As the nation faces rising food prices, WW is collaborating with Miguel Barclay, the chef who is known for his money-saving £1 meals as part of the brand’s #savepointsavepounds campaign.
Miguel is one of the best-known budget chefs in the UK and is passionate about creating recipes so simple and delicious that even those who have never owned a spatula want to have a go at making them. “I want to get people cooking,” he says. “And I want them to know that when you start cooking from scratch using fresh ingredients, your shopping bills go down. There is no cheaper way of eating good food.“
He has teamed up with TV host Lorraine Kelly who confesses that she has reached the age of 62 without knowing how to scramble an egg and shows her how to cook three delicious meals from the new WW Everyday Healthy Cooking Made Easy book. All the meals they cook clearly state the cost - in price and PersonalPoints* - enabling members and non-members alike to make healthy and purse friendly choices.
He explains: “Lorraine can’t cook and it was nice to encourage her to have a go. I want to show people that you can make really healthy, nutritious meals for very little money that taste amazing - as good as anything you might find in a posh restaurant. My recipes are perfect for the WW programme, which actively encourages people to eat foods they love including chicken, eggs, oats, and of course plenty of fruits and vegetables. The dishes don’t take long at all and anyone can fit them into their lifestyle.”
All the ingredients that Miguel uses can be found in any local supermarket and all his cooking techniques are simple and quick - which fits perfectly with the ease of the WW programme, ”I’m quite lazy, so I always look for the easiest way of doing things with the maximum amount of taste. It is important people know that even if they have a really busy life, they can eat well on a budget.” he says.
Join Miguel and start cooking healthy, meals from scratch. Visit https://www.weightwatchers.com/uk/miguel-barclay to get 50% off today. #savepointssavepounds
Miguel Barclay’s 10 ways to save cash and make delicious easy-to-cook healthy meals at home:
- Cook everything from scratch If you cook everything from scratch, your shopping bills will be less. Processed food will always be the most expensive thing in your basket. Meat can be costly, but you only have to use a little bit of it.
- Cooking from scratch doesn’t have to be difficult. All my recipes are easy and you can cook most of my dishes from foods you already have in. I am very good at designing meals that have the maximum impact for the minimum amount of time and effort. For example, when I cook salmon, I pair it with lazy roast potatoes – I chop the potatoes up into small pieces, so that I can put them in the oven with the salmon at the same time. It only takes 25 minutes.
- Think about textures as they make food much more interesting, for example, I like to roast chickpeas in the oven with a bit of cumin and paprika on them as they go a little bit crispy and crunchy. They are full of protein and make a lovely, healthy snack. You can put them in tacos instead of meat.
- Get a little bit of caramelisation on food as it can really enhance the flavour – I love chicken and it’s delicious when you pan fry it with a little low calorie cooking spray so that it turns brown. Plain, white boiled chicken is just not appetizing. I like charring and a little bit of colour – so I have oven roasted asparagus with a bit of salt sprinkled over it, instead of boiled or steamed asparagus. You can take healthy foods and make taste great by the way you cook them.
- Don’t boil everything - frying in a non-stick pan with a spritz of low calorie oil really adds to flavour. I also love to roast veg which are commonly boiled, such as broccoli, cauliflower and asparagus for an alternative texture and taste.
- Avoid beige food - think about how your food looks and add some colour. If you’re going to make a sausage casserole for example, pan fry the sausage first so that the skin is nice and brown and crispy. Then, cut it up and add it to the casserole. You can also add colour with vegetables. The great thing about WW is that they are zero points, so you can really bulk up your meals and make them look incredible.
- Steer clear of processed foods whenever you can. They cost more than foods in their natural state and quite often, manufacturers add a lot of fat, salt, sugar and e-numbers, which aren’t doo for you.
- Use less meat by choosing dishes such as special fried rice. You only need a tiny amount of chicken or ham for flavour and the rest can be carrots, onions and any other veg that you fancy. When it comes to the eggs, you can choose the cheapest variety as they will taste just as good as the expensive ones in this dish.
- Shop around - it pays to visit all the supermarkets. Sometimes, I go to several in one day, because I know who does the best chicken, which supermarket has quality vegetables etc. The most expensive doesn’t always taste the best and it pays to do your homework.
- When cooking for family and friends, don’t serve food directly on the plates. “It looks fabulous just before it is plated up,” says Miguel. “I like to bring a bowl to the table or a skillet. Say for example you are having salmon with some new potatoes and asparagus, it looks much more beautiful if you’ve got a big bowl of potatoes with the asparagus all jumbled in and then you have four fillets next to each other on a tray on some greaseproof paper. That looks quite cool, but when you put it on a plate, it looks like home cooking.”
Miguel has shared some simple, healthy and cheap recipes to make at home - Green One Pound Meals by Miguel Barclay is published by Headline Home. Out now.
CAULIFLOWER LARB LETTUCE CUPS (2pp)
A lovely summer dish, and easy to scale up to enjoy with friends: just place a big bowlful in the middle of the table and everyone can dig in and make their own lettuce wraps. Larb is usually made with meat, but here I’ve swapped it for tiny cauliflower florets for a veg-based version that’s just as tasty.
To make 1 portion
1⁄2 red onion, finely diced
1⁄4 head of cauliflower, chopped into small florets 1 garlic clove, grated or crushed
Pinch of dried chilli flakes
Pinch of curry powder
A few lettuce leaves
Handful of chopped coriander 1⁄2 lime
Salt and pepper
Season the onion and cauliflower, then pan-fry in a splash of olive oil over a medium heat for about 6 minutes. Add the garlic, chilli flakes and curry powder, and continue to fry for a few more minutes until everything is golden brown.
Spoon the mixture into lettuce leaves, then garnish with chopped coriander and squeeze over some lime before serving.
CABBAGE RIBBON STIR-FRY (5pp)
Sneak some extra greens into your meal with this simple and healthy swap from noodles to cabbage. Just cut it into strips and it’ll do a similar job – and you don’t need to boil the ribbons first, so that’s some washing-up saved, too. Here I’ve used one of my favourite dipping sauces as a sauce for the ribbon
To make 1 portion
1/8 white cabbage, cut into strips 1⁄2 red onion, cut into wedges
1 carrot, cut into matchsticks
1 spring onion, roughly chopped
1 garlic clove, sliced
1 tbsp Chinese crispy chilli sauce in oil, plus 1 tsp to garnish
Salt and peppe
Season the cabbage strips with salt and pepper, then pan-fry in a splash of sesame oil and a splash of water over a medium heat for a few minutes until softened. Add the red onion, carrot, spring onion and garlic, and continue to pan-fry for a few more minutes. Stir in the crispy chilli sauce, then serve with extra sauce to garnish.
GNOCCHI SOUP (9pp)
Dumplings are a great addition to soups, so why not gnocchi? I know it sounds strange, but it really does work brilliantly. If you don’t want to blend the soup, just chop the onion extra small and make a chunkier, more rustic version.
To make 1 portion
1⁄2 onion, diced
1 garlic clove, diced
200g chopped tomatoes (from a 400g tin) 200ml water
1⁄2 vegetable stock cube
Handful of shop-bought gnocchi Splash of single cream
Salt and pepper
Pan-fry the onions in a splash of olive oil over a medium–low heat for about 7 minutes, seasoning with salt and pepper. Add the garlic and continue to fry for a few more minutes. Next, add the chopped tomatoes, and water, and crumble in the stock cube. Simmer for about 10 minutes, adding an extra splash of water if it looks too thick. If it looks too watery, just simmer for a little longer.
Sesame salmon courgetti bowl
2-9 Prep 10 mins Serves 2 369 kcal - 2 - 9 PP
Batch-cooked salmon and asparagus are combined with a gingery dressing and fresh courgetti for a fuss-free, mouthwatering meal.
11⁄2 tablespoons rice vinegar 2 teaspoons sesame oil
5g fresh ginger, grated
1⁄8 teaspoon chilli flakes
1 large courgette
3 spring onions, trimmed and thinly sliced
2 servings Oven-roasted salmon & asparagus
1. In a medium bowl, whisk together the vinegar, oil, ginger and chilli flakes. Season to taste and set aside.
2. Trim the courgette, then spiralise or use a vegetable peeler to create ribbons. Add the courgette and spring onions to the dressing and toss together to coat.
3. Slice the roasted asparagus spears on an angle and add to the vegetables. Toss well to coat. Flake the fish into chunks and gently toss together with the vegetables. Divide between bowls and serve.
COOK’S TIP When buying rice vinegar, check the label to ensure it’s unseasoned. Seasoned rice vinegar has added salt and sugar.
Turkey taco salad
3-8 Prep 15 mins Cook 15 mins Serves 4 362 kcal - 3 - 8 PP
A spicy Tex-Mex-style salad with lots of fresh veg and a delicious garlic and soured cream dressing, all topped off with crispy tortilla strips.
3 WW White Wraps
Calorie controlled cooking spray
500g turkey breast mince
1 teaspoon ground coriander
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1⁄4 teaspoon ground cinnamon
11⁄2 tablespoons chipotle paste
75ml reduced-fat soured cream
1 garlic clove, finely chopped
Juice of 1⁄2 lime plus lime wedges, to serve
1 head lettuce, shredded 12 cherry tomatoes, halved
2 x ready-roasted red peppers from a jar, drained and sliced
1 avocado, peeled, stone removed and thinly sliced (155g prepared weight)
1. Make the tortilla strips. Preheat the oven to 200°C, fan 180°C, gas mark 6. Cut the wraps into 2cm-wide strips, then arrange the strips in a single layer on a large baking tray. Mist all over with cooking spray, then season and bake for 10-12 minutes, turning halfway through, until crisp and golden.
2. Meanwhile, prepare the turkey. Mist a large nonstick frying pan with cooking spray and set over a medium-high heat. Once hot, add the turkey mince and cook for 3-4 minutes, breaking up any lumps with a spoon. Add the spices and chipotle paste, season and continue to cook for a further minute, then add 50ml water and simmer for 10 minutes until the turkey is completely cooked through and the liquid has evaporated.
3. Meanwhile, in a small bowl, combine the soured cream, garlic and lime juice. Season to taste.
4. Arrange the lettuce, tomatoes, peppers and avocado in bowls. Top with the turkey, drizzle with the dressing and serve with the tortilla strips and lime wedges on the side