I usually find sandwiches a bit meh!, but I love these. I make these as pinwheel sandwiches, which is basically a tortilla rolled up and cut into slices. They are nice for parties, or just because you want to fancy up your lunchbox.
The filling is packed full of flavours from America’s South West, black beans, corn, coriander (cilantro) etc. This makes it full of colour, crunch, fibre and flavour.
I used full fat sour cream and cream cheese, but you can use lower fat versions. This sandwich filling also makes an amazing topping for baked potatoes, or stirred into left over pasta to make a salad.
400 Gram Can Sweet Corn (drained)
400 Gram Can Black Beans (drained and rinsed)
1 Large red pepper (chopped into 1cm cubes)
2-3 Scallions/spring onions (finely sliced)
2 Tbsp Coriander (Finely chopped)
150 Grams Cheddar Cheese (grated)
2 Tsp Smoked Paprika
1 Tsp Chilli Powder
1 Tsp Salt
200 Grams Sour Cream
200 Grams Cream Cheese
Add all the ingredients to a large bowl and stir until well combined
Spread 2 large spoonfuls of the filling on a tortilla, and roll the outside edge inwards tightly
My friend Mags has been raving about this recipe for ages. We both have a serious bread addiction and this recipe is from a slimming club site. So when she shared the recipe I had to make it. If you’ve ever had Irish wheaten bread this is similar in taste.
It takes two minutes to knock together, can be enjoyed by those who have issues with gluten and is pretty cheap to make. If you want something to keep kids busy this also something to do with them on a rainy afternoon and the will be super pleased with themselves.
It’s not the lightest fluffiest bread, but it is packed full of fibre and perfect served with cheese and chutney or buttered along side soup. I topped mine with some pumpkin seeds for a bit of crunch, but you can also sprinkle with porridge oats.
180 Grams Porridge oats
1 Tsp Salt
1 Tsp Bicarbonate of Soda (baking soda)
Preheat your oven to 180 degrees (Celsius). Grease a load tin, you can also line it with baking parchment if want to (but I just greased the tin really well and it was fine)
Mix the yoghurt, salt and baking soda together, before stirring in the porridge oats
In a separate bowl, crack the egg and whisk with a fork until light and fluffy. Stir into the porridge mix and stir until we’ll combined
Transfer the mix into the loaf tin and bake for 50 minutes. Test with a tooth pick, when it comes out clean it’s ready.
Who doesn’t love sometime away with your besties. It was one of my oldest friend’s birthday, so we decided to get out of the city and treat ourselves.
About a 30 minute drive from Belfast, we stayed at Dolly’s Farm, just outside the village of Seafordepq. The farm has beautifully converted old farm buildings into luxurious self catering accommodation. The Hay Loft sleeps up to four and the Farm House sleeps up to seven people.
Both have their own wood fired hot tubs and sitting relaxing looking over gorgeous lush farmland listening to the cows moo was heaven.
William, the owner was great and arrived with snacks just after we arrived and the package we booked also included a fantastic 3 course dinner from a French’s restaurant in Clough that evening. We also had breakfast delivered to us the next morning including hot croissants, breads and fresh fruit and juice. If you want to get away from it all and not have to worry about a thing this the break for you.
The next day we drove about another 20 minutes to the seaside town of Newcastle at the foot of the Mourne mountains. Tollymore Forest Park can be accessed here to and if you haven’t visited before, you’ll be a convert.
We decided to treat ourselves to a little bit of self care at Soak. They specialise in seaweed baths but also offer beauty treatments and self-catering accommodation.
The ritual for the baths starts with a good 10 minute steam to open your pores. You can opt for the original Victoria steam boxes, or other rooms have more modern steam rooms. You can choose to have rooms with 2 baths (popular with couples) or single rooms.
After steaming, you step into an original Victorian roll top bath with local seaweed and soak for around 40 minutes. If you haven’t done it before, lying down in a bath full of seaweed might feel a bit strange at first, but you’ll soon realise it actually feels great. The seaweed has all manner of health benefits and helps detox your skin and leaves it incredibly soft.
The seaweed baths are one of my guilt free pleasures. A great way to just bliss out, the staff even let you pick an album you want to listen too and pipe the music into your room.
I love getting out in nature at this time of year and a bit of foraging. An old friend suggested us doing the Wild Women of the Woods NI day retreat and I loved it.
The Wild Women are a brilliant social enterprise, who’s aim is to encourage women to get out and enjoy nature, but just as important is the social element. Women attending their events come from all walks of life with ages ranges from early 20’s to early 70’s.
They offer day retreats and camping experiences, (and can even lend some camping equipment if you don’t have it). Other events will be held at locations where bedrooms are available) I had a particularly busy and frenetic couple of weeks with work, and this day retreat was the perfect antidote.
The event I attended was held at the Red Barn Log Cabin at the foot of Belfast’s Cave Hill Forest Park. (It’s also a available to rent on AirB&B, and is gorgeous). The day was facilitated by the very lovely Rachel and Cathy, who will feed you to within an inch of your life.
When we arrived we were welcomed with coffee and homemade banana bread, and had a chance to meet and chat with the other woman taking part around the cabin’s fire pit. Cathy from Sunflower Massage and Yoga then led us in a really relaxing gentle yoga session before we were fed once again with homemade muffins and mushroom tea (it didn’t taste of mushrooms and was packed with antioxidants).
We then walked up through the Cave Hill led by one of the rangers, Cormac. He was great at showing edible plants and describing the history of the area and was loads of fun.
When we returned to the cabin, Rachel had made dough and we all fashioned our own flat breads and cooked them over an open fire (to much hilarity, turns out cooking with fire isn’t as easy as it looks). After our flatbreads were ready we enjoyed them with nettle soup, followed by chick pea and butternut squash stew. Dessert was fantastic, we toasted marshmallows and made s’mores, had bananas with chocolate wrapped in foil and cooked on the fire and then pineapple grilled and served with coconut yogurt.
Did I mention the prosecco and homemade elderflower cordial too?
These women really know how to throw a retreat, After trekking around the Cave Hill you’ll be starving, and Rachel and Cathy really looked after us. The other women were great craic and groups are small enough that you don’t feel lost in a crowd and you get a chance to actually get to know each other.
Some women came with friends and others came on their own. The Wild Women is a great way to meet new people and by the end of the day phone numbers were being exchanged and people were following each other on social media etc. Some of the group had recently moved to Belfast and others liked getting out into nature but none of their existing friends were into it, and the Wild Women provides a chance to do this.
I don’t know if I’m ready for a night under canvas just yet, but it was one of the most enjoyable days I’ve spent in a long time. Check out Wlid Women of the Woods NI on Facebook to to learn more about what they do and future events.