It's been three years since one of country music's biggest female superstars - you know her for can't-help-but-make-you-smile hits like "Suds in the Bucket" and "Born to Fly" - released an album, but that doesn't mean that Sara Evans hasn't been busy. Not only has she been recording a brand new collection of tunes for her album, Words, which drops July 21 and features 14 female singer-songwriters (#badass), but she's also partnered with One Hope to develop a signature wine. And since Sara's a big cabernet sauvignon girl, that's exactly what you'll get out of the bottle.
This isn't a "slap your name on the bottle and hope it tastes good" type of partnership, though. "It's my new favorite wine and my biggest indulgence," says Evans. And the proceeds help fund the CMA Foundation, which focuses on improving and sustaining music education programs across the country.
Plus, Evans says vino is a big part of her weeknight wind-down with her husband of nine years, Jay Barker. "When we got married, it was an instant blended family of 7 kids, so we've never lived alone," she says. (Evans has three children from a previous marriage, Barker has four.) "Early on we decided [to]…go outside every night and have our glass or two of red wine. It's relaxing and it's just our time to connect."
So what else does this country star eat on the reg? Just wait 'til you find out.
She doesn't shy away from meat.
While a lot of celebs talk about eating mostly vegetarian or opting for white meat over red, Evans isn't one of them. "We have steak a lot," she says. A favorite way to make it? With Dale sauce, a Southern staple. "We use it with every meat that we make and it's so delicious," she says. "I'll just get these big rib-eyes and pour Dale sauce on it, just in a regular baking dish, and bake it on 350° for an hour or so. It's unbelievable; it's just unreal. I can't even describe to you how yummy it is."
Sauces are a big staple, too.
With such high praise for Dale sauce, I thought there wouldn't be room for much else in Evans' sauce arsenal, but I, of course, was wrong. (Duh, why limit yourself if you don't have to?) Everyone in Evans' family is a big fan of Yum Yum Sauce, another Southern recipe often made by whisking tomato paste, melted butter, garlic powder, paprika, mayonnaise, sugar, cayenne pepper, and water together until smooth. "The kids are furious if we don't have yum-yum [in the house]," she says.
Salads often make an appearance.
But this isn't a frail, no-calorie iceberg-lettuce salad. "I'll do spinach or a fresh mix, and we always do feta cheese, bacon bits, croutons," she says. "It's not a light salad, it's a delicious salad." Evans likes to top it off with a blush wine-poppyseed vinaigrette made by a woman in her local community of Mountain Brook, Alabama, and with that - coupled with a steak - I'm ready for dinner at the Evans-Barker house.
She loves to cook.
Forget restaurants - you're way more likely to find Evans in the kitchen, even with a busy touring schedule. "We're kind of food snobs - not in the sense that we eat fancy food, but just that we don't like restaurant food that much," says Evans. "So I like to try to cook at least three nights a week, just to feel better about myself as a mom. And it's much less expensive, you know what you're getting, you know what you're feeding them."
She doesn't experiment with food often.
Hey, you've gotta give it to a girl who knows what she likes and sticks to it. "I'm very bland; I don't waver a lot," she says. "One thing I always like to always have in my house is fresh deli turkey meat. I love to make a tortilla with turkey and cheese and mayonnaise."
Another staple? Salty snacks. "I love plain Lays potato chips - that's like my favorite food," she says. "Like I said, I'm more of a plain food person, and I always go for white stuff. So if it is sweet, I like a powdered donut instead of a chocolate donut…[instead of] chocolate-covered pretzels, I love yogurt-covered pretzels."
Her diet is a little unconventional.
Celebs are known for experimenting with fad diets, but Evans follows one that hasn't quite made headlines: "I call it the growl diet, and you just don't eat until your stomach growls," she says. "It's your body's natural way of saying 'I need food, it's empty.' And you eat until you're full, until you're satisfied, and then you don't eat until you're empty again. It's just totally, you know, like gas in the car."
And, yes, Evans is fully aware that her diet doesn't work for everyone. "A lot of people freak out when I say that I do that [and] they're like, 'It's so bad for you' and 'You should eat five meals a day and never go more than three hours without eating.' But anytime I've tried that - or said 'OK, I'm going to cut out carbs' - I just tend to overeat on what I'm allowed to eat. I would [end up having] to really, really, exercise like a ton, every single day, burning a ton of calories, in order to balance it."
Which is why, at the end of the day, Evans says it's best to just do you. "Go with what your body is telling you and how you're feeling," she says. "You should just really pay attention to how your body feels."
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