Hi, I'm Kim

Hi, I’m Kim Christensen, M.Om., Dipl.OM, L.Ac. I’m a licensed acupuncturist, herbalist, and owner of Constellation Acupuncture & Healing Arts in Minneapolis, Minnesota. Back before going to school and becoming a healthcare practitioner, Affairs of Living was my creative outlet while healing from chronic health issues. These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.

Want to stay up to date? Check out my new website www.constellationacu.com.

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Unless otherwise noted, all recipes on this blog are free of gluten, peanuts, soy, corn, tomatoes, potatoes, shellfish, cane sugar, oranges, and yeast. Most recipes are also free of egg, dairy, and tree nuts (if used, reliable substitutions will be provided for these when possible). Check out my recipe index for a full list of recipes by category. 

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Allergy-Friendly, Gluten-Free 4th of July Recipes

Fireworks from the 2009 Minneapolis fireworks display at the Stone Arch Bridge

Geez, can you believe it is already JULY?!

Summer is officially here, and so is the 4th of July and all that goes with it.  America's Independence Day is celebrated with backyard barbeques, picnics, potlucks, cabins, and pyromaniac fiends (like my brother and his buddies) getting their jollies out by blowing stuff up and creating fiery explosions in the sky.  And while these gatherings are fun, they can be really stressful for anyone with dietary restrictions.  Parties are like obstacle courses, especially if you aren't hosting and you don't know what's what.

No fear! The key to these gatherings is to bring along plenty of safe food. Yes, it involves planning, but it will ensure that you have plenty eat, can relax and enjoy yourself, and not break your diet, have a reaction, or go hungry. 

I dug through my archives and hand selected a wide assortment of recipes that are perfect for summer gatherings and weekends at the cabin or cottage.  You will love them, other people will too, and you will feel happy, satisfied, and celebratory just like everyone eating all the "normal" food. Be sure to check out my Summer Recipe Index for more ideas. 

Have a safe and happy holiday, and please don't blow your hands up or start your garage on fire.  Kisses!

xoxo, Kim

Summer in Minnesota is like heaven, and the only reason living through the winter is at all worth the struggle.

White Bean and Garlic Dip

Appetizers and Snacks

Tomato Free Arame SalsaServe a big bowl of White Bean Garlic Dip, Beet Hummus, or Tomato-Free Arame Salsa with Crispy Raw Flax Seed Crackers  or another cracker, chip, or raw vegetable your choice.

Make Tuscan Chicken Liver Paté "Sliders" for a fun and delicious light lunch or snack. For something more filling, make picnic-perfect paté sandwiches with pickles, thinly sliced radishes, a smear of mustard, and a thick slice of Pumpkinseed Teff Sandwich Bread.

Pepper Crusted Cashew Cheese

Make a big batch of Wasabi Garlic Kale Chips or Toasted Nori Crisps to serve instead of potato or corn chips.

Serve Pepper-Crusted Cashew Cheese with crackers and fresh vegetables.



Jicama Collard Slaw 

Salads, Slaws, and Sides

White Bean Salad with Peppers and HerbsFor a hearty pasta or bean dish, try making White Bean Salad with Peppers and Herbs, Chicken Salad with Artichokes, or Chickpea, Pesto, and Broccoli Pasta Salad, or French Tuna Macaroni Salad.

Instead of a standard coleslaw, how try Carrot Ribbon SaladCurried Rhubarb Coleslaw, Celeriac Slaw with Creamy Cashew "Mayo"Cabbage Slaw with Sorrel and Sesame, Jicama Collard Slaw with Creamy Sunflower Dressing, or Really Raw Slaw instead.

Roasted Vegetables with PestoFeel like whole grains? Make my delicious Cucumber, Olive, and Quinoa Salad or Millet Tabouli with Roasted Red Peppers.

Substitute the classic sugar-laden maple baked beans with a delicious and hearty batch of Mexican Azuki Beans with Epazote.

For a simple and elegant vegetable side dish, serve a big platter of chilled or hot Roasted Vegetables with Basil and Garlic Scape Pesto or Sprouted Chickpea Pesto for dipping.


Firing up the grill for chicken breasts!

Main Course

Grilled Chicken Breasts with roasted vegetables and Jicama Collard SlawIf you're firing up the grill, try making Dad's Mesquite-Smoked Chicken Breasts, or make a grilled version of my Caper & Shallot Turkey Burgers with Pesto.

For a vegan burger alternative, try Sunny Quinoa Burgers or Mung Bean Burgers in a collard leaf with fresh sprouts and grated carrot.  I don't think they'd do well on the grill since they are kind of fragile, but they'd still be great done up on the stove.

Make Turkey Fajita Hash and serve it in brown rice tortillas with all Summer Spaghetti with Zucchini Cashew "Alfredo"the classic taco fixings, like black olives, lettuce or thinly shredded cabbage, thinly sliced radishes, and salsa.

For a quick and filling pasta dish, use fresh farmers market vegetables to make Summer Spaghetti with Zucchini Cashew Alfredo - the sauce isn't too heavy, and is still appropriate for even hot summer days.


Raw Strawberry "Milk"Shakes

Sweet Treats

Rhubarb Cashew CookiesMy Black Bean Fudge is always a hit - and there is no baking involved, so it won't heat up your kitchen! For a crunchy version, try making the recipe for Fudge Sunny Bunnies but cut into stars or other fun shapes instead of rabbits.

Serve a plate of Rhubarb Cashew Cookies, Sunflower Butter Cookies, Amazing Flourless Chocolate Chip Cookies, or Chewy Chocolate Buckwheat Cookies.

Use fresh summer fruit to make Raspberry Rhubarb Coconut Bars or Plum Apricot Tart.

Beet and Cherry CreamsiclesCraving something icy to beat the heat? Try my Avocado Shamrock ShakeRaw Strawberry "Milk"shakes, or Beet & Cherry Creamsicles.

Go all out and make my Chocolate Cherry Berry Layer Cake, and decorate with raspberries, blueberries, and and cherries instead for a patriotic twist!



Granola with fresh berries - the perfect easy summer breakfast!

Breakfasts & Brunch

Rhubarb Coconut SconesFor quick breakfasts at the cabin or on the boat, make a batch of Super Seed GranolaApplesauce Muffins,Cinnamon Raisin Muffins, or Rhubarb Coconut Scones.

For more leisurely breakfasts at home on your holiday off, what about trying a batch of Salmon and Eggs Breakfast Scramble, Sprouted Quinoa Millet Waffles with Strawberry RHubarb Jam,  or Sprouted Buckwheat Blini with Salmon, Cucumber, and PUmpkin Seed Cream?


Have a safe and happy 4th of July!

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Reader Comments (3)

Wow your snacks look great, I'll have to remember these in the future, thanks for sharing!

July 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterGrace

I love the list! I still want to try that cashew cheese you made, I can't get over how amazing it looks. I hope one of these days I'll be a seasoned enough blogger to be able to make a list with my recipes! I always love your stuff, keep it up girl! (And I'm proud to say that I didn't set my garage on fire :P)

July 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAubree Cherie

What a wonderful compilation - thanks for putting this together! It will be useful all summer long!

And such beautiful photographs - I feel like I attended an entire picnic just looking at them!

The cashew cheese is what I dream of... I have the cashews waiting in the freezer, I just need to get my act together to make it happen!

July 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterScrumptious
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo