Liven up your lunchbox this week

Many (many) years’ ago, I endured a two week long school exchange trip to the Limousin region of France.

As a 13-year-old staying with an extremely eccentric family in an even more eccentric cobweb-strewn house (half of which appeared to be a long-abandoned cabaret café), I found the whole experience challenging to say the least. Never before, or since, have I experienced such a longing for home.

It was such a vivid experience, however, that much of it has stayed with me, including the flavours of the local cuisine.

This trip was undoubtedly
the catalyst for my life-long
love of food.

The whole family were superb cooks, and I tasted the most delicious pastas, pâtés and crêpes. One particularly memorable couscous dish was served at the local village fête. I’d never even heard of couscous, let alone tasted it, but I loved the combination of flavours and textures.

I’ve done my best to recreate this recipe almost 30 years’ later in the 2017 Dairy Diary. It’s really easy to make, and can be made in advance and chilled, so it’s ideal for a portable lunch, and much more interesting than the ubiquitous cheese sandwich.


French-style Couscous with Prawns


French-Style Couscous with Prawns

  • Servings: 2
  • Difficulty: easy
  • Print

Calories 310 per portion
Fat 2.2g (0.4g sat) per portion


  • Couscous 110g (4oz)
  • Sundried tomato paste 1 tbsp
  • Chicken stock 200ml (7fl oz), boiling
  • Cooked king prawns 150g pack
  • Tomatoes 2, diced
  • Cucumber 7cm (3in) piece, diced
  • Frozen peas 75g (3oz), cooked
  • Chopped mint 2-3 tbsp


  1. Place couscous in a large bowl. Stir sundried tomato paste into stock and then pour onto couscous. Stir, cover, then leave for 5 minutes.
  2. Fluff up couscous with a fork then leave to cool.
  3. Stir in remaining ingredients, season to taste and serve immediately.

Recipe taken from Dairy Diary 2017.


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