Grass-Fed Sloppy Joes

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.

sloppy joe meat

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).

garlic gold

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.

garlic gold on salad

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.

sloppy joes

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.

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Curried Coconut Chicken & Peanut Butter Noodles

Listen, it’s not like I never do adventurous things. I mean, you know: I ride roller coasters. I cut 11 inches off my hair. I launch out into self-employment. And hello, there was that mountain in Maine I won’t let anyone forget about. Remember?!

But when it comes to my kitchen and new types of cuisine, even I will admit that I stick pretty close to the basics: American, Italian, sometimes Greek, but pretty rarely anything outside that. And if it weren’t for my friend Stacey, who came over Tuesday night to, at her suggestion, try making Thai food, that would all be exactly the same.

peanut butter noodles

Our plan of attack was simple: pick two recipes, adapt the ingredients to be fully natural, follow the instructions and cook.

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