Lucky Black Eyed Pea Burgers

Although I didn’t grow up doing it, probably due to my mother’s distaste for the main ingredient, it’s a tradition in the South to eat black eyed peas and some type of greens on New Year’s Day for luck and financial prosperity.

The reputation of the pea’s luckiness supposedly dates back to Civil War times where they escaped being destroyed by Sherman’s troops because they were considered food fit for only livestock or slaves. It soon became a valuable food-source for the surviving Confederates.

Eventually the practice of serving it with a type of greens (kale, collards, mustard, or cabbage) for financial gain became normal too. Now it’s common on New Year’s Day for my Instagram feed to be packed with photos of lunches consisting of peas and greens. blackeyedburger

I decided to change things up this year and after scouring the cupboards for inspiration settled on making pea burgers with a sautéed garlic kale topping.

Lucky Black Eyed Pea Burgers

Makes 4 large burgers


  • 2 cups cooked black eyed peas
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1/2 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  • 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
  • 1 teaspoon red pepper flakes
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 teaspoon oregano
  • 1 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon black pepper, or to taste
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, or to taste
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/3 cup coconut oil
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil
  • 3 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 1/2 cups chopped kale
  • 4 hamburger buns
  • Burger toppings (pickles, lettuce, tomato, condiments, vegan cheese, etc.)


In a large bowl, mash the black eyed peas until a coarse paste forms. Stir in the next 10 ingredients (soy sauce through flour).

In a large frying pan, bring the coconut oil to medium-high heat. Form the pea mixture into 4 patties. One at a time, fry the patties until golden brown, about 4 minutes on each side. Place cooked patties onto a paper towel lined plate to soak up any extra oil.

In a small frying pan, bring the olive oil to medium-high heat. Add the minced garlic and cook until golden brown. Stir in the kale and cook until completely wilted.

Form your lucky burgers by placing the black eyed pea patties, sautéed garlic kale, and any desired toppings on warm buns. And don’t forget to enjoy the new year!

Memphis – Imagine Vegan Cafe

A few weeks ago, Peter and I took a quick trip to see my mom in Arkansas. Since our route goes through Memphis, we decided to stop there for lunch and found some great places with the help of Happy Cow.

This first post is about our stop on the way up, Imagine Vegan Cafe. It’s located in an upcoming neighborhood and the restaurant is nestled in a small renovated home. I was pleasantly surprised by there being an entirely vegan restaurant in a city well known for barbecue and fried chicken (and Elvis, but that part is irrelevant).


The place is cozy and feels more like a home than a restaurant with its mismatched plates and motivational poster decorations.

We started off with the appetizer sampler because everything sounded too good to choose just one item. It included potato skins, chicken nuggets, pigs in a blanket, buffalo wings, and hush puppies served with a side of ranch and sour cream.


Our main dish choices were stuffed ravioli with garlic bread and chicken fried steak with garlic kale and mac and cheese.

Peter’s ravioli was decent, but I think the sauce could do with a bit more herbs and maybe some vegetable chunks. It was just a bit bland to me.


The chicken fried steak was amazing. It was a fried seitan base with a creamy white gravy on top. The accompanying garlic kale was flavorful and fresh tasting. The mac and cheese had a deliciously thick and creamy sauce and it is something I will definitely get again next time.


We got dessert to-go because we were outrageously full from the main course. I chose an orange fauxstess cupcake and Peter got the chocolate hazelnut cake. Both were later devoured (after arriving in Arkansas) and didn’t fail to amaze us.


Sally’s Soup (Vegan MoFo #4)


Although Disney originally wanted some distance from it, I still consider Tim Burton’s The Nightmare Before Christmas a staple Disney film. With the amazing animation, addicting soundtrack, and quirky character lineup, Nightmare Before Christmas is one of my favorite movies of all. Although I do have a hard time figuring out whether I should watch it around the Halloween or Christmas season… So I just don’t worry about it and watch it several times a year.

One of my favorite scenes from the film (which Youtube sadly has no clip of) is when Sally makes some frog’s breath soup laced with deadly nightshade for her “creator”, Dr. Finkelstein. The bright green soup causes him to pass out, and allows for Sally to sneak out and go looking for her love, Jack Skellington.

nightmarebfchristmassoupImage property of Disney Enterprises, Inc.

My imitation of the soup was a base of kale and russet potatoes. I sauteed a few garlic cloves and an onion, then added in veggie broth and the vegetables. I seasoned it with basil, rosemary, and thyme. After everything was thoroughly cooked, I added a splash of coconut milk and pureed it down to a smooth texture. It was a bit thinner than most soups I would normally make, but it was great paired with some crusty bread.