I LOVE when an experimental dinner idea turns out to be a huge success!
After setting out a weekly meal plan, I knew that we were going to have tilapia tonight. What I didn't have a clue about, though, was how I would prepare it or what would accompany the fish. Because Alex is working the night shift, he was around this afternoon to keep an eye on the babe for a little while. This meant I actually had some time to get creative in the kitchen.
I took a look through the fridge and cabinets and the result was the meal you see below: cajun tilapia, polenta, and a homemade black bean salad/salsa.
I seasoned the fish (< $6.00 for 2 lbs at Aldi) with cajun seasoning I made a few weeks ago (see recipe here). Then, I pan fried the tilapia in just a bit of olive oil, cooking for a few minutes on each side.
I used quick cooking polenta (yellow grits, to you southern folk), which I found, unexpectedly, in the pantry. I cooked the polenta in water and seasoned it with just a little salt, butter, and garlic powder.
I made the black bean salad using leftover canned black beans ($0.55/can at Aldi), which had already been heated once, so they were softened a bit. I rinsed the black beans, then added diced grape tomatoes ($0.69/pint at Aldi), sliced green onion, lime juice (I always try to keep limes and lemons in the fridge - so many uses), and a little salt. The salad was served cold.
The citrus of the black bean salad played well against the spiciness of the fish, and the creamy polenta added some texture contrast.
It was a simple, quick, but DELICIOUS meal! Gosh, that puts a smile on my face. :)