This is one of my weekly go-to meals. It comes together quickly, is perfect when you are feeling lazy, and will feed you leftovers for a day or two. It is called "dumb-ass" because it is difficult to screw up and requires almost no culinary prowess whatsoever.
Some olive or vegetable oil
1 medium onion, diced
2 or 3 peeled and diced carrots (or a sweet potato is good too)
A few smashed and chopped (or pressed) cloves of garlic
2 tablespoons of chili powder
1 or 2 chipotles in adobo sauce, chopped up; or a decorticated and diced jalapeno pepper, if you have it and like the hot. I really recommend the chipotle, though; most big grocery stores have it in cans, and you can puree it and keep it in the fridge for ages, and most of all it is delicious and smoky.
A tablespoon or so of cocoa powder (or a handful of chocolate chips, per Melinda's advice)--optional, yet tasty.
Other good spices (go easy until you know what works): coriander, cumin, even a little curry powder, mustard seeds, a pinch of oregano, etc. I used about a teaspoon of cumin seeds in last night's batch and it was fantastic.
2 cans of beans, any old beans you like. Rainbow Foods, our local big chain, now has organic store-brand beans, which I'm a fan of. I used kidney beans and black beans. Look for something without salt so you can adjust to your taste.
A big can of diced tomatoes
A pack of Boca grounds, or a few handfuls of TVP, or bulgur.
A cup of frozen corn, or however much you want.
A wad of fresh spinach
Put the oil, garlic, hot pepper, and spices into a cold soup pot and heat slowly, til you start to smell the garlic and spices. Cook at medium heat for a minute or two and add the onions and carrots. Saute until the onion is wilty and translucent. Add your cocoa powder (if using) and stir. If you're using chocolate chips, throw them in at the end.
Dump in all the tomatoes, beans, and probably the equivalent of a tomato can of water. If you're using a sweet potato, this would be the time to add it. Get it all simmering, check the spices, and make any adjustments. Throw in a handful of grains, if using, and let it all cook until the vegetables are tender, or until your grains are cooked, or until it tastes done. Add Boca grounds and corn if you're using it and give it another 5 minutes or so. Last, throw in a bunch of fresh spinach, stir to wilt, and salt it up according to taste.
Serve topped with avocado slices, chopped cilantro, shredded cheese, tortilla chips, or whatever your pleasure is. It will be even better the next day.