Beer, donuts & Pork Patties with Plum Sauce and Napa Cabbage

Hello! Happy Friday!

Yesterday was such a long day! Up at 3:30am for Crossfit, physical therapy at 10:00am, plus a full, ridiculously busy day at work. I was totally ready to go home at 5:00! But, I didn’t – ended up going to one of our favorite local joints to have someone else make dinner for a change. I had the blackened catfish. I should have had the burger. Oh well, at least I can always rely on my old pal, Stella. πŸ™‚

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Happy National Donut Day! Did you celebrate today? I did! I haven’t had a donut in almost 2 years – not kidding! – and I was definitely ready. Also tried my first iced coffee this morning. I got the hazelnut flavor. It was pretty tasty! I can see why people enjoy them so much.

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I got a Bavarian cream donut. Those were my favorite when I was growing up. I can’t remember the last time I had one of those. It was definitely worth the wait! And, in the grand scheme of things, relatively harmless as an occasional treat. One is only 270 calories with 15 grams of fat (7 saturated). Compare that to their cinnamon cake donut (340 calories/22g fat with 10 saturated) and that’s a major win! (In case you’re interested, Dunkin Donuts provides nutrition information on their website.) If you’re a glazed fan, those are decent too but I always want more than one. Then, that becomes not so decent. :/ Anyway, with my banana, my morning snack/treat was pretty decent today. πŸ™‚

Donuts? Yes or No?
What’s your favorite kind?

So, what’s on your menu for dinner tonight? Tried out a new “burger” recipe the other night. Pork Patties with Plum Sauce served with some Napa Cabbage Slaw. Definitely not your traditional burger – no buns, hon! πŸ™‚ Seasoned with Asian seasonings like ginger, sherry, and garlic and rounded out with some cooked bulgur, these patties are lighter than you would expect. The plum sauce was SUPER easy and was supremely delicious. And Thing 2 is a fan of Napa cabbage so the salad/slaw was a win, too. Seriously, if you’ve never tried Napa cabbage, you should use it in place of lettuce in your next salad. It has a great flavor that marries so well with other vegetables and it stands up to dressing without getting all wilty and soggy (yuck).

You can grill the patties or cook them inside in a skillet or a grill pan. The perfect follow-up to this meal? Grilled pineapple for dessert! Om nom nom!

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Have you ever grilled fruit for dessert?
If you haven’t, you totally should give it a try. It’s fabulous!

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Pork Patties with Plum Sauce and Napa Cabbage
serves 6

1 1/2 cups coarsely chopped plums (about 1/2 pound)
1 1/2 tablespoons brown sugar
2 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/2 teaspoon Sriracha (hot chile sauce)
1 cup boiling water
1/2 cup uncooked bulgur
1 1/2 pounds ground pork, 80% lean
1 cup diagonally cut green onions, divided
1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro, divided
2 tablespoons dry sherry
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 tablespoon minced peeled fresh ginger
1 teaspoon salt, divided
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
Cooking spray
6 cups shredded napa (Chinese) cabbage (about 1/2 large head)
3 tablespoons seasoned rice vinegar
1/4 teaspoon dark sesame oil

1. Combine first 4 ingredients in a small saucepan; bring to a boil. Cover; reduce heat, and simmer 15 minutes, stirring frequently. Remove from heat; let stand 10 minutes. Place plum mixture in a blender or food processor; process until smooth.

2. Combine 1 cup boiling water and bulgur in a medium bowl; cover and let stand 20 minutes. Drain well. Combine bulgur, pork, 1/2 cup onions, 1/4 cup cilantro, sherry, garlic, ginger, 3/4 teaspoon salt, and pepper in a medium bowl. Divide pork mixture into 12 equal portions, gently shaping each into a 3/4-inch-thick patty. Press a nickel-sized indentation in center of each patty. Heat a large skillet or grill pan over medium-high heat. Coat pan with cooking spray. Add 6 patties to pan; cook 5 minutes on each side or until done. Repeat with remaining 6 patties.

3. Combine remaining onions, remaining cilantro, remaining salt, cabbage, vinegar, and oil; toss gently to coat. Serve patties with slaw; drizzle with plum sauce.

Per serving (2 patties, 1 cup slaw, 2 tablespoons sauce):
Calories 296; Fat 10.8g (saturated 4.1g, monounsaturated 4.3g, polyunsaturated 1.5g); Protein 25.4g; Carbs 24.1g; Fiber 4.2g; Sodium 724mg
Recipe from Cooking Light, June 2012

– jennifer

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