I like lists. Maybe you can relate?
I make grocery lists and client lists and spreadsheets detailing my purchases for the month. I keep mental lists of reasons I like things, reasons I don’t like things, situations that felt awkward with a particular person. I think these lists (1) help me process things, (2) help them make sense, (3) give me a way to hold onto knowledge better.
I also think, that sometimes, (4) it’s hard not to think in lists.
So when a person like me relocates, she thinks in constant comparisons, weighing City B against City A in ever-expanding lists that consider everything from demographics to the cost of living to the way the grocery store feels at 9 PM (I try to avoid it, in case you’re wondering).
So far, Nashville has better weather (hello, 68 degrees yesterday afternoon!) and worse traffic (especially in the middle of the afternoon anywhere near Whole Foods). Cost-wise, it’s about the same—having roommates helps; being far away from your family doesn’t.
As another item to note about my new hometown, it’s where founder of the Exodus Center, Dr. Josh Axe, is from. If you don’t already know about his site, check it out for great information about whole foods and all-natural nutrition. His cookbook, The Real Food Diet Cookbook, is where the idea for these sloppy joes came from.
Made with a pound of grass-fed beef (which, incidentally is about $3 more a pound here!?), these sloppy joes were hearty, messy, just slightly tangy—all the things good sloppy joes should be. We ate them alongside a big salad dressed with Garlic Gold’s garlic-infused organic extra-virgin olive oil (which the company was nice enough to send me a sample of, in one of my first packages in Tennessee). And we did it on the same day we made these ice cream sandwiches.
Meals like these can offer real clarity, you know? Because as valuable as lists are, at some point, even the most die-hard among us have to surrender all charts and tables and logic and just look at the plate or place before us and go, man, I like this. This is good.
Grass-Fed Sloppy Joes
Adapted from The Real Food Diet Cookbook
Makes enough for about four sandwiches
1 cup chopped onion
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound of grass-fed beef
1/2 cup tomato sauce (we pureed POMI tomatoes and added salt/pepper)
1/2 cup BBQ sauce (we made our own from organic ketchup, balsamic vinegar, organic yellow mustard, salt/pepper and some cayenne)
1 teaspoon sea salt
Begin by sauteeing chopped onions in olive oil, in a large skillet over medium heat. Once they are soft and translucent, add the beef until it browns and cooks through. Add tomato sauce, barbecue sauce, and sea salt.
We like ours on sprouted buns, with a salad on the side.