While we are on the subject of jazzing up plain food, let's talk about canned soup. I love soup in the winter. I occasionally make homemade soup, but it is not my thing. I learned several years ago that canned soup was an excellent starting point. Remember "soup starter"...freeze dried stuff in a package? Well I use the canned soup as a starter.
First I choose a variety of soups when I have those nice "buy 4 cans, get $1.50 off". I like soup that has tomatoes in it. I don't choose those that have rice or pasta, since it is mushy. I mostly choose southwest, santa fe, mexican flavors.
When you open that can of soup and pour it into a pan, you realize you are just paying for flavored broth. There are maybe six chunks of chicken and a few bits of vegetables and maybe 2 dozen beans. Nice for a snack. Here is where I head for the pantry, fridge, and freezer. Look at what is in that soup in the pan and add more of each; a can of tomatoes, a can of beans, some frozen corn, maybe some frozen spinach, leftovers from your fridge, a couple of frozen chicken pieces, some more broth. You get the idea. That can of soup is just a flavor base. Plus, by adding all the extras, you have an actual meal without worrying about something else to go with it to fill you up.
If you have noticed, the varieties of the "gourmet" flavor soups have expanded exponentially on the shelves recently, so you have a huge selection. I still mostly choose the southwestern varieties. Although the chicken corn chowder is really good. With extra corn and chicken, of course.