No Plan Meal Planning – Tilapia Tacos with Corn Guacamole

I used to do a very detailed weekly meal plan, then grocery shop on Sunday getting everything I needed for the week.  While I do enjoy this method, lately I have been taking a different approach and I think saving money in the process.

I still typically go grocery shopping on the weekend, but I usually also find myself near one of my favorite store during the week such as Land and Sea where I get amazing deals on my proteins, and Aldi where produce can be hit or miss, but I usually have pretty good luck and pay less than half the other grocery stores.

I will make a general list of  my staples I need such as produce, cereal, coffee, creamer, Greek yogurt, canned beans, whole grains cheese, some sort of bread, etc… Then I check out the deals at Publix usually.  I’ll buy things that are healthy and a good deal.

As long as I have a wide range of healthy whole foods, I am usually able to get creative when it comes time for dinner.  I am constantly finding inspiration from The Food Network, The Cooking Channel, Pinterest, cookbooks and food magazines.

Most days I just stand in front of the fridge to see what I have to work with and something usually (not always) comes to me.

Here’s what I had to work with today;

Corn guacamole with tomato, onion and lime:

– 1 and 1/2 avocados

-1 and 1/2 tomatoes

-half a lime (juiced)

-red onion (I used about 1/4 finely diced)

-half a jalapeno finely diced

-1 cup frozen sweet corn kernels

I mixed all the ingredients together with salt and pepper and a simple delicious topping for my tilapia tacos was born.

For the tilapia, I dusted the filets with Creole seasoning and pan seared in a little extra virgin olive oil on medium heat for about 6 minutes per side, sliced and served on tortillas topped with queso fresco and hot sauce.  So easy and delicious.

I think the key to this method of  “no plan meal planning”, is to use fresh quality ingredients as simply as possible.  To embrace a minimal style of cooking that relies on the ingredients to shine through makes for a naturally healthy meal that takes little time to prepare.

This is how I do 95% of my meals.  There are also times I get a craving for something or want to try a new recipe that requires more planning and time, and I am more than happy to cook those as well.  But with a busy schedule and late evenings of work, this way works well for me right now.

Low Key Weekend

This past weekend was spent settling into our new place. Friday night I made bbq tofu over sauteed veggies, topped with fresh tomatoes and avocado, sprinkled with queso fresco and drizzled in yogurt ranch dressing with a side of  Melissa D’Arabian’s Potato Cake.  I’m still learning my new stove, so I had the heat a little too high and my potato cake got a little too dark in spots, but it was still tasty.

Saturday morning we slept in. I had a bowl of cereal with bananas and almond milk for breakfast:

We relaxed until early afternoon (It was a rough week).  Then we went to our new gym.  I did some shoulder work with free weights and ran a 5k on the treadmill.  Only a few more weeks until I start training for my second half marathon.  Am I ready for this?

For a late lunch, I made up a fresh veggie platter with crackers and hummus:

Then we ran some errands (Home Depot, grocery store). For dinner, I made some stuffed chicken breasts from The Land and Sea Market. I LOVE this place.  They have a weekly special “Pick six for $26”.  I got a pound of deli turkey breasts, 2 tilapia filets, 2 pounds boneless skinless chicken breasts, 2 pounds ground chicken, 2 stuffed chicken breasts, and 2 giant bourbon marinated t-bones (that would have been $23 by themselves!)

The stuffed chicken breasts were yummy with some roasted brussel sprouts and oven fries (made from my 10 pound bag of potatoes that I got from Aldi (another store I love) for $1.79)

For my dessert, half of my beloved raspberry elegance cake from Publix:

This is my favorite cake of all time!!!!

Saturday night was low key, relaxing on the couch.

Sunday started with another bowl of cereal, did chores around the new place, getting everything put away and pictures hung. Some pictures:

The view from the loft:

Our view;

Mom came over for a little bit in the afternoon. then we grilled out in the evening.  I’m the grill master 😉

Bourbon steak for her, bbq chicken for him (and her:) )

Served with a baked potato and salad with Rachel Ray’s Roasted Red Pepper Salad Dressing.

It was a productive low key weekend.  I’m gearing up for a busy week, 2 more weekends off, then wedding season kicks off 🙂