Category Archives: Outta My Head Recipes

Open-Face Chicken Sandwich (with a twist!)

Well, I’m super stoked about this discovery made by James. He’s really jumped on board with making healthier choices and he’s thinking outside the box. This idea is the best!

James told me he’s been craving open-faced turkey sandwiches. I was a bit resistant as there are no veggies in sight with that, and lots of bread and gravy. So, he came up with a brilliant compromise. Instead of bread, make a quinoa patty.


Open-Face Chicken Sandwich

Chicken or Turkey breast, seasoned how you like (oregano, sage, thyme recommended) and roasted in the oven. 350 dgs F for about 1/2 an hour. Make sure the juices run clear. When finished slice thin.

(We prefer chicken to turkey because we agree that turkey is drier.)

The gravy was just a package chicken gravy and we have agreed that next time I will find a healthier choice.

Quinoa Patty – so much versatility here!

(I’m honestly not sure how much quinoa he made, so I’m going to guess.)
2.5 c quinoa (rinse it really well, important!)
2.5 c water
Cook like rice. Bring to a boil, cover and simmer for 14 mins.

In the meantime, finely chop the following:

  • button mushrooms (or your favourite)
  • spinach
  • white or yellow onion

Place in a large mixing bowl. Add oregano, sage, thyme

Add cooked quinoa to mixing bowl and mix all ingredients together. Add one egg (for binding) and mix well. Form the quinoa into patties the size of a piece of bread and fry it in a bit of olive oil for about 5-6 minutes per side.

open-face-sandwichPlate it up:

Place a quinoa patty on a plate, top with sliced chicken and gravy.

This was a hit with everyone and something we would definitely make again!

We also talked about all the different things we could do with a quinoa patty. Next time we want to see if we can make the quinoa taste a bit more like stuffing, add a thin layer of cranberry sauce (healthy, no sugar, made from scratch), provolone cheese, chicken/turkey, and a healthier gravy. (Open-Face Turkey Dinner!) I’ll let you know how it goes.

Leftovers? We had two patties left over, so James plated them into individual foil packs and froze them. Instant lunch or supper ready to go.

Quinoa can be made to taste so many different ways depending on what you add to it, I’m really excited about exploring this. What would you put on top of a quinoa patty?

Dilled Trout and Veggie Rice


Steelhead Trout:
Trout fillet
1 tbsp Dill-Infused Oil (or Olive Oil)
1 tbsp Dill
1 tsp Lemon pepper

Drizzle dill-infused oil over fillet. Sprinkle dill and lemon pepper seasoning. Place in baking dish at 375 (F) for 30 mins.

1 1/2 c Basmati Rice
1 cΒ  Bokchoy, chopped
1/2 orange, yellow or red pepper, chopped
3 green onions, chopped
1 1/2 c Veggie Soup Base (or a packet of veggie soup base with water)

Add all ingredients to sauce pan with lid and follow directions to cook rice. I let it get to a boil and then simmer for 14 mins, never remove the lid.

Mushroom Asparagus:
1 bunch Asparagus
1 c mushrooms, chopped
1 clove fresh garlic (1 tsp garlic powder)

Toss in a frying pan, with olive oil or margarine and garlic.

Plate it up and enjoy. The rice was fabulous!

Recipe Substitutions: Corn Chowder

One of the challenges of combining a mostly vegan diet with a household of carnivores is finding ways to change up recipes and create compromise. As I’ve been working towards this for years now, my husband has had time to slowly adjust to the idea of substitutions. Everyone benefits from eating really healthy meals, and I still eat small of amounts of non-vegan food, making the compromise work well. The last two months have been the first time in five years that I’ve been able to stick to this form of eating and not feel like its difficult. I’m always looking for places to make substitutions where they won’t change the taste too much.

Spinach – I add spinach to as many recipes cooked or raw as possible. Spinach is amazing for your body, and it takes on the flavour of whatever you’re cooking so no one complains about eating their greens.

Pasta – Instead of regular pasta, I use quinoa pasta. Tastes like regular pasta and no one has complained. (It is expensive though.)

Quinoa – I use quinoa instead of rice or potatoes. I have one child in my house who’s not a fan of quinoa, and a bunch who are potato lovers. So, here’s the trick. When you make rice or quinoa (or pasta), make extra, make lots, then freeze the leftovers. Having frozen on hand now makes it easy to have both available for one meal. Everyone wins.

Almond milk – I tried using almond milk in the breakfast cereal once.. my little guy told me he was pretty sure the milk was bad. Ah well… can’t win them all. Everyone loves almond milk smoothies though!

Dates – I use dates for sweeteners most of the time. I prefer dates over other choices, mostly due to the diabetes, my body seems to process them well. I used to use agave nectar, but haven’t tested yet how it responds in my body now.

Salt – I only use Himalayan pink salt.

I did a substitution test on my mom’s corn chowder recipe.

Mom’s recipe for Corn Chowder:

  • 1 can creamed corn
  • 1 can kernel corn
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 2.5 c milk
  • 1 tbsp margarine

My change up test:

  • 2 c frozen peaches n cream corn (I would prefer to use fresh, but it’s not in season right now.)
  • 1/2 c chopped onion
  • 2.5 c almond milk, unsweetened
  • 1 tbsp olive oil

For both recipes: In a saucepan, over medium heat, fry the onion in the margarine/oil until it is translucent. Add milk and corn. Heat through. Salt and pepper to taste.

The substitution version tasted different, but it was a close reflection of the original recipe. Everyone ate it with no complaints and I would make it again.

Experimenting with foods has become a challenge I look forward to. Do you have any substitution tricks? Please share in the comments.




Outta My Head Recipes: Simple Lemon-Pepper Chicken with Veggies

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I’ve decided I need to get “plating” plates… nice looking plates, because this one makes this meal look washed out and bland. So, please take my word for it, it was lovely. I also can’t take chef credit — Lemon-Pepper Chicken and veggies was “Outta James’ Head!”


  • Frozen corn, peas, hashbrowns
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Butter/margarine
  • Chicken Breast
  • Lemon-Pepper spice
  • Lemon Juice

On a large tray, mix together equal portions of frozen corn, peas and cubed hashbrowns. Add freshly ground pepper and Himalayan pink salt. (It’s the only salt I buy now.) Add some pats of butter on top and bake at 400 dgs F for about half an hour, stirring every ten minutes. (Ovens vary!)

Cube chicken breast (TIP: We count about 3/4 of a chicken breast per person. This reduces our meat intake and increases the veggie/salad intake and the kids don’t notice because they get cubes of chicken instead a whole piece!) Where was I? Oh yeah, cube the chicken breast and fry it on the stove with a bit of oil to keep it from sticking. Once cooked through add a generous dose of lemon-pepper spice and a couple of tablespoons of lemon juice. Fry till well coated.

Serve hot! My six-year-old asked if James could make this for supper everyday!


Outta My Head Recipes: Dilled-Lemon Pepper Salmon and Waldorf Salad

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Dilled-Lemon Pepper Salmon

A large salmon fillet, skin-side down on an oiled roasting pan.

Pre-heat oven to 350 dgs F

Spread a thin layer of butter over the salmon. Then load it up with dill weed and a sprinkling of lemon-pepper.

Bake in the oven for about 30 mins… ovens vary, may take a bit longer. (My oven is convection which I think cooks a bit faster.) Salmon should flake when done. And as I serve it the skin just falls off and stays in the roaster.

Waldorf Salad

I used butterhead lettuce on the bottom, but any lettuce you like will do.

Cube pear and apple and add to a mixing bowl.

Add in dried cranberries, small sliced celery

In a separate bowl mix equal parts mayonnaise and Greek lime yogurt. Add this mixture to the fruit and celery bowl, fold together well until everything is coated.

Melt 2 tbsp of butter and 2 tbsp of brown sugar in a frying pan. Toss in 1-1.5 cups of halved pecans. Mix to coat all the pecans in the brown sugar syrup. Fry for a few minutes until nuts are heated through.


Layer lettuce on the bottom. Spoon the fruit mixture over the lettuce. Top with candied pecans. Add a slice of the salmon fillet on the side.

TASTES AMAZING! Kids asked for seconds!



Outta My Head Recipes: Sometimes It Needs to be Simple

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Sometimes supper needs to be quick and simple. But simple doesn’t need to mean processed out of a box. I threw this together in a matter of minutes.

  • Sliced pear
  • Carrot sticks
  • Red pepper spears
  • Sliced cucumber
  • Marble cheese
  • Sliced hard boiled egg
  • Slice of cinnamon raisin toast

Kids LOVED it!


Loaded Twice-Baked Potatoes

twice-baked potatoes

This makes about 8 medium potatoes. Pierce potatoes with fork all over.

Place potatoes on microwave safe dish with papertowel under and over them. Microwave on high for about 8 minutes. (Microwaves vary, check on them!) When finished potatoes should be cooked through and soft when a fork is inserted.

Cook one package of bacon until crispy. Then crumble into large chunks.

Be very careful when working with hot potatoes. Slice potatoes in half lengthwise. Scoop out insides leaving some potato near the skin for strength. Place scooped potato in a bowl.

I added the following, but feel free to use your own favourite loaded potato toppings.

  • 1-2 tbsp Margarine
  • 2 tbsp Sour cream
  • Dash of milk
  • Sliced green onion
  • Garlic powder (to taste)
  • Salt & Pepper (to taste)
  • Crumbled bacon
  • Shredded cheddar cheese

Mash the potato with the margarine, sour cream and milk. Adjust amounts to get a soft creamy consistency.

Add green onion, garlic powder, salt and pepper and mix well.

Fold in the bacon careful to leave it in larger chunks.

Refill the potato skins with the mashed mixture. Top with shredded cheese.

Bake at 350 dgs F for 20-30 minutes.

Serve warm.




Outta My Head Recipes: Chicken Taco Salad

taco chicken salad

Make a garden salad with whatever fixings you like. This one here uses mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, cucumber, green onion…

Mix sour cream with fresh lime juice to taste to make a dressing. Mix in with the salad just before serving.

Cube chicken breast and fry it in a bit of oil until cooked through. Add in taco seasoning mix and half a cup of water. Fry up until the chicken is coated and most of the water has evaporated.

Put a serving spoon of chicken on top of your salad, then a teaspoon of the sour cream dressing on top.

You could also top with salsa, I’m just moody about salsa and have to be in the mood to eat it. . . apparently, this was one of those off days. πŸ™‚

Another nice touch, which is not pictured, is to crush up some tortilla chips and sprinkle them across the top for some crunch!

Outta My Head Recipes: Fried Egg Salad

fried edd salad

Literally, a garden salad with whatever fixings you like. I added some cottage cheese and yellow snacking tomatoes on the side. Then instead of hard boiled eggs, I fried an egg, over-easy with a runny yolk, and placed it on top. Yum!


Outta My Head Recipes: Garlic Shrimp ‘n’ Rice Wraps

shrimp wrap 72

Fry shrimp (detailed, deveined, peeled) in olive oil with a couple of minced garlic cloves.

In another pan, fry together: cooked rice, yellow pepper (finely chopped), celery (finely chopped), raw sunflower seeds, in flax oil with Himalayan pink salt, parsley, fresh pepper.

In a wrap put a spoonful of the rice mixture, top with shrimp and sliced green onion. Roll it up and enjoy!