Your Goal - enjoying healthy home cooked meals that spool up quick for the busy work week ahead.
The Plan - this weekend plan out 3 dinners for the coming week. Select recipes, dump them onto a shopping list and head to the farmers market or the family freezer.
Aim for a 30 min total meal prep time so you will actually make it, even after a full day at work. You can cheat like a chef by doing all your slice and dice, your soaking and sauteing, etc on Sunday. For a fuller discussion of this genius approach see - Well Fed 1 and 2 here
Recipes are great but templates are infinitely more adaptable.
Meat - Even if you go with veg proteins for breakfast and lunch, dinner in America usually means meat so let's make it good. Plan on aprox 3oz per person. Avoid high / dry heat - especially for long durations. A quick searing, a slow gentle saute or long slow simmer in a crock pot...all good.
Vegetables - Serve at least two. Add good fats like olive oil, butter or nuts, make them fun.
Grain / Legume - farro, quinoa, beans, etc. Soak them overnight, takes just a minute before bed. Rinse next day, then refrigerate or cook and enjoy. The cooking part will go much faster thanks to the soaking. Makes them easier to digest too.
Flavor - Herbs and spices often grouped together to form an ethnic palette; Italian, Moroccan, etc. Recipes list spices of course but you can also cheat by having ethnic spices mixes on hand. Like going out for Indian food? Amazon search for "Indian spice mix" and bam, you are making chicken korma.
Know your flavor palette, it helps when you are faced with plain fish, chicken, veg without a recipe. i like olives and bacon, add it to chichen and boom, it tastes good to me. i like cinnamon and molasses, add it to oatmeal or sweet potatoes - boom i like it.
Adopt restaurant tactics to make home cooked meals super efficiently - first rule is the economies of scale - never cut up just one item - you have the cutting board and knife ready - slice n dice everything. Never cook just one item, never prepare just one serving. Whether it's omelettes, grilled sweet potatoes, oatmeal, etc - make several servings and refrigerate for super quick meals later on.
Stove top efficiencies - saute peppers, then greens, then sweet tators, then an omelette - same skillet, it's already hot, no wash each time. Same with the oven - bake fish, sweet potatoes and some carrots - 3 dishes in oven at once, hyper efficient.
You can do this - once you try the system above you'll see how easy it can be ;-)