Most important rule in simple cooking...no recipe. Use what you have, ingredients you love and whatever is fresh and cheap!!! When tomatoes are hanging off everyone's plants, buy tomatoes. In the winter, use tomato sauce. It is inexpensive and flavorful. I always keep a jar of organic pasta sauce from Trader Joe's or Whole Foods on hand.
You don't need a plan. The kids threw a container of green beans in the cart at the store the other day. Instead of putting it back once I realized it's presence, I simply went with it and bought green beans. We were supposed to have hamburgers for dinner, but the green beans were calling to me. So here is how I cook most nights, without recipes. When I find recipes I love, I tend to memorize them as I make them often.
First onion, garlic, zucchini and green beans stir fried in some olive oil. I added a pound of grass-fed beef, some tumeric (I wanted curry but I was out), 1/2 a jar of pasta sauce and bam...dinner. I served some corn chips on the side for the kids to use as dippers, you might like rice or quinoa.
I put the platter of food on the table and we ate. Simple. Simple food. I leave vegetables in nice big pieces so children who don't like onion or zucchini can pick it out without problem. On this night we actually persuaded my daughter to try an onion. She didn't have anything bad to say about it, it was soft and quite sweet after stewing in the sauce.
If you are inspired, share some of your simple food.