As food prices continue to rise, families across Britain are doing what they can to provide meals for themselves and their children. Although takeaways and microwave meals can be comforting, they’re not as healthy or cheap as ingredients bought from the shop. Miguel Barclay revealed how households can cook up a storm without breaking the bank.
For Miguel, “cooking from scratch is the most important thing”.
In this way, you can see where your food has come from and make your meals last longer, saving a considerable amount of money along the way.
A vegetable and meat tray bake, packed with potatoes, vegetables, and sausages, can “feed a whole family at an affordable cost” – Miguel’s tray bake (below) is big enough for four people.
Cooking in batches can also help as it is possible to freeze “everything”, according to Miguel, and eat pre-prepared meals any time.
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Over the summer, Miguel is partnering with Love Fresh Berries to bring the public delicious and cheap recipes made with some of the healthiest ingredients sourced in Britain: berries.
Berries are in season, which not only means they are healthier, but that also consumers can support local farmers and growers by purchasing and eating them.
Currently, blueberries, raspberries, and strawberries are in season, while blackberries will be ready to pluck off the branches in September.
Miguel said that his recipes involving berries are “really really easy to make”, even though they are similar to what guests can expect from the best restaurants.
Blueberry Studded French Toast
Pinch of cinnamon
Two slices of white bread
A few blueberries
Small knob of butter (or splash of olive oil)
A generous glug of maple syrup
Sprinkle of icing sugar
Crack the eggs into a dish big enough to lay a slice of bread into. Beat the eggs and add a pinch of cinnamon. Push the blueberries into the bread using something thin like a chopstick so you don’t dent the bread too much. Lay the bread into the dish to absorb the egg mixture for about 10 seconds on both sides, then repeat with the second slice.
Then, pan fry in a lightly buttered/oiled pre heated frying pan for a few minutes on each side until the French toast is golden brown.
Transfer to a plate, lightly dust with icing sugar, drizzle with maple syrup and garnish with a few more blueberries.
Sausage, Parsnip, Carrot and Blackberry Tray Bake
Two small red onions, quartered
Two parsnips, sliced lengthways
Two carrots, sliced lengthways
Handful of blackberries
A few sprigs of thyme
One tbsp gravy granules
Salt and pepper
Pre-heat your oven to 180c.
Start by roasting the sausages for about 10 minutes before adding the onions, parsnip, carrots and blackberries. Add a generous glug of olive oil and season with salt, pepper and thyme.
Return to the oven and continue to cook for a further 20 minutes or until everything is nicely coloured and cooked through. Meanwhile, mix up some gravy granules as per the instructions on the packet and serve with the sausage traybake.
Raspberry and Brie Puff Pastry Wreath
One large square puff pastry
One triangle of brie
Handful of raspberries
Handful of mixed nuts
A few sprigs of thyme
One egg, beaten
Cut the puff pastry like you were drawing spokes on a bike (but only cut 50% of the radius).
Lay the cheese, and raspberries in a circle and fold over the outer edge and inner triangles to create a wreath shape.
Sprinkle over the nuts and picked thyme leaves. Brush the pastry with beaten egg and bake in the oven at 180c for approximately 35 to 40 minutes or until golden brown and the cheese is melted.
To make four individual cakes
One x square of puff pastry
Two tbsp icing sugar
Handful of strawberries
300ml double cream
Cut the puff pastry into eight rectangles about 10cm x 5cm.
Dust with icing sugar and place on a baking tray lined with baking paper. Place another sheet of baking paper on top and another baking tray to keep it gently squashed down while it cooks.
Bake for about 15 minutes at 180c then allow to cool.
Meanwhile, whisk the cream by hand in a bowl with a whisk for about 10 minutes to create a whipped cream with stiff peaks. Add 1 tbsp of icing sugar and whisk for another 30 seconds
To create each mille feuille cake place one puff pastry rectangle on a plate, add a layer of cream, then sliced strawberries, top with a puff pastry rectangle and a sprinkle of icing sugar.
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