Good Meals Don’t Just Happen

Yay!! I’ve lost 25.6 pounds total so far with 54.4 pounds to go to reach my goal!  My BMI has dropped from 36.9 to 33.1 and my goal is 24.9.

Natural Weight Loss


Good Meals Don’t Just Happen

It’s easy to get excited about all the benefits you, your family, and the planet will gain by eating a whole-foods, plant-powered diet.

But like a newly planted tree, this style of eating won’t develop unless you nurture it.

If you start with a little careful planning, you’ll soon be able to enjoy the fruits of your labor.

Here are 2 tips to create healthy, plant-powered meals every day:

1.  Pick your best shopping days.

Strategize your shopping around your schedule.

For example, if you work Monday through Friday, you may want to shop for staples on Saturday or Sunday.

Check out your local farmers market or rely on the offerings from your CSA for fresh produce, and plan this into your shopping schedule as well.

2.  Plan your menu.

Before your shopping trip, it’ll be helpful to write up a brief menu for the week.

This is the basis for your shopping list.

Recipe of the Day:  Sweet Potato Gnocchi with Pistachio-Orange Pesto

Active Preparation Time:  30 minutes

Total Preparation Time:  1 hour

If you want to enjoy delicious, plant-powered meals, keep a supply of staples on hand, like root vegetables, extra virgin olive oil, and nuts.

You might be surprised to learn homemade gnocchi – those classic Italian mini-dumplings – are simple to make.

Just whip up your dough, roll it into ropes, slice the ropes into “pillows,” and drop them into boiling water – no need for any special pasta-making equipment.

You can even make it easier with a little planning, if you cook the sweet potatoes the day before.

This sweet potato gnocchi is rich in flavor, color, and antioxidants, and goes well with this orange pistachio pesto.

Makes 8 servings (1/2 cup gnocchi and 1 tablespoon pesto)


2 large sweet potatoes, peeled and cubed (see Notes)

1/4 teaspoon nutmeg

Pinch of kosher salt, optional

2 cups white whole wheat flour, plus more for rolling

6-12 tablespoons unsweetened plain plant-based milk

1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil

Pistachio-Orange Pesto:

1/2 cup toasted shelled unsalted pistachios

Juice of 1/2 lemon

2 tablespoons orange juice

Zest of 1/2 medium orange

1-1/2 teaspoons extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of freshly ground black pepper

*Use as many organic ingredients as possible.

1.  To make the gnocchi, place sweet potatoes in a small pot and cover with water.  Cover and bring to a boil over high heat.  Reduce the heat and simmer for about 20 minutes, until tender.  Drain the sweet potatoes, place in a mixing bowl, and mash well with a potato masher.  Cool slightly.

2.  Meanwhile, prepare the pesto by combining all the ingredients in a small food processor or blender.  Process until smooth but chunky (don’t overprocess), scraping down the sides if necessary.  Set aside.

3.  Mix the mashed sweet potatoes with the nutmeg, kosher salt (if desired), and flour with an electric mixer.  Add enough plant-based milk, 1 tablespoon at a time, to make a soft, slightly sticky dough.

4.  Turn out the dough onto a clean, floured surface and separate into 6 pieces.  Roll each piece into a 1″ rope, then cut into 1″ segments to create “pillows.”

5.  Fill a large pot with several inches of water and bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to a simmer.  Add the olive oil.

6.  Add half of the pillows of gnocchi dough to the boiling water.  Once they rise to the top, cook for an additional 5-8 minutes, until the gnocchi are cooked through.  Remove with a slotted spoon and drain.  Repeat to cook the next batch of gnocchi.

7.  Serve immediately, with the pesto.

Notes:  You can use frozen, thawed sweet potatoes in step 3.

The Pistachio-Orange Pesto is also an excellent accompaniment to other pasta dishes, sandwiches, or vegetable sides.  You can double this pesto recipe, which stores well in an airtight container in the refrigerator for up to one week.

Though the gnocchi is best enjoyed fresh, you can store leftovers in the refrigerator (separately from the pesto) for up to 3 days and reheat in the microwave later.  You can also make up the gnocchi the day before and boil when you plan to eat it.

Variation:  To make this gluten-free, substitute an all-purpose gluten-free flour blend (like Bob’s Red Mill or King Arthur Flour) for the white whole wheat flour, and add enough plant-based milk (1 tablespoon at a time) to create a soft, slightly sticky dough.

Per serving:  191 calories, 6 g total fat (1 g saturated), 13 mg sodium, 32 g total carbohydrates (3 g sugar), 6 g fiber, 6 g protein.

If you have any questions, send us an email!

Come join us on our natural weight loss journey!  We’d love to have you along!

Have an awesome day!

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us 05-11

Dick and Lenay


from Plant-Powered For Life by Sharon Palmer, RDN

P.S. If your diet isn’t working for you, join us on our natural weight loss journey.


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