Shop Thoughtfully and Purposefully

By Sharon Palmer, RDN, The Plant-Powered Dietitian™

So, you’re organized, and you have your menu and your shopping list in hand, but it can all break down in  the supermarket aisles if you can’t find chia seeds and almond butter, or if you get bogged down choosing  between products.  It’s no wonder that so many people find food shopping to be a dreaded chore.

Follow my steps to lighten your load and create smart food-shopping strategies to support your plant-powered eating style.

  • Pinpoint the best plant-powered supermarket in your community. Do some scouting in your neighborhood and find the stores that best meet your plant-powered needs in your community.  If time is a priority, try to avoid making multiple stops at several stores each week.  Zero in on supermarkets that support the plant-powered lifestyle by stocking a variety of whole grains and legumes, a good selection of dried herbs and spices, a produce section that focuses on local, seasonal produce and an array of plant based foods.
  • Make thoughtful food purchases. While it’s important to read nutrition information before you make food choices, it’s also important to know what your favorite food companies are all about.
  • Look beyond nutrition. Good, healthy food is more than just a package of carbohydrates, protein and vitamins.  As much as possible, it should also be flavorful, low in pesticide residues, local and whole.
  • Save dollars with good food. You don’t have to shop at a high-priced natural food store to eat a healthful plant-based diet.  Remember, this eating style – low in animal proteins and highly processed food – should save you money, not cost you more.


Med Artichoke Bake

Easy Mediterranean Artichoke Chickpea Bake

This easy casserole bake can be whipped together in minutes! Plus, it’s based on things you can keep on hand in your pantry: spelt (an ancient form of wheat kernels), canned chickpeas, marinated artichokes, marinara sauce, and olives. It’s savory, hearty and a one-dish meal.


1 ½ cups cooked spelt (according to package directions)
1 15-ounce can chickpeas (garbanzos), drained
1 12-ounce jar marinated artichokes, drained
1 cup frozen peas
½ cup olives, drained (i.e. Spanish, Kalamata)
½ cup marinara sauce
1 clove garlic, minced
Pinch black pepper
1 teaspoon oregano


1. Preheat oven to 375 F.

2. Mix all ingredients together and place in a medium casserole dish.

3. Place in oven, on top rack, uncovered, and bake for about 30 – 35 minutes, until golden brown and heated through.

Makes 6 servings

Sharon Fruit Pic

Sharon Palmer, The Plant-Powered Dietitian™ is a writer and author of The Plant-Powered Diet. Over 850 of her articles have been published in national publications, including Prevention,Better Homes and Gardens and Today’s Dietitian. She is also the editor of the award-winning publication Environmental Nutrition and writes for her blog, The Plant-Powered Blog. Her specific expertise is in plant-based nutrition, including Mediterranean, vegetarian and vegan diets. Her second book, Plant-Powered For Life: Eat Your Way to Lasting Health with 52 Simple Steps and 125 Delicious Recipes is available for purchase now.