Before we get to the lusciousness that is the Green Pork Sliders, may I say that earlier this month I competed in my first CrossFit competition ever! What an utter blast. Hosted by Alameda Crossfit just across the water from San Francisco, the day dawned crisp and sunny and I got there bright and early to warm up and get situated before the competition began.
Shout-out to the pureWOD guys, who kept me hydrated/fed/caffeinated throughout the morning with batches of frosty goodness (ingredients: pureWOD BUILD protein, banana, coffee, almond milk and almond butter). I snapped a pic of them, which ended up on the pureWOD Instagram page…
And shout-out to the cutie Paleo Oakland who showed up with gluten-free donuts, fresh fruit and jewelry for sale! So fun to meet some “Instagram friends” in real life!
But let’s get down to business: the competition was setup as workouts split between two partners, and I had a fantastic time with my workout buddy Lauren. She’s the one sporting shades in the first photo above, lookin’ kewl behind me! And here we are finishing the first workout of the day (WOD) in the photo below… I rowed first, then she took a turn on it, then we both participated in alternating wall-balls, an 800-meter run, and then as many ground to overheads with the barbell as possible before the 11 minute time cap ended the event. Poor Lauren took the brunt of the back to back movements (I got a rest between the rower and the wall-balls) but didn’t puke and even did some ground to overhead at the end like a champ.
There were four WODs in total, but the most memorable ones were the 1st (Rowing? Wall-balls? Running? Ground to overhead? Thank you, long legs) and the last: an intimidating ladder of clean & jerk in stations with weight starting at 65# and getting 10# heavier each time… for a finish at 145#. My 1 one rep max (the max weight I can do the movement with one time) is currently at 130#, so hitting the 135# station being tired from all the station previous was iffy. Yep, 125# was the highest I could clean that day, and jerks failed after 115#! Still had a blast trying, though, with the music turned up loud, the sun blazing and the crowd cheering.
But enough about fitness, let’s move on to the food! I’m hungry after all of that working out. 😉
These delicious veggie-heavy pork sliders are a rework of a seriously old recipe of mine (maybe the second I ever published?) that was in need of a face-lift. Sliders are simply such fun to eat, and juicy mushroom caps are such a great meaty pairing with these cumin-spiked pork patties that I hardly miss a bun. Even if you decide not to go all out with mushroom caps, shredded celery, and sun-dried tomatoes… whip up a batch or two of the patties, because they make fantastic on-the-go meat + veggie snacks.
- 10 oz frozen spinach
- ½ lb mushrooms
- 1 onion
- 2 cloves of garlic
- 2 garlic cloves
- ½ cup diced celery
- ¼ cup coconut flour
- 1 lb ground pork
- 2 eggs
- 1 teaspoon cumin
- 1 tsp chili flakes
- 1 teaspoon black pepper
- 1 teaspoon salt
- 4 tablespoons coconut oil, divided
- 1-2 tbsp coconut oil
- Sun-dried tomatoes
- Garlic salt
- Roughly chop the onion, celery and mushrooms, peel the garlic cloves. Pulse in a food processor until finely shredded.
- Heat one tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat, then add the mushrooms, onion and garlic. Cook until soft and most of the liquid has steamed off, then remove from the heat and let cool to room temperature.
- Defrost the spinach (either in the microwave or on the stove-top). Transfer to a large sieve or colander and squeeze the excess moisture out with your hands until the spinach is stiff and only slightly damp. Transfer to a large mixing bowl.
- Stir the mushroom, onion, celery and garlic mixture into the spinach. Add the coconut flour, ground pork, eggs, cumin, chili flakes, black pepper and salt. Stir until well-combined.
- Shape the mixture into small patties, using approximately ¼ cup for each. Melt another tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat and transfer the first batch of patties once the oil is hot (being careful not to crowd the pan). Brown for 4-5 minutes on each side, being careful to brown but not burn. Repeat with the remaining patties in batches.
- To assemble the sliders, heat one tablespoon of coconut oil in a skillet over medium heat. Remove the stems form the mushrooms, and cook for approximately 10 minutes (stem side down) until soft and beginning to render their juices.
- Transfer from the skillet to a serving plate, then top with shredded celery (I used this tool to shred), a patty, some sun-dried tomatoes, another mushroom cap, and a sprinkle of garlic salt. Repeat with the remaining patties and mushrooms until your slider assembly is complete.