Benjammin, your refried beans and rice sounds quite good.
I am not much of a cook and only ever use a recipe for making bread, but I have found that mixing odds and ends together so as to have different textures and tastes can generally make something interesting.
As for things that can be made just adding boiling water, to whatever the main ingredient is, throwing in a little spice or dried onions or dried anything can make the bland into something edible. Most “dried anything” I would add after the cooking is done so as to add different textures. Even just crumbling some crackers or throwing in some bread crumbs or whatever can make all the difference.