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Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Carrot Bowl with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Carrot Bowl with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

I have been trying a little experiment lately.  I have been wondering if simplifying what I think I “want” will help reduce stress and clear the way to a happier life.  I haven’t read any self-help books, I haven’t signed up for a workshop, this isn’t a sponsored post.  I am just trying to get out of my own way.  Why do we “want” a bigger house or a new car when what we have is working just fine.  Why do we “want” more clothes or a new pair of shoes when our closets are full of items we don’t even wear?  Why do we define being successful in our careers by titles and money instead of a sense of fulfillment after a long day?  

A few months ago, I started thinking about the concept of simplicity as applicable to my physical and mental life.  I cleaned out my closets and shoe-racks.  I then realized I have several sizes of pants, dresses and tops.  Having those smaller sizes in my closet was a constant reminder of gaining weight, and was not helping me feel good about myself.  Every morning, I was being reminded of a perceived “failure.”  Donating those items and only having clothes that I can and will wear has made getting ready for the day a positive experience rather than a negative one.  I am inspired by the concept of a capsule wardrobe, where you only have essential basics that you can mix and match to create hundreds of outfits.  These should be basics that do not go out of style and therefore, you do not need to constantly buy new clothes.  

I have an odd habit of looking (about every day) at real estate in the area.  I look at land in Hocking Hills, cabins and farms.  My husband and I want to move out of the city, but right now is not the time.  We both have businesses here in Columbus and are not able to move for several years.  Why am I looking at something I cannot have?  Whether I realized it or not, I have been adding anxiety to my life, by constantly looking for something that is not realistically going to happen anytime soon.

By removing these negative distractions I can free up the mental space to focus on the simple yet important tasks I need to perform every day.  Let me give you an example.  By not focusing on buying land or a cabin (I have spent about 3.5 hours a week searching, creating pinterest boards for inspiration, etc.), I am using this time to focus on what I currently have, a small but adorable house in the city.  Currently, we are renovating our screened-in back porch (mostly ourselves) so that we can spent more time outdoors.  I am not stressed about how we are going to afford it, how long it’s going to take or who will do the work because we are renovating the porch ourselves (on the cheap).  I have removed an unrealistic “want” and made room for an obtainable task.  

I will be checking in over the next few months to tell you how simplifying my life is going.   There are many examples of how this strategy has helped re-frame my day to day, but I will save that for another day.

Have you tried to change the way you approach “want” vs “need”?  What have you done to make your life simpler?  Do you disagree and think that we should have big goals to keep striving to be better?

Shaved Brussels Sprouts and Carrot Bowl with Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

Author: Jodi Boatman Prep Time: 20 Minutes    Cook time: 25 Minutes       

Total Time:  45 Minutes    Yields:  4 Servings    WW:  6 Freestyle Points


8 medium carrots, peeled, cut in 1 inch pieces
2 medium sweet onion, quartered
1 TSP olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
16 baby bella mushrooms, stems removed 
non-stick spray
1/2 TSP Mrs. Dash table blend
1 TBSP olive oil
10 sprays of I can’t believe it’s butter spray
16 oz brussels sprouts, shaved and separated 
1/2 TSP herbs de provence
1 TBSP garlic, minced
2 C cooked tri-color quinoa
1 C arugula
1/2 medium lemon

Roasted Red Pepper Sauce

1/2 medium onion
12 oz jar of roasted red pepper packed in water, drained
1 TSP garlic, minced
1 TSP garlic powder
1 TSP onion powder
1 1/2 TBSP nutritional yeast
1 TBSP balsamic vinegar


  • Pre-heat oven to 400°

  • Mix carrots, onions, olive oil, salt and pepper in a medium bowl until vegetables are coated.  Place on a baking sheet lined with aluminum foil.  Bake for 25-30 minutes until browned and and tender.  

  • On a separate baking sheet add mushrooms, coat with non-stick spray and season with Mrs. Dash table blend.  Bake for 20 minutes until browned and and tender.  *You can cook them along side the carrot and onion mix if you have room in your oven.

  • In the meantime prepare the Roasted Red Pepper Sauce.  Add onion, roasted red peppers, garlic, garlic powder, onion powder, nutritional yeast and balsamic vinegar to a blender and process until smooth.  Set aside.

  • In a large non-stick pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat.  Add the brussels sprouts, herbs de provence, garlic and butter spray.  Sauté for 10-15 minutes.  You want the sprouts to be browned and tender, but not over cooked.  

  • To make the arugula, toss arugula in a small bowl with the juice from 1/2 medium lemon until coated.

  • To assemble bowls, add 1/4 carrots, onions, mushrooms, brussels sprouts, quinoa and arugula to 4 bowls top with roasted red pepper sauce and serve.  *you can serve the red pepper sauce room temperature or warmed.  It’s you choice, I like mine room temperature. 

    * Top with fresh parsley or feta cheese for even more flavor!

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