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healthy apple cinnamon bran flax muffins

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Bran Flax Muffins

My husband and I recently returned from a 2 week tour of Europe. The trip was amazing but we each probably gained 2-3 souvenir pounds. We vowed to eat extra healthy when we got back and thus my Healthy Apple Cinnamon Bran Flax Muffins were born. Healthy is really an understatement when describing these since they’re made from 100% whole wheat flour, wheat bran, ground flax, extra virgin olive oil, Greek yogurt, and fresh apples. It almost makes you forgive and forget about the teeny bit of butter streusel on the top. Especially when you eat the entire dozen in a 3 hour window (not saying we did that). But seriously, they’re the least “healthy-tasting” healthy muffins I’ve ever tried.

These healthy apple cinnamon muffins are made with 100% whole wheat flour, ground flax seed, wheat bran and Greek yogurt.

Healthy Apple Cinnamon Bran Flax Muffins

healthy apple cinnamon bran flax muffins
 
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These healthy apple cinnamon muffins are made with 100% whole wheat flour, ground flax seed, wheat bran and Greek yogurt.
Author:
Recipe type: Breakfast
Cuisine: American
Serves: 12 muffins
Ingredients
Muffins
  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup ground flax meal
  • ½ cup wheat bran (I like Bobs Red Mill)
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1½ teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 1½ teaspoon baking soda
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 2 eggs
  • ½ cup honey
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil or canola oil
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • ½ cup plain Greek yogurt (fat free or 2%)
  • 1 cup diced apples (I used about one large McIntosh)
Streusel Topping
  • ⅓ cup whole wheat flour
  • ½ cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons melted butter
  • 2 teaspoons cinnamon
  • Pinch of salt
Instructions
  1. Preheat the oven to 350°F. Line muffin tin with liners or oil with cooking spray.
  2. In a medium bowl, whisk together the flour, flax, bran, baking powder, spices, baking soda and salt.
  3. In a large bowl, whisk the eggs, honey, olive oil and vanilla. Once combined, fold in the yogurt.
  4. Slowly add the dry mixture into the wet ingredients and stir just until combined. Be careful not to over mix!
  5. Gently fold in diced apple and pour into muffin tins.
  6. In a small bowl, combine flour sugar, salt and cinnamon. Add melted butter and stir just until combined and crumbly. If the texture becomes sticky, you can add more flour and sugar for desired consistency. Sprinkle evenly on top of muffin batter.
  7. Bake for about 20-25 minutes or until a knife in the center comes out clean.

beet pesto pizza with spinach and feta

Beet Pesto Pizza with Spinach and FetaI’ve never had a beet before. Well, not really. I’ve bought them and juiced them and I’ve had them as chips but I’ve always been scared to eat a plain beet. Every time I thought of it, it reminded me of the icky looking canned beets that are the most neglected item at every salad bar. I’ve been toying with the idea of trying them for a while and finally took the plunge. And now they’re my favorite vegetable. No joke. I wasn’t sure what to do with them but figured roasting them was a good start. Then I dumped them in with some garlic, walnuts, lemon and parmesan and made the most delicious pesto you’ll ever try. All the pictures I attempted to take of this had little hands and fingers in the corners because Finn couldn’t get enough of the pesto. I can’t even imagine how delicious it would be on a pasta.

Note: I used the same pizza crust as the one I featured in my deep dish skillet pizza. It’s super versatile!

Beet Pesto Pizza with Spinach and Feta

This Beet Pesto Pizza with Spinach and Feta is Unexpected and Amazing! Beet Pesto Pizza with Spinach and FetaThis Beet Pesto Pizza with Spinach and Feta is Unexpected and Amazing!

 

5.0 from 2 reviews
beet pesto pizza with spinach and feta
 
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Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: American
Serves: 4-6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 large beet, cut into ½" cubes
  • 4 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • ¼ cup parmesan cheese
  • 2 tablespoons walnuts
  • 3 cloves garlic, roughly chopped
  • 2 fresh basil leaves (This is optional. I added these to add more flavor and mimic real pesto)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
  • 2 cups mozzarella cheese
  • 1 cup fresh chopped spinach (or kale)
  • ¼ yellow onion, julienned
  • ¼ cup of feta cheese
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss diced beets with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and place on baking sheet. Cook until tender and edges are just browned, about 15-20 minutes.
  2. In a small food processor, add beets, parmesan, lemon juice, garlic, basil and nuts and pulse until finely chopped. Add remaining oil and salt and pepper to taste and blend until texture is almost creamy.
  3. Reduced oven temp to 375 degrees. Spread crust evenly on a baking sheet (I used the pan I roasted the beets in and didn't wash it, no shame). Spread beet mixture over evenly then top with onions, chopped spinach, mozzarella and feta.
  4. Bake until cheese is melted and golden and crust is firm, about 20 minutes. Cut and serve immediately.

 

curry quinoa buddha bowl with coconut creamed kale

Curry Quinoa Buddha Bowl With Coconut Creamed KaleI love the holidays but I really hate the way they make me feel. Not only am I super stressed out from gift-buying, but also super bloated from loading up on cheesy casseroles and cookies. I decided enough was enough this week. We need a cleanse. I can’t just make salads because: 1. My husband hates them and 2. I end up waking up in the middle of the night to eat a snack (seriously). That’s where buddha bowls come in. They’re extremely popular on Pinterest right now and it’s no surprise why. They’re hearty, filling dishes made of various greens, raw or roasted veggies, beans and a healthy grain like quinoa or brown rice. Sometimes they also include toppings like nuts, seeds and dressings for added texture and flavor. For this version, I went the curry route with this version because I was really craving rich, coconut flavors. The coconut kale paired with the creamy avocado and crunchy chickpeas is just divine!

Curry Quinoa Buddha Bowl With Coconut Creamed Kale - Gotham Kitchen

curry quinoa buddha bowl with coconut creamed kale
 
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Cleanse and energize with this bowl loaded with roasted sweet potatoes, avocado, quinoa, brown rice, crunchy curried chickpeas and a coconut creamed kale.
Author:
Recipe type: Main
Cuisine: Indian
Serves: 2-4 servings
Ingredients
Chickpeas:
  • 1 can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • ½ teaspoon salt
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
Sweet Potatoes:
  • 1 large sweet potato, diced into ½ cubes
  • 1 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon turmeric powder
  • 1 teaspoon curry powder
  • 1 tablespoon coconut oil, melted
Quinoa:
  • 1 cup brown rice (optional)
  • ½ cup quinoa
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
Kale:
  • 2 cups of kale, chopped
  • ¼ cup coconut milk
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • 1 teaspoon coconut oil
  • 1 avocado, sliced or diced
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss diced sweet potatoes with spices and olive oil and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Bake until cooked through and golden brown, about 20 minutes.
  2. Pat chickpeas dry with a kitchen or paper towel. Toss with olive oil, salt and curry powder and spread evenly on a baking sheet. Cook until crisp and golden brown, about 10-15 minutes.
  3. Combine rice and quinoa and cook according to package directions. (Note: When adding quinoa, typically cook brown rice according to package directions with an additional ¼ cup of water then add in the last 10-15 minutes)
  4. In a small frying pan, heat coconut oil over medium heat. Add garlic and cook until fragrant, about 1-2 minutes. Add coconut milk and kale and stir until kale has wilted. Turn to medium-low heat and cook until coconut milk has reduced and kale is soft.
  5. Once sweet potatoes and chickpeas are golden, remove from oven and place in individual bowls. Add quinoa/rice mixture, creamed kale, avocado and top with chopped cilantro. Serve immediately.
Nutrition Information
Serving size: 4 Calories: 930 Fat: 30g Saturated fat: 14g Trans fat: 0 Carbohydrates: 140g Sugar: 16g Sodium: 970mg Fiber: 29g Protein: 32g Cholesterol: 0

 

grilled chicken chimichurri

Parsley and cilantro are 2 of my favorite secret weapons. I keep them stocked in my fridge at all times because I use them a ton. And what’s better than adding a bright pop of green to a finished dish? That’s right, nothing. Anyways, I always end up using them a few times then letting them turn brown and soggy in my crisper drawer. That is, until I discovered chimichurri! I’ve had chimichurri a few times and loved it but never realized how simple it is to throw together. It’s packed with flavor and adds a really nice freshness to different kinds of proteins. You see it on beef a lot, but this time I made it on chicken and it was a huge hit. My 18-month old doesn’t like meat that much, but he loved this chicken. And did I mention it’s also healthy?

grilled chicken chimichurri - gotham kitchen

grilled chicken chimichurri

grilled chicken chimichurri
 
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take chicken breast to the next level with this fresh and flavorful chimichurri sauced served over grilled chicken and your favorite grains and vegetables.
Author:
Serves: 2-4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 bunch flat leaf parsley
  • ½ bunch cilantro
  • 4 cloves of garlic
  • 1 tablespoon crushed red pepper flakes (optional)
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 1 teaspoon lemon or lime juice
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • ¼ medium white or red onion
  • ½ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • 1 lb boneless skinless chicken breasts (about 3-4)
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Season chicken breasts generously with salt and pepper. Preheat a griddle pan on medium-high until hot. Cook chicken breasts at least 5 minutes on each side, or until lightly charred on the outside and cooked through.
  2. Wash and drain parsley and cilantro and remove stems.
  3. Place parsley, cilantro, garlic, red pepper, vinegar, lime juice, oregano, onion, and oil into a food processor or blender and pulse until slightly opaque. Taste and season with salt and pepper as desire.
  4. Serve over chicken breasts and your favorite rice and/or veggie (I used quinoa and roasted bell peppers). To get more sauce infused into the chicken, I sliced them right before serving.

 

chickpea fritters with easy tzatziki

I’m calling these chickpea fritters, but they’re really my version of falafel. They taste like falafel, smell like falafel…the only difference is that they’re pan-fried in a small amount of olive oil and I use canned chickpeas instead of dried. If you’re not familiar with falafel, they’re traditional Middle Eastern deep-fried balls  made from chickpeas or fava beans (check ’em out). And they’re delicious. They’re also really easy to whip up on a weeknight when you want something filling but not unhealthy. I’m sure you know that chickpeas are chock-full of protein and fiber as well as potassium, calcium, iron and so on. Instead of deep-frying, these fritters are pan-fried in extra virgin olive oil just until crisp.  I typically serve these with whole wheat pitas, a light tzatziki sauce (recipe below), goat cheese and fresh tomatoes and spinach. These are so good and filling, even my 18-month old cleans his plate.

chickpea fritters with easy tzatziki

chickpea fritters with easy tzatziki

chickpea fritters with easy tzatziki
 
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These chickpea fritters with easy tzatziki make an easy, healthy weeknight meal. Serve with warm pitas and fresh tomatoes and spinach.
Author:
Serves: 2-4 servings
Ingredients
  • Fritters:
  • 2 cans (28 ounces) chickpeas
  • 1.5 teaspoons of cumin
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 egg
  • 4 tablespoons of white or whole wheat flour, plus extra for coating
  • 1 teaspoon baking powder
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, plus extra for serving, chopped
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • 1 teaspoon of salt
  • 2 large tomatoes, diced (optional)
  • Whole wheat pitas (optional)
  • Sauce:
  • 1 cup Greek nonfat yogurt
  • ¼ cup cucumber, de-seeded and diced
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 1 teaspoon lemon juice
  • 1 teaspoon dill, (fresh or dried)
Instructions
  1. Put all of the ingredients except for the oil into a food processor and blend. Texture should be chunky, not pureed and dough should be slightly sticky. Add more flour as needed.
  2. For the sauce, combine all ingredients and refrigerate until serving.
  3. Heat oil on medium-high heat in a large skillet. Form dough into balls, 1-1.5 inch in diameter and flatten into patties. Lightly flour each side and place onto skillet. Cook until both sides are golden brown and crisp, about 3-5 minutes each.
  4. Garnish with tomatoes and remaining chopped parsley. Serve immediately with warm pitas.

 

greek turkey meatballs with lemon and feta

Ahh meatballs. The official food of Labor Day. Not really, but let’s pretend they are ‘cus these are so good, you need to make them STAT. The possibilities for meatballs are endless. Once you have the basic foundation recipe down, you can go nuts adding various flavor profile and ingredients. I have to admit that even writing this recipe was difficult as I typically just do my best at guessing then dumping everything in the bowl and mixing. They’re really hard to mess up as long as they’re seasoned properly and have the right proportions of meat, breadcrumbs, and egg. I typically make them Italian-style with a great homemade marinara, but these Greek-style meatballs are so flavorful, you definitely don’t need sauce! I paired these with a Mediterranean orzo salad.

greek turkey meatballs with lemon and feta

greek turkey meatballs with lemon and feta
 
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These Greek turkey meatballs with lemon and feta are light, flavorful and healthy.
Author:
Serves: 4 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 lb ground lean turkey
  • 1 egg
  • ½ medium yellow onion, diced
  • ⅓ cup feta cheese
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • ½ cup of breadcrumbs
  • 1 tablespoon grated lemon zest
  • ¼ cup fresh parsley, chopped
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp fresh cracked pepper
Instructions
  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. In a medium bowl, combine all ingredients and mix with your hands until fully combined.
  3. Form 12-14 one-inch balls and place on a cookie sheet.
  4. Bake on top rack until meatballs begin to brown, about 20 minutes.

greek turkey meatballs with lemon and feta

shrimp and pea paella

Paella is another member of our rotating weeknight dinners. It’s a one-pot dish that can be on the table in about 30 minutes AND you can swap out the proteins to keep it from getting boring. But really, paella is never boring. The best part is the crisp caramelized rice layer (the socarrat) at the bottom. It honestly took me a few tries to get that crisp right but I learned the secret: don’t stir the rice. I know it’s tempting; every part of you wants to stir that rice to get it evenly cooked. But DON’T DO IT. You won’t regret it, I promise. This version includes shrimp and peas, but I’ve also used spicy sausage (chorizo or andouille work) and chicken.

shrimp and pea paella

shrimp and pea paella
 
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A Spanish-inspired one-pot wonder with shrimp, peas and rice.
Author:
Serves: 2-4 servings
Ingredients
  • shrimp and pea paella
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • 5 garlic cloves, minced
  • 1 shallot, minced
  • 1½ cups Arborio rice (I've also used long and medium-grain brown rice and it was just as delicious)
  • 1 pinch of saffron, about 5-10 strands
  • ¼ cup dry white wine (sauvingon blanc or pinot grigio work)
  • 1½ cups chicken or vegetable stock
  • 1 can (14.5 ounces) diced tomatoes, drained
  • ¾ pound large shrimp, peeled and de-veined, tails on or off
  • 1 cup frozen peas, thawed
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a large skillet, heat oil and shallot over medium heat. Cook until shallot is softened, about 3 minutes. Add garlic and cook for 1 minute or until fragrant. Stir in rice and cook until rice is lightly toasted, about 3 minutes.
  2. Add wine and stir until evaporated. Add stock, saffron and tomatoes and bring to a simmer. Cover and cook until rice is tender and most of liquid is absorbed, 10 minutes.
  3. Place shrimp evenly around the skillet and top with peas. Cover and cook until shrimp is cooked through (will turn white-ish pink), about 7-10 minutes. Season with salt and pepper.

mediterranean orzo salad

Orzo is really one of the most versatile pastas. Its small, rice-like shape lends itself to so many possibilities: soups, salads, pilafs; hot or cold, it’s awesome. In the summer, I love substituting a hot starch with a cold, refreshing pasta salad. It’s also a great base for adding loads of your favorite veggies. The below version is fairly basic since I didn’t have a lot on hand, but you can beef it up by adding red onions, olives, roasted red peppers, zucchini, etc. I topped mine with grilled lemon chicken breasts to complete the meal.

mediterranean orzo salad
 
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Author:
Serves: 6 servings
Ingredients
  • 1 cucumber, diced
  • 2 roma or san marzano tomatoes, diced
  • 1 red bell pepper, diced
  • 1 green bell pepper, diced
  • 1 cup orzo
  • ¼ cup red wine vinegar
  • 2 cloves garlic
  • ¼ cup olive oil
  • ¼ cup feta
  • Salt and pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. In a medium pot, bring water to boil. Add orzo and cook until soft, about 10 minutes. Drain and refrigerate until cool.
  2. In a small bowl, whisk vinegar, garlic, feta, salt and pepper together until well combined. Continue to whisk while adding olive oil.
  3. Dice vegetables and add to chilled pasta in a large serving bowl. Stir in dressing and serve!

 

massaged kale salad

As a lover of all things healthy, I bought into the kale craze at the get-go. I brought home my first bag expecting it to be tender and leafy like my favorite baby spinach. And I was way wrong. What I got was tough, stringy, tasteless greens that I could only digest by tossing into soups until they wilted and became indistinguishable green globs.

But then I discovered the practice of “massaging” my kale. Seriously.  Giving those greens a nice rubdown breaks down the cellulose layers, removing the bitterness and tough outer layers.

You will need:

  • 2 heads of kale, stems removed and torn into pieces (bagged kind is OK too, just use about 5 cups)
  • 1 clove of garlic, finely chopped
  • Juice from 1 lemon
  • 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 tsp salt
  • 1/2 tsp black pepper
  • 1/4 cup of parmesan cheese
raw kale
pre-massaged raw kale

1. Tear kale into pieces into a medium-large mixing bowl.

2. Add the oil, salt, pepper, and lemon juice to the kale and begin massaging mixture with your hands. After a minute or so, the leaves should be greener, softer, and slippery looking.

massaged kale
post-massaged kale

3. Optional. This salad is a great base to a myriad of toppings. Add almonds, pine nuts, cranberries, etc. (all things I don’t currently have in my pantry) to add some extra flavor.