Family-Friendly Meal Plan: Week #12

In carrying on with my theme of featuring favorite dietitians throughout the month of March (National Nutrition Month), it should come as no surprise for me to introduce Mary Ellen of Milk & Honey Nutrition.

Mary Ellen was one year ahead of me in grad school, as well as the LEAH Fellow the year before me. When I eventually was asked to help her conduct home visits for her thesis project, it was the start to a fast friendship.

Since then, she and I have been co-workers and neighbors, young wives and first time moms together, and now private practice dietitians and lifelong friends. I not only admire the gorgeous food photography Mary Ellen shares with us, but I am always learning from the creative ways she comes up with so many recipes I crave!

I know you will enjoy them as well this week.


Veggies & Virtue Meal Plan: Week of March 18

meal plan thumbnail (10).png


This is totally my kind of “week when my husband is out of town” meal plan. Lots of salads and easy recipes I can eat again and again, while still finding ways to fit in love it and learning it foods for my kids.

My only qualm with it? None of it ever tastes as good when I make it myself.

You know how you have those favorite recipes that only your mom or dad can make “just right?” Well, having known Mary Ellen since my very first few days in Houston, she has become a dear friend and someone whose recipes have brought me a lot of comfort over the years. After the birth of each of my daughters, when my dad passed, and on lunch time play dates with our kids, many of this week’s chosen recipes are the ones I will always adore as nostalgic favorites from my dear friend, Mary Ellen.

Interested in walking through the steps to meal plan like a pro?

Download your copy of my Meal Planning Playbook. It outlines the following five steps of successful meal planning in more detail so you can achieve "Less Meal Time Stress and More Feeding Success" for your own family!



A special thanks to Mary Ellen of Milk & Honey Nutrition for the delicious recipe ideas this week!

Dinner Menu:

1 ǁ Seafood Sunday: Fish Fixe Salmon with Maple Black Pepper Bacon Brussles Sprouts

2 ǁ Meatless Monday: Homemade Mac & Cheese

3 ǁ Salad Night: Kale and Chickpea Tuna Salad and Grain-Free Cheesy Rolls

4 ǁ One Pot Wonder Wednesday: Cranberry Quinoa Veggie Saute

5 ǁ Breakfast for Dinner: Scrambled Eggs, Roasted Sweet Potatoes, and Blueberry Chia Muffins

6 ǁ Pizza Night: Did you know that pretty much every dietitian I know still eats pizza? Fun fact: Mary Ellen’s favorite type of pizza is this one!

7 ǁ Comfort Food Saturday: Turkey Sloppy Joes




Are you subscribing to my newsletter? If not, sign up using the button above (where it says "SIGN UP HERE." In my once-weekly newsletter, I share how I breakdown EACH night's menu to make it kid-friendly for even the kids who "don't eat everything." It is delivered to your inbox every Friday morning too, so you have it in time to plan and prepare for your upcoming week.

So if you don't know how to breakdown one dinner and make it work for the whole family, subscribing to my newsletter is your go-to way to find out "what to pair" with each night's dinner ideas using a "Love it, Like it, Learning it" approach. With these tips of what I do in my own house, you will see how virtually any dish can be offered fuss-free as a family meal!

Want to learn more about how "Love it, Like it, Learning it" works?
Grab your free guide here.



What I Buy and Why: Avocado Oil

A question I often get is what type of oil I recommend in cooking. Even as a big fan of avocado oil myself, I figured I would ask Mary Ellen to address this week's "What I Buy and Why." She is who first introduced me to avocado oil and an avid user of it as well, as well as an ambassador for Chosen Foods!

Mary Ellen shares below a bit more about "smoke points" and how avocado oil offers a superior product to fix this problem in a helpful article here.

Every oil that you cook with, even the “healthy” oils, has a certain temperature called a smoke point. Once an oil is heated enough and reaches its smoke point, it does just that... it starts to smoke and break down. As the oil is breaking down, it starts to become more oxidized. These oxidized parts of the oil may cause damage to cells inside your body, and increase your risk for cancer.
— Mary Ellen, Milk & Honey Nutrition


I am sharing my tips for how to meal prep this week's menu over on Milk & Honey Nutrition. If the idea of a marathon meal prep session has always sounded too overwhelming to make you even want to start, be sure to check out my post here! I give the one-hour rundown on what I did to make meal prep for this week in less than 60 minutes worth of meal prep time!

Happy National Nutrition Month!

To You and Your Family's Health,
Ashley & Mary Ellen