I like to laugh to myself that my skillets full of veggies, beans and starch are vegan versions of old timey hamburger helper–without the hamburger, salt, fat or pasta. Instead they are a mishmash of flavors, colors and textures that come together really quickly and leave me full and happy. They help the “her” in me that wants to have energy to draw and paint and walk and write. They do require chopping but not a whole lot of cooking time. You can certainly make this one just with cooked black beans. I usually do. But last week when I was about to dump all the soaked black beans into the pot to cook them, the sprouting genie that’s been sitting on my shoulder since I stuck those romaine stems in water several weeks ago whispered how about sprouting some of these? As you probably know by now if you’ve been reading my blog for a while, I can never resist a science experiment I might be able to eat.
The romaine hearts, by the way, grew roots, and are now planted out in the garden soil, soaking up proverbial April showers. It’s certainly colder out there than in my kitchen window, but they are holding their own. Buoyed by the little shoots of life everywhere, I was curious to watch the black beans “hatch.”They didn’t disappoint.
It was cold here the day I made this, and wet, and I wanted to eat the sprouted beans, but I also wanted something hot. So I threw them into my “help-her,” along with the end of the cooked beans. They were chewy and substantial and very tasty. At first I was just going to post on the blog’s facebook page: “OMG–sprouted black beans!!” But then I decided to share the whole crazy idea of my hamburger-less “help-hers” on the blog. Sprouted or cooked or both, black beans are one of my Sure Things. It’s nice to make a quick meal that truly does help my body, especially in times of juggling a lot of change and new adventures. Convenience in a box may be, well, convenient, but it isn’t a sure thing for me. But extra nutrition conveniently sprouted out of an already nutritional powerhouse of a bean? Well, that’s a “help-her” of an entirely different color.
Sprouted Black Bean Vegan Hamburger-less “Help-Her”
1/4 cups sprouted black beans
1/4 cup cooked black beans
1 big slice of red cabbage, chopped
3 lacinato kales leaves, chopped
2 small sweet baby bell peppers
1/4 cup frozen corn kernels
1/3 cup cooked sweet potato cut in cubes
1 cup cooked brown rice and red quinoa
1-2 tbs chipotle barbeque sauce
fresh or dried oregano
water as needed
Line a non-stick skillet with a thin layer of water or broth and bring to a simmer over medium heat. Add the cabbage, kale, peppers and a very healthy sprinkle of garlic granules, cover and let cook for 2-3 minutes, until most of the water is absorbed. Remove the lid and add the beans, corn kernels, sweet potato cubes, rice and quinoa, barbeque sauce and other seasonings. Saute until all is combined and warm, adding a very little water or broth as needed. Cover, turn off the heat (or remove from heat if you have an electric stove) and let sit for a minute or two. Serve with any or all of the following toppings: lime juice, chopped avocado, a teaspoon of pumpkin seeds, additional garlic granules or grated garlic or green onions.