I think part of making the evening meal quick, painless and yummy is having certain essentials in the fridge and cabinet.
In the fridge I always have ginger, butter, lemon, lime, carrots, celery, heavy cream, cheeses (parmesan and shredded something), eggs, anchovies, soy sauce, capers in salt and olives among other things. But for me these are the basics.
In the cabinet good olive oil, beans, bread crumbs, pasta, canned tomatos and vinegars. In the drawer always has onions, garlic and shallots.
Just pick up a protein (chicken, beef, pork, etc) and you have Milanese (pan sauted bread crumb covered meat) top it with lettuce that's been run through some oil and vinegar...dinner! Another option is your protien sliced thin and made into a stir fry with garlic, onions, ginger and soy sauce. You can keep going with just a few staples in the house.
Fast, quick, healthy and delicious. What's in yours?