As a kid I loved Jimmy Dean’s sage breakfast sausage. I was reminded of this while reminiscing about my childhood one day and it inspired this dish. I decided to make the sausage patties out of black-eyed peas, cashews, and vital wheat gluten. You can’t have sausage without pancakes so I thought sweet potato pancakes sounded good. There was one thing missing, gravy of course. I wanted a simple gravy since there was so much going on with the pancakes and sausage. A creamy peppery gravy was the perfect blanket to pull everything together. This doesn’t have to be for dinner. If you’re feeling ambitious and want a hearty breakfast then go for it!
- You can bake or fry the sausage. I tried both to see which would work best. Baking dried them out quite a bit. I baked mine for 30 minutes so I’m suggesting a shorter time. Just keep an eye on them. Make your own judgment on how much longer they should be in there when you go to turn them. Frying them created the perfect sausage-like texture and was way more moist so I prefer this method. Try both ways and decide for yourself.
- You can use any flour for the gravy but I chose to use chickpea flour for its fine quality and the flavor it would add.
Serves 4 hungry people or 6 normal people
For the Sweet Potato Pancakes: (Makes about 8)
- 1 1/2 cups unsweetened non-dairy milk (I used almond)
- 1 cup sweet potato puree, fresh or canned
- 1 cup white whole wheat flour
- 1 tablespoon baking powder
- 1 tablespoon Blackstrap molasses
- 1 teaspoon salt
- Preheat griddle and prepare with oil.
- Mix milk, sweet potato, and molasses together until smooth.
- Add in flour, baking powder, and salt. Mix until lumps are gone but do not over mix.
- Pour batter onto griddle. Using a spatula try to spread out so it is about 1/4 inch thick.
- Cook for 15 to 20 minutes, turning halfway through. The thicker they are the longer it will take to cook. If they are too thick try smooshing them down a bit with your spatula when you flip them.
- Keep warm until ready to serve.
For the Black-eyed Pea Breakfast Sausage (Makes 12):
- 2 cups dried black-eyed peas
- 1 cup whole raw cashews
- water for soaking
- 1 1/2 cups vital wheat gluten
- 1/2 cup broth
- 1 tablespoon coconut aminos (soy sauce or tamari will work if you can have soy)
- 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
- 2 teaspoons dried rubbed sage
- 1 teaspoon dried thyme
- 1 teaspoon dried rosemary
- 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/2 teaspoon black pepper
- In a medium bowl cover peas and cashews with water plus two inches. Place in fridge and soak for 8 hours.
- Drain peas and cashews and place in a food processor. Blend until shredded. Some whole peas will be fine but you want it mostly shredded.
- In a medium bowl combine all the dry ingredients (vital wheat gluten and seasonings). Add broth and coconut aminos, mix with a wooden spoon.
- Dump in the peas and cashews. Use your hands and work everything together until it starts to form into one big ball. This could take several minutes. Try not to over mix.
- Once it starts holding together tear off chunks and form into hamburger-sized patties about 1/4 to 1/2 inch thick. Set aside until ready to cook.
- To bake: preheat oven to 425 degrees and prepare a baking sheet with foil and oil. Bake for 15 to 25 minutes, turning once.
- To fry: add enough olive oil to a cast iron skillet to cover the bottom half of your patties. Cook for 3 to 5 minutes on each side. Place on paper towels to drain. Keep warm until ready to serve.
For the Creamy Peppery Gravy:
- 3/4 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (again I used almond)
- 1/2 cup Earth Balance soy-free butter
- 1/2 cup chickpea flour (see note above)
- lots of fresh ground black pepper
- salt, to taste
- In a small saucepan melt butter over medium/low heat. Whisk in milk.
- While whisking, add in flour until everything is well mixed with no lumps.
- Whisk in salt and pepper. Crank that pepper grinder until you can’t crank anymore then crank some more. Make it as peppery as you’d like.
- Continue whisking until heated through. Make sure it doesn’t come to a boil though.
- Ladle over sausage immediately and eat up!