I've been on an Indian food kick lately. It doesn't have to be heavy or weird or spicy, though.
Dal is a side dish made from lentils. I used red lentils and got a nice mush, a lot like refried beans except greenish yellow and a different flavor. Regular brown lentils won't fall apart so you'll end up with a thick soup instead of a mush. You could try yellow lentils or one of the other varieties if you can find them.
Lentils are healthy. They're low-fat, low-fart (as opposed to beans), high fiber, and high protein. With the right mix of spices, they're also quite tasty.
Weird trivia - the "pulse" that Daniel (from the Old Testament) was most likely lentils.
Use this as you would refried beans - in tortillas, as a side dish with cheese (use a hard white cheese like manchego for best flavor), or as a main dish vegan soup.
1/2 c. chopped onion
1 lb lentils, whatever variety you like
1 t. salt
1/2 t. ground black pepper
1/2 t. garlic powder
1/2 t. turmeric
1/2 t. cumin
1/2 t. paprika
Dump onions, lentils, and spices into a smallish crockpot (2-3 quart works great). Add just enough hot water to cover the lentils completely. Cook on high for 2 hours. Stir well. Add more water if needed.
Turn heat to low. Continue cooking until the lentils are soft. Add water as needed for the consistency you like. It usually takes about 1-2 hours on low to get them really soft and smooshy.