FOR many of us, the ideal midweek supper is cheap, quick, and easy to throw together.

Miguel Barclay, Instagram sensation and king of the £1 meal, has perfectly filled that slot with his One Pound Meals cookbooks, and now he's turned his attention to eating vegan on a shoestring.

Vegan One Pound Meals is Barclay's latest instalment in the hit budget series - and we thought we'd put it to the test, to see how his plant-based recipes would suit the taste buds of a committed vegetarian and a self-confessed carnivore.

Here's what happened...

The vegetarian

Claire Spreadbury tested: Sweetcorn and courgette fritters

"I've been a vegetarian for over a decade, but have never, ever, considered going vegan. Even now, when it's uber-trendy and more accessible than ever, it's just not for me. I'm not a good enough cook, I don't have a lot of time and I need my eggs! I've also always assumed it's a fairly expensive diet to live by, so making a whole vegan meal for £1 is a really interesting concept.

"I tried the sweetcorn and courgette fritters from the book and I have to admit, they were pretty cheap to make. I shopped at Ocado and reckon my meal comes as close to a quid as you can get it. The gram flour (which I thought would be hard to find, but actually Asda, Tesco and Morrisons all sell it online) was £1.49 for a whole kilo and you only need two tablespoons. You can spend as much or as little as you like on olive oil and only use a splash, then the portion of courgettes I used came out at 20p, Green Giant sweetcorn at 30p and rocket 40p. All in all, a pretty impressive price point.

"The recipe itself is quick and easy to make. All you have to do is grate the courgette, throw in some sweetcorn and gram flour, and then season it. I was a little dubious when instructed to stir it all together until "the mixture has a thick batter consistency". This isn't like any batter I've ever created before, but I was surprised how well it held together when I pan-fried it, flipping each fritter after a couple of minutes (tip - they do stay together better if you keep them on the small side).

"I was having mine for a mid-week pre-Pilates dinner, so I used rather a lot more rocket than the three artistically placed leaves in the book image, but they tasted great - surprisingly great, if I'm honest. I am a bit of a fritter fanatic and I wasn't convinced any recipe excluding eggs was going to be all that tasty, but I was wrong. It's really healthy too and better still - my kids saw me eating them and want to make (and eat) them at the weekend!"

The carnivore

Ella Walker tested: Vegan sausage rolls

"I love a sausage roll, especially golden homemade ones, crisp and puffed up, stuffed with pork meat and chunks of molten apple. But I'm happy eating pretty much anything if pastry is involved, so although I do eat meat, my diet is big on veggie - and increasingly - vegan options too. That said, I am yet to try a Greggs sausage roll, which appears to be the vegan sausage roll to beat...

"Barclay's recipe is very straightforward - it's just black beans, onion, garlic and mushrooms fried, blitzed, then sandwiched in shop-bought puff pastry (which I was surprised to discover tends to be vegan by default, even though the defining quality of puff is traditionally yellow layers of butter).

"I doubled the mixture, and it worked out at £1.55 per person (for three sausage rolls each), but to be fair, I already had garlic, salt, pepper, dried oregano and oil at home, which skews the results. And also, I didn't have time to shop around (which Barclay does to get the best deals). However, with sweetcorn and wedges on the side, it made for a filling midweek dinner, and there were leftovers for a packed lunch the next day.

"On taste, they weren't remotely sausage-like, but there was a huge punch of flavour from the oregano. My only criticism would be that the filling lacked heft - it was a bit paste-like - and I don't know how Barclay got the golden crust on his without the help of an egg wash."

Now it's your turn:



(Makes 3)

1/2 red onion, diced

Handful of mushrooms, sliced

2 garlic cloves, sliced

1tsp dried oregano

200g black beans (from a 400g tin), drained

1tsp plain flour

1/2 sheet of ready-rolled puff pastry

Pinch of poppy seeds

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


1. Pan-fry the onion in a splash of olive oil over a medium heat for three minutes. Add the mushrooms, garlic, oregano and black beans, season with salt and pepper and continue to fry for about five minutes until everything is cooked and softened.

2. Remove from the heat, transfer the mixture to a blender and pulse until you get a coarse paste. Tip into a bowl, stir in one teaspoon of flour to help the mixture thicken, then allow to cool.

3. Preheat your oven to 190°C/gas mark 5.

4. Cut the puff pastry into three strips approximately 4cm x 10cm, spoon in a dollop of filling halfway along the strip and wrap to create your sausage rolls, finishing by squashing the end with the back of a fork.

5. On a lined baking sheet, sprinkle each roll with poppy seeds and bake in the oven for about 20 minutes, or until the pastry is golden brown.


Bournemouth Echo:

These quick fritters make for an easy light bite.

(Serves 1)

1/2 courgette

Handful of tinned sweetcorn

2tbsp gram flour (chickpea flour)

Handful of rocket

Olive oil

Salt and pepper


1. Grab a bowl and grate the courgette into it, then throw in the sweetcorn and gram flour and season with salt and pepper.

2. Stir everything together until the mixture has a thick batter consistency.

3. Pan-fry dollops of the mixture in a splash of olive oil over a medium heat, for a couple of minutes on each side, until golden brown (the mixture should make about four fritters), then serve with some rocket leaves.


Bournemouth Echo:

For a casual supper, these should hit the spot.

(Serves 1)

1 sheet of rice noodles

1/2 red onion, sliced

Sesame oil

1 garlic clove, sliced

Pinch of dried chilli flakes

A few green beans, halved lengthways

1/4 carrot, cut into matchsticks

Small handful of salted cashew nuts

1tsp curry powder

Soy sauce

Salt and pepper


1. Pre-cook or soak the rice noodles according to the packet instructions.

2. Meanwhile, pan-fry the onion in a splash of sesame oil over a high heat for about 30 seconds, then add the garlic and chilli flakes. Just before the garlic starts to brown, add the beans, carrot matchsticks and cashew nuts and cook for about five minutes, until softened.

3. Add the curry powder and a splash of soy sauce, then mix in the drained noodles, season with salt and pepper and serve.

Miguel Barclay's Vegan One Pound Meals: Delicious Budget-friendly Plant-based Recipes All For £1 Per Person by Miguel Barclay, photography by Dan Jones, is published by Headline Home, priced £16.99. Available now.