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I’m on a real missionat the moment; to feed the family healthily, without totally breaking the bank.

One of the main challenges I’ve been encountering is lunch times. What to feed the child who seems to live off ham and cheese sandwiches? We had got so totally stuck in a rut of sandwiches and tomato soup that it was getting a bit depressing.

So this lunch time, I’m borrowing a recipe from Xanthe Clay’s great recipe book, ’10 Minutes to Table’, with a few little variations made, to suit my family and their somewhat exacting requirements! I’ve not made my own flat bread, we’ve just shop bought some pittas, and the hummus is also shop bought. Sorry! But it’s been a bit busy busy busy here, so needs must!

Tasty Middle Eastern Lunch Platter

You will need:

1) cous cous (Amount depending on how greedy you feel! We normally go with around 5-6 tbsp)

2) some cherry tomatoes

3) some fresh mint, chopped

4) half a lemon (preferably one that’s a leftover, like mine, with all it’s rind removed!)

5) olive oil

6) feta cheese (I use cheap supermarket imitation, it’s fine!)

7) dippy veg, such as chopped carrots, chopped cucumber, pepper etc

8) some flat bread / pittas

9) hummus


How to make it:

1) Pour the couscous into a bowl and add about the same quantity of boiling water to it. Leave it to sit for around 5 mins.


2) whilst the couscous is sitting, chop the mint, a few cherry tomatoes and if you fancy, a small red onion, really finely.


3) add the mint, tomatoes, onions and a generous drizzle of olive oil, to the couscous, plus squeeze the lemon over it all. Mix it up.


4) pop the pittas into the toaster to warm them, and chop up the ‘dippy veg’!

5) serve and gobble up!


Total Cost: around £5.00, plus I have lots of bits and bobs left over for other meals! So around £1.20 a head.

The Verdict?

An approving nod all round. The boys weren’t so keen on the couscous dish, but both of them demolished the carrots and red peppers; which quite frankly, a fortnight ago I wouldnt have believed they would ever do. It was a nice fresh family meal to accompany this muggy, sweaty day we’re having!