Sprouted Black Bean Hamburger-less “Help Her”

by Maria Theresa Maggi on May 3, 2014

Sprouted Black Bean Vegan Helper

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.


Maria (moonwatcher)

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{ 8 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Donna McFarland May 5, 2014 at 3:10 am

Another WIN Maria!! Of course, if YOU’re cooking, there simply aren’t, any LOSER’s! 🙂 I love your style, your creativity and your tremendous skills in the recipe department!

Thannnk you for this delicious sounding dish! My list is made already, and a grocery trip, is on my daily agenda!



2 moonwatcher May 5, 2014 at 8:00 am

Aw, thanks so much, Donna, you made my morning! Of all the toppings not to go without, I highly recommend the lime juice. It just makes it all come alive! xoxo


3 Pam May 5, 2014 at 8:58 am

Had to laugh at the title of this one, as Hamburger Helper was one of the first meals I learned how to “cook” as a young girl. Ate a lot of that growing up! I love the name that you’re giving to the bowls of yummy veggies goodness we’re eating. It certainly does help me to feel better to eat this way.

Sprouted black beans? Great idea. Will have to try those. We’re still working through that initial bag of mung beans that we bought when we first got here to Amsterdam. Will add black beans to my first shopping list in Belgrade when we get there later this week. 🙂


4 moonwatcher May 5, 2014 at 9:08 am

Hi Pam, I love being silly and making people laugh, so I’m gald you laughed! I can’t believe your month in Amsterdam is almost up. Wow, how time flies. Black beans in Belgrade. . . if you try sprouting them, let me know how it goes. Safe and happy travels. 🙂


5 Veronica May 5, 2014 at 10:46 am

YUM!! I’ve started to make various bowls for lunches, and this one just got added to the rotation. 🙂 I’ve been roasting a bunch of veggies at the start of the week to use throughout the rest of it, so things would come together quickly. BBQ sauce is a great idea as a dressing! (Especially kicked up with the fresh lime juice.)


6 moonwatcher May 5, 2014 at 11:17 am

Hi Veronica, thanks! Roasted veggies would be a great addition to this type of bowl. And I agree black beans were meant to be kicked up with lime juice (and the chipotle barbecue sauce 🙂 )


7 Danielle May 20, 2014 at 2:43 pm

I love this type of food. When I first started eating this way (whole foods plant based, a la McDougall), I found it so strange even though I’m a very good cook. I think all that ‘very good cook’ thing actually hindered me. No use anymore was my knowledge about how eggs react in 1001 different ways to make baked goods!!!

Now I love this type of ‘bowl’, or burritos with simple fillings, or morning oatmeal with cinnamon and fresh fruit. What a delight. I do still sometimes make more complicated recipes such as Indian curries and rotis and homemade tamarind chutney, or homemade corn tortillas, fresh salsa, fresh guacamole and grilled vegetables for veg fajitas, but even so it’s such simple ingredients that everything delights me.

We’re going to Mexico for a week starting tomorrow, and I am happy because there’s no stress in me vis-a-vis what we’re going to eat, it’s all going to be simple foods like this that are available no matter where we are.

Sorry for the long comment, btw!

Love your name of this bowl, and I will laugh about it next time I make one!!


8 moonwatcher May 20, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Danielle,I loved this comment!! So enjoyed reading it, and I SO agree with you as someone who loves to cook. And please never apologize for a a long comment–all just wonderful to read–made me want to come over to your house for dinner! 🙂 I am so happy you will laugh thinking of my silly title next time you make one of these bowls, too. You made me laugh. Have a great trip eating simple delicious food in Mexico!!


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