I just use bulgur wheat (soak the dry grain in warm water till soft) in place of ground beef. It looks like ground beef once it's all cooked together. You do not have to brown the bulgur like beef though.
I like to add a can of yellow hominy (large kernels of corn soaked in lye to remove the outer shell - it's a Southern USA thing and a soul food thing.) to the mix to complement the protein in the beans.
Wild rice is a nice addition. Diced butternut squash. Be creative! And serve with jalapeno cornbread!