Please meet our May Cold-Proof Cooking blogger, Aggie Goodman of Aggie’s Kitchen!
Aggie calls the kitchen her happy place—her lab for whipping up concoctions that are inspired by her Italian heritage, her love of health and emphasis on balance, but where the occasional treat is allowed too. This sounds like a pretty good place to spend some time, right? Well, in her words—pull up a chair and stay awhile! We’re about to learn a pasta-licious cold-proof recipe from Aggie. As a bonus challenge, let’s see how many of you can resist licking your lips at the picture! 😉
How did you get into cooking and blogging?
I am Italian, so food has always been a big part of my family. My parents have owned a pizzeria since I was 4 years old so between there and at home, I’ve been surrounded by lots of food all of my life. Once I got married and started a family of my own, I really started to enjoy cooking and entertaining. I learned a lot from watching the chefs on Food Network, but my passion for food and cooking just came to me naturally because of my family.
I was introduced to food blogs while searching for a recipe back in 2007 and, with a nudge from my niece Sarah, decided to start my own blog. I was instantly hooked and drawn into the food blogging community. I can’t imagine my life without my blog and being able to share food and cooking with others. Food blogging has absolutely been an inspiring and rewarding experience for me.
What’s your top tip for staying healthy?
I think consistent exercise is a huge part of staying healthy. I usually feel more tired, sluggish and “unhealthy” on days where I’m not active. Even if I’m a little under the weather, a quick sweat session usually makes me feel more energized and carries me through the rest of my day. I also find it easier to eat well on days that I exercise, so that’s a built-in bonus.
What’s one important way you try to take care of yourself and those around you?
I have always been very aware of how much sleep my family is getting. I really try to keep my kids on a schedule and in bed at a reasonable hour so they get enough sleep. I have always been very strict on naps too, when my kids were younger and napping. It feels kind of rigid at times and we are flexible about it, but I can usually see my kids (and myself) start to get run down after a few too many late nights.
Can you share your favorite healthy/easy/deliciously comforting recipe?
1/2 box whole-wheat spaghetti
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 garlic cloves, minced
1 onion, sliced thin
1 can garbanzo beans (chickpeas), rinsed and drained
2-3 bunches of fresh spinach
pinch of red pepper flakes
salt and fresh ground pepper, to taste
additional olive oil, to taste
freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving
Cook pasta according to directions.
While pasta is cooking, heat oil in a large sauté pan. Add garlic and onions to pan and cook over medium heat for 5 minutes or until slightly soft, season with salt and pepper. Add chickpeas to onions and sauté for another 5 minutes. Drain pasta, reserving about 1/4 cup of pasta water. Add fresh spinach to pan, add cooked pasta and pasta water over spinach and gently toss. Turn off heat.
Before serving, add an additional drizzle of olive oil over pasta. Season to taste with salt and red pepper flakes. Serve with freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
How did you discover this recipe?
Pasta is my comfort food. I started making this simple and healthy pasta dish on Saturday nights when I didn’t want to make a huge fuss over dinner. It includes mostly pantry staples with the addition of fresh spinach. A bowl of Whole Wheat Spaghetti with Sautéed Chickpeas and Spinach definitely hits the spot on nights when you just want to curl up on the couch and relax. My husband and I usually enjoy it as the recipe is written, but my kids like their whole-wheat pasta on the simple side with just olive oil, garlic and Parmesan.
Do you have a zany cold remedy or unique stay-healthy routine?
Our family really enjoys green smoothies. I make mine with fresh spinach, frozen banana and almond milk. I also like to pull the juicer out when anyone in the family starts feeling under the weather. Our favorite juice combination? Carrot, apple, ginger, celery and cucumber. You get a nice punch of vitamins in a glass like that!
Thanks for the recipe, Aggie! We love that the pasta dish is one-stop cooking… it’s got a blend of carbohydrates, protein, and veggies so you can throw it together and enjoy, without worrying about having to cook meat, boil broccoli or throw together a salad. Like Aggie says—a perfect dish for those nights you’d rather spend the extra time curled up on the couch with your family!
Tell us, what are your favorite simple recipes?