“The Candy Man makes everything he bakes satisfying and delicious
Now you talk about your childhood wishes, you can even eat the dishes“
Growing up, I loved burgers. In fact, when I was a kid, my Dad would take me for breakfast before he drove me to school. He worked nights so for him, this meal wasn’t really breakfast and didn’t necessarily mean breakfast-type food.
While we would usually go to diners and get the usual breakfast foods: eggs, toast, chocolate milk, etc., my absolutely favorite place to go was White Castle. Yes, that’s right, White Castle. When I was a kid, we rarely ate any fast-food or restaurant food. My mother cooked every single day. It was a very rare occasion that we would get any meal from a chain store but when we did (and by we, I mean everyone BUT my mother who refused to eat meat out. She swore we didn’t know what was really in it. Guess she was right many years before we ever heard of pink slime), it wasn’t McDonalds we would visit but White Castle.
I have a lot of fun memories of those breakfasts with my Dad. We would get burgers and chocolate shakes. They had jukeboxes at every table and my Dad would give me lots of dimes (yes, it was a long time ago) to play music. I played the same song over and over and over again: “The Candyman” by Sammy Davis Jr. Looking back, everyone at the restaurant was very tolerant of me and my music choices 🙂
My Dad passed away right after Father’s Day in 1990 and of course, White Castle is in my past since I became vegan but I have to admit I miss it. Maybe I miss the food – it remained my favorite fast-food place as I grew up – and maybe I miss it because some of the nicest memories I have of spending time with my Dad were those burger breakfasts there.
Today my burgers are very different. Now my burgers are homemade, cruelty-free, gluten-free and very healthy. These burgers are made with black-eyed peas, brown rice and veggies. I topped them with lettuce, tomato and avocado and instead of the usual ketchup, a homemade spicy Mississippi Comeback Sauce for a super-sized, flavor-packed burger!
I think if my Dad were here, he would love my Black-Eyed Pea Burgers with Mississippi Comeback Sauce. We would eat them for breakfast while Sammy Davis Jr. sang “The Candyman” in the background…Happy Father’s Day!
“Oh, who can take tomorrow, dip it in a dream
Separate the sorrow and collect up all the cream
The Candy Man, oh the Candy Man can
The Candy Man can ’cause he mixes it with love and makes the world taste good.”
Black-Eyed Pea Burgers
1-15 oz. can black-eyed peas, drained and rinsed (or 1 ½ cups fresh cooked)
1 Tbs. ground flax mixed with 3 Tbs. water
1 cup cooked brown rice
1 small bell pepper, diced
3 scallions, finely sliced
1 clove garlic, minced
2 Tbs. fresh parsley, finely chopped
1 tsp. dried thyme
1 tsp. dried mustard powder
Salt and pepper to taste
3 dashes hot sauce or to taste
1 tsp. gluten-free, vegan Worcestershire sauce
1/3 – ½ cup chickpea flour
1 Tbs. safflower oil
Add the brown rice, bell pepper, scallions, garlic, parsley, spices, hot sauce and Worcestershire sauce to the bowl and mix until all the ingredients are well-combined. Add in the flour little by little, mixing well with your hands, until you have a good consistency. You want it dry enough so that the burgers will hold together but not so dry, there is no moisture left at all. Throw in the remaining whole black-eyed peas and gently mix them in so they stay somewhat intact. Do NOT form the patties. Place the entire blob of black-eyed pea burger mix into the refrigerator and chill for at least 30 minutes.
When you are ready to cook, remove the mixture from the fridge and make the patties. Divide the mixture into 4 patties. Using a 3 ½” cookie cutter ensures a perfectly formed, dense, thick burger patty.
Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Cook the patties until browned, about 6 minutes per side. You may want to flip them carefully several times to ensure that the inside cooks while the outside doesn’t burn. Serve on a bun with your favorite toppings and Comeback Sauce or atop a bed of greens. Enjoy!
Mississippi Comeback Sauce
1/4 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup vegan mayonnaise
2 Tbsp. extra-virgin olive oil
2 Tbsp. ketchup
1 Tbs. Dijon mustard
1 Tbs. chili sauce, hot sauce or Sriracha, or more to taste
1 Tbsp. vegan, gluten-free Worcestershire sauce
1 Tbsp. fresh lemon juice
1 tsp prepared yellow mustard
The “V” Word: Say it. Eat it. Live it.