Kitchen & Craft: Spicy Broccoli Butternut Bowls & Produce Garland

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paper garland how to

Hi guys! How were your weekends? Mine was freezin’ (duh), but productive.

The productivity stemmed from a running injury I sustained on New Year’s Eve. I twisted my ankle and fell. It hurt, but since I was able to finish the rest of my planned miles, I figured it couldn’t be that bad. I was wrong. I woke up on January 1st with it all swollen and purple, the styloid of the fibula completely hidden beneath puffy flesh. Since that day, I’ve had to keep my runs short because it hasn’t completely healed. It sucks, but the upside is that I have more time to do other things.

paper garland


I’m kicking off two new blog projects this week. The first one is Kitchen & Craft, where I’ll feature a simple handicraft paired with an easy recipe. To be honest, I’m not sure how regularly I’m going to do these, because I enjoy cooking far more than I enjoy crafting. Right now, I’m aiming for once a month. We’ll see.

I’ll announce the second project on Friday. 🙂

This simple paper garland, and ode to produce, was inspired by Nepalese Lokta paper garlands. I needed to hang up something bright and festive after we took down our Christmas tree, just to bring a little warmth to winter.

This project couldn’t have been simpler. I had some colored paper that my mom had given me for Lord knows what reason. All I did was draw up some shapes, cut them out, and hot glue them to embroidery floss. I detail it all below, and I’ve provided a link to the pattern I made of all the veggies. paper garland

The spicy veggie dish was also Asian inspied, Thailand this time. When we lived in Raleigh, Jason always wanted to go to this Thai place at Briar Creek. I liked it, but not as much as he did. I always felt too heavy and bloated afterwards, all those salty carbs.

I took some traditional Thai flavors and paired them with spicy broccoli, lime rice, and butternut noodles. The result is comforting but not overbearing, and you can skip the rice if you want to lighten it up even more.

spicy thai peanut sauce thai sauce vegan thai sauce no fish veggie bowl

I adapted the spicy sauce from a Brussels spout recipe I made last year, simply switching out the original peanut butter for some tahini. If you don’t have tahini on hand, peanut butter will certainly do. Like my last post, this dish is totally budget friendly.

I’m going to try to keep my future crafts pocket-friendly as well. I have  list of things I plan to make, but it’s sort of incomplete, so if there’s anything you’d like to learn how to do, let me know in the comments and I’ll try to make it happen.

easy thai sauce vegan thai sauce thai sauce no fish thai noodle bowl

Spicy Broccoli Butternut Bowls

Prep Time: 15 minutes

Cook Time: 12 minutes

Yield: 2 hearty servings


  • a 1-1/4 lb butternut squash
  • 2 big heads of broccoli
  • 2 cups cooked Jasmine rice
  • 1 tbsp nutritional yeast
  • 1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1 tbsp lime zest
  • salt to taste
  • spicy sauce
  • 1/2 cup water
  • 1/2 cup tanini
  • 2 tbsp sriracha
  • 1.5 tsp crushed red pepper
  • 1/2 tsp crushed garlic
  • 3 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • salt to taste


  1. Preheat the oven to 400
  2. Chop the broccoli up into florets and spiralize the squash on the largest noodle setting.
  3. Slice the broccoli florets into 2-3 pieces, lengthwise
  4. Spread the broccoli and the noodles out on two separate baking sheets
  5. Sprinkle the broccoli with the crushed red pepper and the nutritional yeast. Add a sprinkle of salt.
  6. Place the broccoli on one oven rack and the noodles on another. The broccoli should bake for 12 minutes, and the noodles for 8 minutes.
  7. While the veggies are cooking, fluff the lime zest into the rice.
  8. For the sauce, combine all ingredients in a bowl and stir till combined. It helps if the water is a little warm.
  9. To serve, veggies and rice among the plates and drizzle with sauce.Enjoy.
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For the produce garland:

You’ll need two 5’6″ strands of embroidery floss. You can use one color or two. I used white and red, only because that’s what I already had. Twirl them together.

Here is the pattern printout for the veggies. Cut five of each, and cut ten of the beet greens. Use a glue stick to affix the greens to the veggies, and a hot glue gun to affix the veggies to the embroidery floss. Due to the greens, the beets will be top heavy and will flip upside down. Hot-glue a small weight (like a penny or bottle cap) to the bottom of each beet to keep them upright.


Hang them up and enjoy!

4 thoughts on “Kitchen & Craft: Spicy Broccoli Butternut Bowls & Produce Garland

  1. Oh my goodness, I hope your ankle feels better soon, girlfriend!! Until then, keep up the crafting because you are awesome at it! LOVE these bowls!!! They look so delicious and I love that they are healthy without sacrificing flavor! I could totally down a few of these right about now! Cheers!

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