Sweet And Spicy Pulled Pork Nachos

PorkNachos500Pigs are delicious, aren’t they?





Pork chops (grilled, of course).

Any part of the pig with BBQ sauce on it.

But NONE of it compares to the best way to make pork ever!

Pulled pork, slow-cooked all day in a crock pot, and covered in deliciousness. You can make it sweet, tangy, spicy, or any combo. Or, give it a Mexican flair with some cumin and chipotle, or add pineapple with a chile sauce for famous Tacos Al Pastor.

Plus, it’s about the easiest thing to make – throw in a pork roast (really, any cut of pork roast has worked for us), toss in the spices, and you’ll have something great in about 6-8 hours. Most of the time I don’t even measure. I’m usually throwing in chili powder, garlic, maybe a jalapeno, and I’ve even done orange juice before.

But recently, we wanted some nachos, and we needed a sweet pork recipe.

Since we’ve gone the real food route (going on 2 years now), nachos have been squeezed out of our diet. An old favorite of ours, but we couldn’t justify GMO tortilla chips fried in canola oil and slathered in unhealthy toppings.

Then we discovered something magical. Amazing. Like a unicorn frolicking through a meadow right up to the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow.

We found healthy tortilla chips!

At good ol’ Costco too. Family size bag for less than 5 bones. Cooked in organic sunflower oil and made with certified organic corn? Yes, please.

Throw in that they don’t carry a long-winded list of chemicals AND they’re flipping delicious…. Winner, winner, nacho dinner.

I’d suggest grabbing a bag of those to go with nachos, guacamole, or salsa. We’ve also seen organic corn tortillas that you could cut and fry, or find some healthy organic brands online without added junk.

This dinner wins because it’s a favorite that you can easily make healthy. It’s definitely kid-friendly, it makes a TON, plus it requires about 5 minutes in the morning and 10 minutes at dinnertime to whip up.

We like this pork because it’s definitely sweet, but a hint of spiciness to it. The chipotle powder REALLY adds a great flavor, but you can leave that out if you don’t want the spice or the slight Latin twist.

Try our sweet and spicy pulled pork nachos recipe. @eatrealstaysane

This pork is perfect for nachos, but you could easily crisp up the shredded pork under the broiler or in a pan to use for some amazing carnitas tacos as well.

Shoot, double the recipe, freeze half of it, and have great taco, quesadilla, or enchilada filling next week too.


Healthy Sweet and Spicy Pulled Pork Nachos

Sweet and Spicy Pork


  • Healthy tortilla chips – we buy the Costco organic brand. You can find baked versions online. Make sure the corn is organic, that it doesn’t use an unhealthy oil, and remains free of additives
  • Raw cheddar cheese
  • Olives
  • Green chilies
  • Sour cream (Daisy brand has no additives)
  • Guacamole (just mix an avocado with salsa!)
  • Tomatoes


  1. Toss the pork into a slow cooker and add all the ingredients. Cook on low for 6-7 hours or until pork shreds easily.
  2. Shred the pork and cook on low for another hour.
  3. On a baking sheet or oven-safe plate or bowl (we used a pie tin for the two of us), pile a bunch of chips. Top with the shredded pork, cheese, and any other ingredients you want heated up. We usually do everything but the sour cream and guacamole. You can even do a layer of chips, pork, cheese, and repeat.
  4. Put into preheated oven and cook a few minutes, until the cheese is melted.
  5. Add any additional ingredients from the list above and enjoy! You’ll have extra pork, so save for another day of nachos, tacos, or enchiladas.



camanderin160Erin and Cameron Smith, owners of Eat Real Stay Sane, teach people how to adopt a healthy lifestyle that includes eating real food, eliminating toxins, and overcoming chronic illness. The secret for them has been to cook homemade substitutes of foods they like – but with healthy ingredients. Get their free ebook, “Guilty Pleasure Recipes Without the Guilt.” You can follow them on Facebook, Pinterest, and Instagram


Dried Apples and Applesauce

Fresh, local apples not only make for great snacking, but they’re also easy to preserve.

VICFA Recipes : Applesauce and Dried Apples

Put in a few hours of work now and enjoy naturally sweet and delicious treats all winter long!

Dried ApplesVICFA Recipes : Dried Apples

Peel and core apples, then slice into thin, even rounds. You can leave them in rings or further cut them in half.

Dip the apple slices in a mixture of 4 cups of water and ¼ cup lemon juice.VICFA Recipes : Dried Apples

Shake off the excess moisture and place them in single layers, on the racks of a dehydrator (or parchment-lined baking sheets, if using an oven).

Set the dehydrator to 135 Fahrenheit and dry for around 10 to 14 hours, or until the apples feel leathery and are completely dry.

If you don’t own a dehydrator, turn your oven as low as it can go, or around 150 Fahrenheit. Pop the apple-covered baking sheets in the oven and bake for 8 to 12 hours, or until the apple slices are thoroughly dried.

Let the apples cool completely before storing. We like to keep ours in tightly sealed mason jars. Store for several months at room temperature, or for longer storage, in your freezer.

ApplesauceVICFA Recipes : Applesauce

Peel, core, and chop apples into small, even pieces. Place them in a large stainless steel pan, with just enough water to keep them from sticking.

Bring to a boil, then reduce heat and simmer for around 30 to 45 minutes, or until soft.VICFA Recipes: Applesauce

Working in batches, puree the cooked apples using a food mill or food processor.VICFA Recipes : Applesauce

We can our applesauce without added sugar, but if you’d like, you can add some to taste at this time, starting with around ¼ cup of sugar per pound of apples.

Spoon the hot applesauce into hot, prepared canning jars, leaving a ½ inch head space, then remove air bubbles by running a plastic knife or spatula down between the inside of the jar and the sauce.

Wipe the rim of the jar with a damp cloth, to make sure no residue is left that might prevent the lids from sealing correctly. Place a hot lid on the top of the jar, followed by the band, and screw just until you feel the point of resistance. Place the jar into your canner.

If using a boiling water bath, process pints and quarts for 20 minutes. If using a pressure canner, process at 5 pounds of pressure, 8 minutes for pints and 10 minutes for quarts. (See this link for information on adjusting for altitude.)

Don’t throw out your peelings and cores!

Our pastured pigs and goats love apple scraps, but you could also use them to make apple cider vinegar. Here’s a great post by The Prairie Homestead on how to do so!

Thanks to Jan at The Nerdy Farm Wife for writing this! Visit her website HERE to see more of her great recipes!

Food Freedom And Community Outreach

On Creating Community

Written by Susie Zahratka

Blogger at Yoga Pants and Bon Bons

I’ve started this blog post a hundred times. If we were still in the handwriting age, you’d see a garbage can overflowing with crumpled pieces of paper; some with only a few words and others with several paragraphs. With most of my writing, I provide a simple how-to; how to select a healthy mattress, make applesauce. When we talk about getting involved with the community though, it’s an entirely individual thing. My recipe to get there will not be yours. While my perfect finished product might require one cup of courage, one tsp of motivation, and a sprinkle of dissatisfaction with the status quo, yours might turn out better with 3 cups of knowledge and a pinch of joy. This is not a how-to. This is blog post is meant to pose more questions than in answers, and hopefully inspire an outcome that is never quite finished, but is always growing and changing. Let’s begin with the basics.

You are amazing and unique. Your strengths will serve you perfectly for the challenges you will encounter on your journey, and if you allow yourself space, you will have the opportunity to grow in the areas in your life that you need to improve on. All of this with just the basic act of taking control of your own food choices and building, one person at a time, a supportive community around you. Why food? Food is one of those things that we all must have. We eat daily, often several times and so with every act of eating, we are making several choices including, but not limited to; who is growing our food, how our food is grown, and the value we place on both of those things. I believe that the choices or non choices we make regarding food and where it comes from can be divided into three basic levels of involvement that are each shaped by pre-existing beliefs. Many of these beliefs do not serve to benefit us and instead hold us back from engaging personally with those around us. Although we are the most socially connected society by means of the computer and social media, we have in actuality become the most anti-social society because of it.

Food Freedom and Daily Living Community Outreach

Our local farmers market; a gathering of people of all ages

Personal Level

If we pay close attention to messages by the media, we hear that we are too busy to “do it all”.

We don’t have the training to engage in anything other than our chosen profession. In this society of onerous rules and the newly coined “helicopter parenting”, we are sheltered from making mistakes and thus confined to a “safe” life with very little personal growth. The result for us is life in a society where we depend upon rules created by multiple governing bodies that can stifle creativity, innovation, involvement, and personal interactions between ourselves and our families, our neighbors, our community. Some questions to think about;

What are you doing to become more self reliant and resourceful? As pertains to food, we have so many options that are basic including; gardening, cooking at home, sharing a meal with others. What choices are we making with our fork?

Food Freedom and Daily Living Community Outreach

Our tiny backyard garden. The kids loved to monitor the progress.

Local Level

We are taught not to trust; not to trust our instincts, our neighbors, our own decisions based upon experience and research. If we can’t do it all, but also cannot trust our neighbors and community, then what are we left with? Again, we are left with the dependance on an outside authority to guide us and tell us what is the right thing to do.

Some questions to get you thinking;

  1. Where do you spend most of your time (at home, at the office, on a farm, etc)? What are things that you can do in those environments to inspire change and encourage connection? Remember that authentic change does not happen overnight. This is good! By encouraging questioning of the status quo as pertains to food, it has the trickle down effect that will eventually spread to other aspects of life.
  2. Are you involved in your own community? There are typically many ways to get involved based upon how much time you have. Don’t assume that the amount of time or extent of your experience will be a limiting factor. As a Stay at Home Mom, my involvement has to be flexible as my family needs ebb and flow. Joining the Parks and Community Involvement Committee gives me the flexibility that I require while allowing me to propose ideas that are important to me.

    Organized government or preexisting communities are not the only way to plug in! Back in 2008, a friend and I decided to begin hosting potlucks on a monthly basis. What began as a tiny group of us meeting up for some homemade food, grew to a thriving (and still growing) community that now includes demonstrations and presentations as well farmers and other vendors that provide the community with nutrient food. In 2012, we decided to establish ourselves as a local Weston A Price Chapter to better connect with others who were seeking the same knowledge and connections.Food Freedom and Daily Living Community Outreach

    Learning to make sauerkraut

    3. What businesses do you frequent; what are their practices; are they an asset to the community? We hear about buying local, and it is indeed vital to the community in which you live to keep those businesses not just in business, but flourishing.

    4. Where do your dollars go in the food world? Where I live, we are fortunate to have community owned co-ops and farmers markets that are fairly close. However, a couple of years ago, I had the desire to have a Farmers market that was within walking distance. I contacted the farmers that I knew and put out the word through social media. When I had generated what I thought was a good amount of interest, I approached the city with the idea. They were excited about the idea as long as I could be the point person for the vendors. Together we created a no-cost local Farmers Market that operates once a month at a city park. Over the last two years, it’s become a lovely event with music, a food truck and a handful or two of vendors.

    Our local Farmers Market; focused on nutrient dense food and sustainable farming practices

    State Level

    There are many misnomers at play in our political system. Many people today believe that merely by voting or signing an online petition that they are making a difference. The truth is that making change and being truly politically active takes time and effort. This means, most importantly, being aware of what is happening and taking the proper measures to support or oppose proposed legislation. It also requires education of those acting upon the legislation and of the public who may not be aware of what is happening or may not understand how this will impact them. Again, this does not have to be a lonely task. By using the above methods of connecting with and/or creating a supportive community, a group of a few will quickly grow.

    So get to know your representatives; visit the Capital, town hall meetings, other events in your district. Again, this can be a scary venture. The only way you can fail though, is by not participating. Your locally elected officials spend much of their day talking to paid lobbyists. As a member of their district and as someone who will re-elect them or not, you have the opportunity to let them know what the concerns are in the area they are representing. Back in 2011, I had the opportunity to lobby for a topic that was important to me and my family. With two young children in tow, we lobbied frequently through the winter and spring. Sometimes it was not pretty. My then 3 year old threw tantrums sometimes as we left offices after very brief meetings. My 1 year old often skipped her nap so that we could catch a certain representative and engage them for 3 minutes between meetings. You can probably imagine what that scene looked like. But it made a difference. We shared our thoughts with those elected to represent us. We showed up. My personal recount of the trial of Alvin Schlangen back in 2012, is a powerful example of the food community in play and in action. Above all, keep in mind that we are constantly learning and growing and that the goal of conversation is not necessarily to change minds, but to establish a trusting relationship. Authentic change takes time and much personal reflection.

Food Freedom and Daily Living Community Outreach

Supporting Alvin

Visit Yoga Pants and Bon Bons for some more great posts!

Eating With the Seasons; Garden to Table

By: Susie Zahratka

 From Yoga Pants and Bon Bons

Connecting through life experiences”

First of all, please don’t be intimidated by the title of this post. I don’t claim to be an expert gardener or cook. These two roles are just a couple that I’ve stumbled into as a means to raise a healthy family. Come to think of it, pretty much every role I have now is so outside of my comfort zone that I’m completely comfortable in being uncomfortable. I know it’s time to take on a new challenge when things begin to feel easy, or at least easier.

Let’s talk about gardening for a minute. I’m what you’d call an accidental gardener. It seemed daunting to me to really take on the whole thing. Here in Minnesota, people start planning in February with seed catalogs; planning out their crops and spacing; designing their raised beds and trellises, and eagerly counting down the days until March when the seeds can be started under grow lights. As usual, I had grand plans of doing things the “right way” this season. I even bought a book that could help me in planning a garden that would produce all season with successive plantings. However and again as usual, I completely missed those couple of months of planning. I didn’t miss them as in I longed for them. No, I missed them because the seed catalog got shoved underneath some old birthday cards on the mail stack on the table and didn’t resurface until April. By March the gardening book had found a home in the book bin alongside Dr. Seuss and Little House in the Big Woods. I also forgot to order grow lights and by the time I remembered, it was March and they were back ordered. Yes, I completely missed the exciting prep time that all good gardeners never miss. Good thing I’m not really a gardener.

By May, most gardeners here have a good number of seedlings going, all labeled and ready to be transplanted at the end of May or the beginning of June. It is Minnesota after all. We have had snowfall in mid­May. Not being a gardener, my basement was just the home to storage boxes and spiders, not a seedling to be seen. I did however find a few packets of seeds that I’d purchased at the local co­op awhile back, so I managed to take those out of storage and put them where I could find them; on the stack of old birthday cards on the table with the newly found seed catalog. At least I’m consistent.

EatingWiththeSeasonsGardentoTable - VICFA Blog

In June our local Weston A Price Chapter had a plant sale. I felt compelled to buy plants, lots of plants. Tomato, zucchini, pepper, watermelon and pumpkin plants all came home with me and sat on the deck for a week. Thankfully for them, we had lots of rain that week or the story would end there. Like I said, I am not a gardener.

One random morning in June, my children and I were outside and looking for things to do, and I spotted our old fencing boards laying beside the garage. I glanced from the plants to the boards and back to the plants. Yes, now I had a plan. It took until mid­June, but it happened. That morning, the children had a blast painting the old wooden fencing that would serve as a border for our gardens. By noon we had four boxes painted and nailed together. By 4pm, we had the ground dug up and ready for plants. By the end of the following day we’d successfully planted a 12×12 garden in the backyard and three 6×6 gardens in the front. Once I do get going on a project, I work on it like crazy until it’s finished. Over the next few weeks we would weed or fix the fencing around the garden plots. The children watered the plants when they’d run through the sprinkler or fill the kiddie pool

.EatingWiththeSeasonsGardentoTable - VICFA Blog

All in all, we didn’t do much to aid in the survival of the little plants. However within six weeks or so, amazing things began to happen. The plants grew, and budded, and flowered. Our trips to check in with the plants became more frequent as they developed and changed. My daughter began bringing out the tape measure to figure out which plant was the tallest. The few sunflower seeds from the packet that we’d found hidden beneath the stack of birthday cards began to bloom. The tiny squash plants began filling up and then spilling out of the front yard garden boxes. It was amazing. When my oldest son picked the first ripe tomato off the vine, we were all so excited that we had been a part of the process (albeit a very small part).

EatingWiththeSeasonsGardentoTable - VICFA Blog

A couple of weeks ago, I was able to do something that I’d never really considered; cook a meal almost entirely from food grown in my own garden. To those of you who have farms or have been gardening for awhile, I’m sure that seems pretty natural, but to me, this was a huge deal, and it forever changed my appreciation for the process. What started in February as a seed in someone’s basement, became not just part of a meal for a family of 5, but the ingredients

around which the meal was based. That’s amazing to me.

The vegetables that didn’t come from my garden, cucumbers and some greens, came from our weekly CSA (Community Supported Agriculture) share from Mississippi Hills and the chicken was sourced from Nelson Grass Farm, a local farm that raises pastured and soy free chickens (among other things).

Before I get into our July harvest and meal, I want to say something about the recipes. As I mentioned before, I don’t claim to be an expert chef. Prior to having children, my husband and I ate cleanly; mostly organic and home cooking, but we didn’t have a good grasp on where our food came from, or the quality of the food we bought. Having children launched us into the world of nutrient density and knowing our farmers. It also pushed me into the kitchen where I began to spend a lot of time planning and preparing meals. Although I’ve grown in this area, I’m not meticulous with my methods. Unless I’m following a recipe for the first time, I don’t measure ingredients or write anything down (much to my husband’s dismay). My cooking and baking involves lots of sampling and tasting, and many failed experiments. I love feeling my way

through a recipe using what I have on hand, adding ingredients as I see or think of them. The recipes below are forgiving for those reasons. You can add or subtract ingredients to adjust for availability and flavor without ruining the meal. So without further ado, here is our July menu with recipes.


EatingWiththeSeasonsGardentoTable - VICFA Blog


* 3 tomatoes, seeded

*1 cucumber, skinned and seeded

*1 green pepper

*2 garlic cloves

*1 onion

*1 handful of basil leaves (cilantro or parsley are also delicious here. Herbs can also be omitted)

*Juice of 1 lemon

*sea salt


Roughly chop all vegetables and place in blender or food processor. Pulse until desired consistency reached. Add salt and pepper as needed.

Asian Chicken with Vegetables and Zoodles

EatingWiththeSeasonsGardentoTable - VICFA Blog


*1# pastured chicken, diced or in strips (other meat works too, as would some seafood or you could omit meat)

*4 medium zucchini

*2 tomatoes, seeded and chopped

*1 green pepper, seeded and chopped

*1 red bell pepper, seeded and chopped

*1 onion, chopped

*1 bunch Swiss chard, torn

*2 cloves garlic, chopped

*1/2 head broccoli, sliced

*coconut oil for frying

*Coconut aminos

*Sesame Oil

*Ginger (ground or fresh)

*Fish Sauce

Making the zoodles ( zucchini noodles)

EatingWiththeSeasonsGardentoTable - VICFA Blog

Cut end off of zucchini and peel skin with a vegetable peeler. Using a vegetable peeler or spirilizer, continue to peel zucchini until seeds are visible. (You can use the remaining part of the zucchini in the the recipe). Place the zoodles in a bowl and sprinkle with sea salt to sweat the zoodles. If you skip this step, the zoodles will be soggy. These guys can sweat it out while you prepare the sauce and remaining vegetables.


*1/2 cup toasted sesame oil

*1/4 cup coconut aminos

*1 tsp ground ginger

*1 tsp fish sauce

Whisk ingredients together and set aside.

Asian Chicken and Vegetables

1. Heat oil on medium heat

2. Add chicken and saute until cooked through.

3. Add onions and garlic and lightly saute.

4. Add torn Swiss chard, broccoli, and peppers. Cook until Swiss chard is wilted.

5. Add tomatoes, stirring often until just soft.

6. Pat dry the zoodles with a cloth or paper towels and add into the meat and vegetable mixture.

7. Using a tongs, gently toss together ingredients.

8. Add sauce mixture, turn down heat and allow all ingredients to cook for 5 minutes. Take off heat and serve.

I hope you enjoy this lovely and simple meal as much as we did. It is truly a blessing to be able to grow and then eat what is grown in your very own backyard. After this experience, I now consider myself a bonafide gardener. Stay tuned to learn what we did with our first watermelon! Here’s a hint:


If you would like to read more check out Susie’s Blog at Yoga Pants and Bon Bons