was vegan. It just goes to show how far vegan food has come."

We're in the run up to Valentine's Day, which veggie or vegan dine-in meals do you think make for a romantic night in? 

Vegetarian Pulled Pork Meal Kit Product

Image: Linda McCartney 

"For a special meal I’d go for Linda McCartney’s new Vegetarian Pulled Pork Bao Bun Meal Kit - it’s fun to make as it has a few different components and it’s a perfect go-to meal if one person is vegetarian and the other maybe isn’t, so it’ll keep everyone happy. Vegetables add a pop of colour so it looks good on the plate and you can make it together which is always nice for Valentine's."

What’s your go-to quick meal after a long hard day at work?

Tomato And Basil Meatballs Linda McCartney

Image: Linda McCartney 

"Pasta is a great meal for convenience and I like to just fry up some garlic and cherry tomatoes in olive oil so they break down a bit into a light sauce. Simple and delicious!"

 

Will you be eating more plant-based foods after Veganuary? Let us know! Tweet us @goodhomesmag, post a comment on our Facebook page or share your vegan foodie pics on Instagram, using the hashtag #ThisGoodHome for your chance to win one of our monthly prizes!

 

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