Sunday, December 8, 2013

2014 Outer Banks Sunsets Wall Calendars

I hope you've followed me over to Outer Banks Sunsets, my new blog. I've been busy capturing daily sunset photographs on the Outer Banks of North Carolina as my 2013 project.

I'm so excited to be offering a limited number of 2014 Wall Calendars for sale! Purchasing information can be found here.  

Saturday, February 23, 2013

Change of Pace

I probably should have put up a post like this months ago, whoops! Sorry to everybody who has found me on Facebook, sent me emails, or left comments checking in on me!

I am ok. I'm still alive. I still cook.
I just don't share it. I'm not cooking the same as I once was. I lost about 16 pounds over the summer/fall of 2012 and want to keep that weight off.
I cook boring, healthier foods. I repeat the same meals. A lot.
I got out of the habit of photographing my food and posting it. It's hard to go back to that. I've tried.

Dinner at Christina's will always be here because it was such a huge part of my life for years. I met so many awesome people through this site, many that I'm still friends with. I also access my own recipes  and I want this here for others to stumble upon and find my food and try it themselves, too!

My current blogging project is over at A Year of Sunsets.
Moving to the Outer Banks of North Carolina has been a wonderful and beautiful experience. We live less than a mile from the Albemarle Sound and I can see the sunsets through the trees, out of my office window.

I realized I wasn't appreciating or taking full advantage of that beauty, so my 2013 goal is to capture daily sunset photos. Not only that, but I have committed to riding my bike to capture these photos, so I will also get some exercise snuck in.

I'd love if you still follow and keep in touch with me, both here and there!

Thank you so much, and again sorry that this post is so long overdue!

Christina :)

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Tuna Quinoa Cakes

As mentioned in my previous post, I made these the same time I made the Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers. Both contain sweet potatoes and quinoa, so it was easy to prep and make them together. It was nice to only have to heat up the oven once in this summer heat, too!

The original recipe and photos can be found here, my alterations are below:

1 medium sweet potato, cooked and mashed
2 cans tuna, drained (I use white albacore in water)
3/4 cup quinoa, pre-cooked
1/4 cup onion, chopped (I used yellow, you could use green)
 2 cloves garlic, minced
1 Tbsp lemon juice
1 egg. beaten
1/4 cup low fat sour cream (could use Greek yogurt, mayonnaise, etc.)
1 tsp yellow mustard
dash cayenne pepper
1 tsp paprika
1/2 cup breadcrumbs

Mash the sweet potato in the bottom of a medium mixing bowl. Add the rest of the ingredients, and mix well.

Form into 6 cakes and place on a greased baking sheet. Bake in a 400° oven for about 20 minutes, flipping once.

Each cake is 199 calories, 27g carbs, 4g fat, and 14g protein.

In the future, I might put more onions or celery in these. They were a little one-note in the texture department. They reheat well in the toaster oven and I enjoyed mine with a sprinkling of low sodium soy sauce over top!

Tuesday, July 10, 2012

Sweet Potato Black Bean Burgers

I pinned these from Debbi Does Dinner Healthy, and made them the same time as another recipe, Tuna Quinoa Cakes, that I'll share next. Both have sweet potato and quinoa, so it was easy to prep and make them together. It's been busy around here, so I'll take a little convenience where I can.

The original recipe and photos can be found here. My version is below:

1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 medium sweet potato, mashed
1/4 cup corn (I used frozen)
1/4 cup onions, diced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 cup quinoa, pre-cooked
3 Tbsp oats
1 Tbsp cumin
dash of cayenne

Remove the skin from the sweet potato and place in a medium sized mixing bowl. Drain and rinse the can of black beans, and add half to the sweet potato. Using a stick blender, mix them together, until they form a play-dough like consistency. Add the remainder of the black beans and the rest of the ingredients, using the back of a spoon to incorporate everything and slightly mash the whole beans.

Heat the oven to 375° and grease a baking sheet. Form the mixture into small patties and place on the sheet. Pop into the oven for ~30 minutes, flipping once.

I formed mine into 9 patties. Each were 92 calories, 17g carbs, negligible fat, and 4g protein.  

I brought some of these to work to heat up for dinner with some frozen peas, and they reheated nicely. They had a bit of a kick and were full of flavor. I'm not sure I'd like them on a bun, it might be a little dry, but on their own, they were good. Debbi served hers with a big dollop of guacamole on top!

Tuesday, June 12, 2012

Jalapeno Popper Grilled Cheese

I have to thank the lovely Kristina for this genius idea of her's!

Johnny and I love jalapeno poppers, stuffed jalapenos, or whatever you choose to call them. They go by many names, but the premise is the same: a seeded jalapeno, stuffed with ooey gooey cheese. This is them- but in sandwich form.

Begin by spreading a couple Tablespoons of cream cheese on bread. Add shredded cheese to the other side.
I seeded and roasted our jalapenos in the toaster oven for a few minutes, to give them a charred flavor. 

Sandwich the jalapenos in between the 2 slices of bread and grill (or use a panini press) to cook your sandwich and melt the cheese.

Slice and enjoy! Feel free to swap out your favorite cheese flavors, or even vegan cheeses, as Kristina did!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

Homemade Crunchwrap Supreme

I pinned these a few weeks ago, and they finally made it into my meal plan this week!

I was thinking these would be so much healthier than their Taco Bell counterpart, but honestly, they aren't. There isn't that much you can do to improve the recipe when you're using a lot of tortillas - they're just really caloric.

I used:
1 pound lean ground beef, drained
1 package taco seasoning
6 burrito sized flour tortillas
3 taco sized flour tortillas
6 corn tortillas
1 cup shredded cheese of choice
1/2 cup sour cream
1/2 cup diced tomatoes
1 cup shredded lettuce

Brown your beef, drain the fat, and prepare according to the taco seasoning label. While the meat is cooking, you can wash and chop your tomato and lettuce, and shred your cheese. It helps to have a little assembly line of ingredients set up for easy preparation.

To assemble, toast your corn tortillas until crispy and lightly browned in your oven or toaster oven. Warm the flour tortillas in the microwave to make them more pliable. Spoon a small amount of the meat into the center of your burrito sized flour tortilla. Add some shredded cheese. Top with the crispy corn tortilla. Spread some sour cream, then top with some tomatoes and shredded lettuce. My large tortilla was not large enough to cover the entire packet, so I had to use part of a smaller tortilla in the center.

Fold the edges, as pictured, until you have a neat little packet. Place seam side down on a hot skillet, or in my case I used my Cuisinart Griddler, so there was no need for flipping. If you need to flip, do so carefully after a few minutes once your seam is toasted and sealed closed.

 Serve immediately, but be careful- they will be very hot!

These were really delicious! A lot less greasy than the Taco Bell ones, but just as flavorful and satisfying. They were very filling, too. I just had 1 for dinner and was completely full.

Taco Bell Crunchwrap supreme stats: 540 calories, 21 grams of fat.
Homemade Crunchwrap supreme stats: 503 calories, 15 grams of fat.

Oh! And Beth, I keep forgetting to post this. I put out those oranges for the orioles, that you recommended back in May! Mine didn't attract anything :( They sat out there a couple of weeks, until they got dried out and black, so I threw them into the woods. 

Thursday, June 7, 2012

Egg Roll Stir Fry

I love egg rolls. Love them. 
When we get Chinese I not only eat mine, I also I eat Johnny's.  
Sometimes I can't even wait until we get home to enjoy them with my meal, I just devour them in the car, over the take out container, like some savage beast that hasn't eaten in 4 days. 

However, they aren't incredibly healthy. A quick calorie look up and they range from 150-200 calories each. And I just treat them like a little appetizer before I dig into the real meal. Not a good habit.

That's why I was really, really excited when I saw Debbi's healthy and low calorie take on egg rolls - in a stir fry. Sans wonton wrapper, and without the trip into the deep fryer. I pinned them for future reference, and immediately had 10 repins!

With my new work schedule, I've been trying to cook a larger meal at 1 or 2pm, that way I can pack some up to take to work, and leave some for Johnny to eat for his dinner when he gets hungry. It takes more planning than usual, but this was really simple and came together in less than 30 minutes. 

I used: 
~1 pound ground beef
1/2 head green cabbage, sliced thin
3 carrots, chopped
4 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, sliced thin
4 cloves garlic, minced
1" hunk of ginger, minced
1 Tbsp vegetable oil
1/4 cup soy sauce (I used reduced sodium)
onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, to taste


Begin by browning your beef in a high sided skillet. Once browned, drain the grease. Add the vegetable oil and all of the veggies. Pour the soy sauce over, put a lid on, and let cook for about 10 minutes, stirring a few times, until the vegetables are cooked to your preference. Taste and adjust seasonings, if necessary. Serves 4.

This was really very tasty. Like Debbi said, it wasn't exactly like eating an egg roll, but it definitely hit a lot of the same notes, enough to satisfy a greasy take out craving for awhile.

Plugged into My Fitness Pal, each serving is 276 calories and 13 grams of fat.