Amy Stephens


Licensed dietiTian

specializing in sports nutrition and diabetes

My Favorite Recipe and Food Websites

With so many on-line recipes, here are a few websites that I’ve been using lately. Depending on how much time I have, I look for the recipes that are the easiest and have fewest ingredients.


Oh She Glows

Easy to search through this vegan website. I’ve tried many of the recipes, Spiced Red Lentil, Kale and Tomato Soup is a staple in my house.


Deliciously Ella
plant based recipes and blog


The Stone Soup

Jules lives in Australia and her website has many different simple recipe ideas. She also includes modifications for almost any dietary issue (ie. low-fat, low carb, vegan, dairy free, etc.).



Healthy recipes that are great for the whole family. My favorite recipe is the cottage cheese pancakes, the recipe title doesn’t sound great but, they are delicious. Great alone as a snack or add a nut butter for more protein. Use half the amount of honey/agave to cut back on the carbs.

Basic Roast Chicken – Easy Recipe

Roasting a chicken is much easier than you think and is the cornerstone of a healthy diet.  Whether you are cooking for yourself or a small group, roasting a chicken is an easy and healthy option.  You can also add vegetables to roast along with the chicken to make preparation easier –  carrots, broccoli or brussels sprouts are best.  If you want to make the skin crunchier, salt the chicken night before and let stand 30 min before cooking.









  • 1 (4- to 5-pound) whole chicken, neck and giblets removed from the cavity
  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • Kosher salt
  • Freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 medium lemon, thinly sliced (optional)
  • Fresh herbs, such as parsley, rosemary, or thyme (optional), I like to use Herb de province, available at any grocery store.

Optional vegetables – slice carrots 2 “, slice broccoli into spears or halve brussels sprouts and roast in separate pan with little salt and olive oil.


  1. Heat the oven to 425°F and arrange a rack in the middle.
  2. Place the chicken on a work surface or cutting board and pat it dry with paper towels. Cut off and discard any extra fat hanging around the body cavity.
  3. Drizzle the oil on the chicken and rub it all over the skin. Season generously inside and out with salt and pepper. Place the lemon and herbs inside the cavity, if using. Place the chicken breast-side up in a large Dutch oven, frying pan or cast-iron skillet.
  4. Roast the chicken uncovered in the oven for 15 minutes. Reduce the temperature to 375°F and continue roasting until the juices run clear and a thermometer inserted into the inner thigh (but not touching the bone) registers 165°F, about 1 – to – 1 /2 hours.
  5. Remove the chicken from the oven and place on a cutting board. Let it rest about 15 to 20 minutes before carving.



Slice chicken and serve with roasted vegetables and quinoa.




Veggie Chili Recipe


  • 1 tablespoon olive oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, chopped
  • 2 bay leaves
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 tablespoons dried oregano
  • 1 tablespoon salt
  • 2 stalks celery, chopped
  • 2 green bell peppers, chopped
  • 3 cloves garlic, chopped
  • Optional – 2 (12 ounce) packages vegetarian burger crumbles
  • 3 (28 ounce) cans whole peeled tomatoes, crushed
  • 1/4 cup chili powder1 tablespoon ground black pepper
  • 1 (15 ounce) can kidney beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can garbanzo beans, drained
  • 1 (15 ounce) can black beans
  • 1 (15 ounce) can whole kernel corn – Can used can or frozen
  • Additional toppings: sour cream, scallions, cheddar cheese


Prep Time:  15 m

Cook:  1 h

Ready In  1 h 15 m
Heat the olive oil in a large pot over medium heat. Stir in the onion, and season with bay leaves, cumin, oregano, and salt. Cook and stir until onion is tender, then mix in the celery, green bell peppers, jalapeno peppers, garlic, and green chile peppers. When vegetables are heated through, mix in the vegetarian burger crumbles. Reduce heat to low, cover pot, and simmer 5 minutes.
Mix the tomatoes into the pot. Season chili with chili powder and pepper. Stir in the kidney beans, garbanzo beans, and black beans. Bring to a boil, reduce heat to low, and simmer 45 minutes. Stir in the corn, and continue cooking 5 minutes before serving.

Healthy Holiday Appetizers

1. VEGETABLE CRUDITE WITH YOGURT DIP – cut-up a colorful rainbow of vegetables with a healthy dip or hummus in the center. Here’s a recipe for an easy yogurt dip:


1 cup low-fat Greek yogurt
2 medium cloves garlic, minced
1/2 teaspoon kosher or sea salt
1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
Fresh cracked black pepper, to taste
1 tablespoon chopped chives


Mix all ingredients together and garnish with chives. Keep refrigerated until serving.




3 ripe avocados
juice from 1/2 lime
1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1/4 cup red onion, chopped
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped
Salt/pepper to taste



Place all ingredients in medium bowl and mix together with fork. Best served chunky with Garden of Eatin’ blue corn chips.


3. SHRIMP COCKTAIL – Can use fresh or frozen shrimp with store bought cocktail sauce.








24 slices cocktail rye bread
2 tablespoons lemon juice
2 tablespoons brewed black tea or vodka
1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
2 teaspoons Dijon mustard
Freshly ground black pepper to taste
8 ounces (250 grams) sliced smoked salmon, finely chopped (1 1/3 cups)
1/4 cup finely diced red onion
3 tablespoons chopped fresh dill, plus sprigs to garnish
2 tablespoons drained capers, rinsed and coarsely chopped

Cut bread into 1-2″ squares, toast in oven for 7-10 min at 350 degrees.

Whisk the lemon juice, tea (or vodka), oil, mustard and pepper in a medium bowl. Add the smoked salmon, red onion, dill and capers. Toss to mix well. Keep refrigerated.

Add 1 Tbsp mixture to each toast and serve.

Chia-Seed Pudding for Breakfast: Tart, Sweet and Good for You

Posted in NY Times, April 2014.


APRIL 14, 2014


Chia seed breakfast pudding. Credit Evan Sung for The New York Times

Chia seeds may be having their moment as the darling of the natural food set, but that’s not what made me want to sample the unusual chia-seed pudding at El Rey, a coffee bar on the Lower East Side that offers a small menu of dishes and pastries.

For me, the lure is in the seeds’ tapioca-like texture (and, I won’t lie, the fact that they are related to chia pets, which I loved as a kid).

When chia seeds are soaked in some kind of sweet, milky liquid (milk, coconut milk, almond milk), the whole thing turns custardy, and the seeds take on a pleasingly slippery texture while remaining very slightly al dente at the core. The pudding has the appeal of tapioca, but is easier to make (you don’t need to cook it), nutritionally dense and slightly more exciting to crunch.

The simplest chia-seed pudding doesn’t even require a recipe. Just cover the raw seeds with some kind of liquid, sweeten it to taste and let it sit at room temperature. After as little as 15 minutes, the seeds soften and swell, and the liquid all but disappears. Instant pudding, but good for you, too.

At El Rey, the chef Gerardo Gonzalez offers a breakfast version that’s a more sophisticated take. He mixes the seeds with both coconut milk and almond milk seasoned with sugar and sea salt, then garnishes it with apricots simmered in passion-fruit nectar, toasted almonds and coconut flakes.

It’s a complex jumble of tart, sweet and milky flavors, with a multitude of interesting textures. It makes an excellent breakfast, an unusual and not-too-sweet dessert and, if you mention the pets, an amusing conversation starter too.


Chia seeds are nutritionally dense seeds that will thicken any liquid you add them to. Mix them up with coconut and almond milks and you’ve got an almost instant pudding with a tapioca-like texture and gently sweet flavor. This recipe is meant for breakfast, but if you add a little honey to the seeds as they swell, it will be sweet enough for dessert. You can use either black or white chia seeds here, or a mix. The pudding will continue to thicken as it sits, so feel free to thin it out to taste with a little more almond or coconut milk before serving.

1 hour
  • 130 grams whole dried apricots (about 20), more as needed
  • 1/3 cup passion-fruit juice or nectar (passion fruit-pear is fine)
  • 50 grams sugar (3 tablespoons)
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons lemon juice
  • Fine sea salt, as needed
  • 2 cups unsweetened almond milk
  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 85 grams chia seeds (1/2 cup)
  • 45 grams toasted kasha (1/4 cup), optional (see note)
  • Roasted whole almonds, coarsely chopped, as needed
  • Toasted unsweetened coconut flakes, as needed
  • Sliced banana, as needed, optional


Coarsely chop half of the dried apricots. Place chopped apricots in a small pot with passion-fruit juice, 25 grams sugar (1 1/2 tablespoons), lemon juice and a pinch of salt. Simmer very gently over low heat until apricots are soft and liquid has turned syrupy, about 30 minutes.
While chopped apricots cook, put remaining whole apricots in a bowl and cover with boiling water. Let soak until plump, 10 to 20 minutes. Drain and reserve plumped apricots and the apricot sauce for garnish.
Meanwhile, in a quart container with a lid (or use a cocktail shaker), combine almond and coconut milks, remaining 25 grams sugar (1 1/2 tablespoons) and a pinch of salt. Stir in chia seeds and kasha, if desired; shake thoroughly so that seeds are evenly hydrated. Let rest at least 20 minutes or until pudding has a rich, creamy texture. Seeds should be fully hydrated. (Pudding will keep for up to 3 days but may require rehydrating with more almond or coconut milk as the seeds continue to absorb liquid.)
To serve, spoon pudding into bowls. Top with apricot sauce, plumped apricots, almonds, coconut flakes and sliced banana, if desired.
4 servings
  • NOTE

    Toasted kasha, also known as buckwheat groats, can be hard to find. But you can easily toast raw kasha in a dry skillet for 2 to 3 minutes, stirring often. Or leave it out.

Chia Seed Jam

I found this great recipe for chia seed jam at  This recipe shows how easy chia seeds are to use as a thickening agent.

Chia seeds are:

  • high in protein
  • high in fiber
  • source of iron
  • source of calcium & magnesium


I love that you can make any kind of jam healthier by adding chia seeds.








Soak the chia seeds in water for 10 minutes.





Meanwhile, rinse your raspberries.



Pop everthing into a blender and whiz until the chunks of raspberry are smooth and that’s it! Pour it into a glass jar. I bought a set of 3 jars at the dollar store for $2.



The whole process takes less than 20 minutes and the result is something worthy of spreading on some toasted Ezekiel or on Mary’s gluten free crackers.







Raspberry Chia Seed Jam


  • 1 cup raspberries
  • 1 tbsp chia seeds + 2 tbsp water
  • 2 tbsp honey (try local!)


  1. Soak chia seeds in water for 10 minutes
  2. Place all ingredients in a blender and pulse until combined
  3. Store in a glass jar in the fridge




Chia Seed Apple Pie Pudding Recipe

It’s hard to find another nutrient-packed food with fiber, omega-3’s, and is low in calories.  Chia Seeds, yes as in, 80’s Chia Pet.  These tiny seeds are packed with nutritious fiber and can be used to create a variety of pudding-like foods.  Can be mixed with Almond milk (as in recipe below) to make a raw, great tasting, and vegan/gluten-free pudding that non-vegans  will also love.  Low in carbohydrates, 1 Tbsp has 7 grams carb (mostly complex),  5 grams fiber, 70 calories, and 4 grams fiber (mostly omega-3).


Modification for diabetes or blood sugar issues –  use 1 date as a natural sweetener (recipe calls for 4-5).  Each date has 66 calories, 16 grams carbohydrate, 1.6 grams fiber and 167 mg of potassium.



Recipe from Jennifer Vagios

Serves: 1 (make more, trust me)

Time: 10 minutes (if pre-soaked chia pudding) otherwise 40 mins-overnight.


Food Processor


For the chia pudding:

  • 2 tablespoons chia seeds (black variety is nutritionally superior)
  • 3/4 cup almond milk

For the Apple Pie Bit:

  • 1 green apple (I think I’ll use 1.5 apples next time)
  • 1/2 cup walnuts (or other nut)
  • 4-5 dried medjool dates (pit removed)
  • 1 teaspoon apple pie spice (make your own: 4 teaspoons ground cinnamon, 2 teaspoons ground nutmeg + 1 teaspoon ground cardamom-yields 2 tablespoons).


1. Make the pudding by combining the chia seeds and almond milk. Place in a mason jar or other cute container you can seal. Refrigerate while you make the pie mix.

2. Place all other ingredients in the food processor and pulse. Be careful not to over mix. It will become paste like..and that’s okay, but I prefer a little chunkiness.

3. Pause for a moment and appreciate the fact that your kitchen will now smell like apple pie. It’s pleasant to notice the little things now isn’t it? (there’s the yoga teacher in me telling you to PAUSE & BREATHE).

4. Combine 1/2 a cup of the apple pie filling with the chia pudding, stir well and place back in the refrigerator. Let the flavors merge and get cozy with one another for 20 minutes up to an hour or even overnight.

You’ll want to make a double batch. Trust me.


Make it more Awesome: (Yes, you can).


  • The leftover Apple Pie filling can be used as a dip, added to your oats, or smeared on some toast. Endless possibilities here. Make a smoothie!
  • Use other nuts, I think I’ll pre-toast some almonds next time.
  • Use other liquids like coconut milk, cashew or even hemp milk.
  • Breakfast in a pinch! Make this at night and have it ready to grab in the morning.


Heidi’s Kale

We know kale is a superfood and we need to eat more but are not sure how to make it taste good, too.  Kale is loaded with potassium, vitamin C, and vitamin A.  One cup raw kale has just 33 calories and 7 grams of carbohydrate which is similar to 1/2 apple.

I call this raw kale salad, Heidi’s kale, because I had it at my friend Heidi’s house and loved it.  Since then, my dinner guests are always impressed at how good kale can taste.  You can make this recipe healthier by using pumpkin seeds, chickpeas and apples or more decadent by adding goat cheese and cranberries.  Since there is no cooking, the nutrients stay more intact.

1 or 2 bunches of kale. Massage with olive oil for 2-3 minutes. Set aside for a few hours.


  • cranberries
  • Pumpkin seeds
  • Apples
  • Goat cheese


  • Lemon, 1/2 squeezed
  • olive oil, 3 Tbsp
  • honey, optional 1 Tbsp
  • Salt and pepper to taste

You can also add lots of veggies like cucumber, olives, chick peas, beets, avocado, carrots; basically whatever I have lying around. It always tastes good if the kale is softened.




Marcia’s Chili con Carne

This is a great recipe, easy to make and can be made ahead of time.  Recipe can easily be adjusted to accommodate vegetarian or vegan diets.



1 onion, peeled and chopped

1 lb. ground beef/turkey or 10 oz tofu

1 – 15 oz can chopped tomatoes

2 Tbsp. chili powder

2 cloves garlic

1 cup chopped carrots

1/4 – 1/2 tsp. salt

1 tsp. sugar

1 can red kidney beans

1 can Cannellini beans

1 can corn (no juice)



1.  Cook onions in oil until tender/golden.  Add carrots cook additional 5 min.

2.  Add ground beef/turkey or tofu and cook until brown.

3.  Add minced garlic

4.  Add can of tomatoes with 1/2 can boiling water

5.  In a little cup, mix chili powder, salt and sugar with cold water to create a paste.  Add to meat.

6.  Cover and simmer for 1 hour.  Check regularly that it is not losing too much liquid.  Can easily burn on bottom.

7.  Uncover and add beans and corn.

8.  Cook for 1/2 hour longer.



Best when left over night.

Serve with sour cream and grated cheddar cheese.