Lisa’s Letters Home: Beach Lunches

Lisa’s Letters Home: Beach Lunches

Oh, I Do Like to Eat Beside the Seaside!

We’re on the Isle of Wight enjoying lots of sightseeing, food, beaches, food, parks, and a bit more food. We always do self catering which is cheaper and easier with three kids in tow but on the downside, it means I end up still doing quite a bit of cooking and making packed lunches on my holiday. I did not sign up for lunch making and negotiating an overcrowded supermarket on my week off, thankyouverymuch.

We’ve generally gone down the sandwich route (with a side of actual sand – I watched my four-year-old eat grapes she dropped on the beach. Kids are seriously gross.) but that doesn’t always work for us grown ups. I played that fun holiday game called “What Can I Make Out of the Stuff in the Cottage?” and came up with a few alternatives to sand sandwiches to take with us to the beach. My criteria was: it doesn’t involve having to go back to the supermarket that’s full of irate tourists and confused old people, it should last a few hours in a cool bag with a freezer pack, it can be made ahead of time, and it isn’t a sandwich.


For quick lunches, I went with Greek salad (cucumber, tomato, red onion, olives, feta, olive oil, whatever vinegar you have, and it would have had oregano if I had any) and tricolore salad (mozzarella, basil, and tomatoes with olive oil.) I also had some pre-packaged tortellini that could have worked in a cold salad with a mayonnaise type of dressing and some chopped cucumber and peppers. We went Continental and threw in deli meats and cheeses with our packed lunches as well. Generally anything you can throw together that won’t turn to mush by lunchtime is a good plan.

For plan ahead lunches (which only happened once, to be honest – see my point above about limiting my cooking when I’m on holiday), I did two salads: courgette/zucchini with feta and couscous with roasted vegetables. Both are fantastic hot as side dishes and will keep well for lunch the next day. If you’re avoiding wheat or gluten, you can do the couscous salad with quinoa instead.

From this point on, I’m in a no-cook zone. I am supporting the local catering industry! No more trips to the supermarket! Except that we’re out of milk. Damn.


Lisa’s Letters Home: Beach Lunches


  • Grilled Courgettes With Feta and Chilli
  • 2 courgettes, sliced thinly (I used a vegetable peeler)
  • Extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 fresh chilli (red or green) finely diced
  • Feta cheese
  • 1/2 lemon
  • Fresh mint, finely chopped
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • Couscous Salad With Grilled Vegetables
  • 1 cup of couscous
  • 1 1/2 - 2 cups of water (depending on the instructions on the couscous packaging)
  • 1 stock cube
  • Olive oil
  • Vegetables for grilling: things like asparagus, peppers, mushrooms, onions, spring onions, fennel, aubergine, or anything else you can grill on the BBQ will work well.
  • Fresh herbs: soft herbs like basil, coriander/cilantro, chives, parsley etc.
  • 1 lemon, zested and juiced
  • Salt and pepper to taste


For the courgettes:

Heat a frying pan or a grill pan with a bit of oil until hot, then add the courgettes.

Fry quickly for about 2-3 minutes until the courgettes soften.

Remove from the pan and spread the courgette out on a plate.

Sprinkle the courgettes with the chopped chilli, crumbled up feta cheese, and squeeze the lemon on top.

Season, drizzle with olive oil, and sprinkle the mint on top.

Serve immediately or package it up for the next day once cooled.

For the Couscous:

Cook the couscous according to package directions with the stock cube and 2 teaspoons of olive oil added to the water.

Fluff it up with a fork and tip into a large bowl.

Coat your vegetables in a bit of oil and season, then grill over high heat either on the BBQ or in a grill pan on the stovetop.

You can do this the day before.

Add the chopped herbs to the couscous along with the zest and juice of the 1/2 lemon and toss.

If you're making this ahead of time to store in the fridge, add a little olive oil to help stop the couscous from getting clumpy.

Season to taste.





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1 Comment

  1. Colleen
    November 30, 00:02 Reply

    Disponible en la tienda de Cálico Electrónico a tamaños de 34cm
    (dieciocho euros), 23cm (doce euros), 18cm (10 euros) y 10cm

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