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 These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.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. 

Sunday
Mar012009

Sprouted Buckwheat Coconut Waffles with Kabocha Coconut Sauce (gluten free, vegan, sugar free, candida friendly)


Waffle attempt numero dos!  I couldn't help myself, I needed to try making another waffle recipe.  Today is a buckwheat day, so it was time to pull out the old buckwheat groats and see what would happen.  I always end up combining buckwheat with coconut it seems, I really like the flavors together.  And this recipe is no exception!  I think these waffles are pretty great, and each one packs a major nutritional punch.  Buckwheat, amaranth, coconut, and flax seed all have lots of healthy fiber, as well being natural sources of healthy protein and amino acids.  In fact, amaranth is one of highest sources of both in the gluten-free "grain" world, and along with buckwheat, is a great low glycemic "grain" option. And let's not forget about all the healthy omegas from the flax seed.  Or all the benefits from the coconut.  In addition to being ever so tasty, coconut provides a ton of nutritive value.  Coconut oil and meat provide lots of healthy antioxidants, fatty acids, polyphenols, and vitamins, most notably lauric acid, capric acid, and caprylic acid, all of which have naturally antifungal, antimicrobial, and antibacterial properties.  What does that mean?  It helps to regulate healthy bacteria in the gut, for starters.  That's important for everyone, especially those of us with pesky Candida issues.  And coconut is a good source of protein, and is also low on the GI scale.  


Like my other waffle recipe, this recipe uses the whole amaranth and buckwheat grains, not their flours.  The soaking process helps to neutralize phytic acid, and starts the sprouting process, activating important enzymes, breaking down proteins, and making it more digestible overall.  Hooray!  So, make sure to leave time to let your grains soak before  making this recipe.
After pulling the first beautiful batch out of the waffle maker - and being really pleasantly surprised at how great the waffle looked - I decided I needed a sauce.  A coconut base seemed fitting, and I remembered the can of coconut milk in my pantry.  Then I remembered the Kabocha squash I had in the fridge that didn't get used in my soup last night.  Perfect!  Squash and pumpkin, particularly Kabocha, often get combined with coconut in southeast Asian cuisine, so I figured it was the perfect choice.  
I love kabocha squash.  I fancy myself a bit of a squash aficionado, and I think kabocha is really wonderful.  The flesh is dense and very sweet, the color bright and vibrant, and the skin totally is totally edible and very nutritious - once cooked it becomes very soft, unlike many other squash skins.  Kabocha is used a lot in Japanese and macrobiotic cooking, I love to use it to make soups, fun little squash-agar agar "jiggler" treats, or just to eat it plain.  Anyway, the sauce was super yummy and really beautiful, and ready in about 8 minutes, just in time to pull out my second batch of waffles from the waffle maker.  I ended up with a ton of sauce, so I'm freezing the leftovers in small batches to use for my leftover waffles.  Or just to eat plain when I want something sweet and pudding like -the natural sweetness of kabocha and coconut are really decadent, even without added sweetener!  It is so rich and flavorful, it begs the question "Is this really vegan?".  Make sure to find organic or all natural coconut milk, since many commercially produced varieties can be filled with all sorts of strange preservatives or additives.  I chose lite coconut milk, since full fat gives me trouble sometimes, but choose whichever you prefer.
3/5/09 UPDATE: I ate two leftover frozen waffles for breakfast today, and they were awesome!  I put them in the toaster oven to thaw, and toasted them for about 5-7 minutes until they were warmed through.  The inside was still soft, and the outside was crisp!  So, the waffles passed the frozen and thawed test with flying colors.  I also thawed my leftover squash sauce to use for dunking.  It was a pretty great way to start a Thursday.
SPROUTED BUCKWHEAT  COCONUT WAFFLES 
yield: approx 5 5-inch square waffles
3/4 c whole dry buckwheat groats
1/4 c whole dry amaranth grain
2 T shredded coconut
2 T coconut flour
2 T melted coconut oil
1 T ground flax seed
water to cover soaked grains + 1/2 c
1 tsp vanilla extract (alcohol and gluten free)
pinch cardamom
stevia (or agave nectar) to taste
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp vitamin c crystals (optional, helps with leavening)
  1. Place buckwheat and amaranth to soak in water overnight or for at least 5-6 hours. 
  2. Drain grains well in a very fine sieve - amaranth is very small and likes to escape.  If you don't have a fine sieve, just try dumping out as much of water as you can, or use something fine and meshy like cheesecloth.
  3. Transfer to a blender, or if using an immersion blender, a large cup or bowl. 
  4. Level grains, and add just enough fresh water to cover. Add the coconut, coconut flour, salt, cardamom, baking powder, vitamin c crystals (if using), melted coconut oil, flax, vanilla, agave and stevia, and 1/4 c of the additional water. Blend well.  Coconut flour absorbs liquid like crazy - so, if necessary, add the additional 1/4 c of water to make a thick, but still spoonable, batter.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes for flax to absorb some of the liquid.  If it seems to thick, don't hesitate to add a little extra water.
  5. Heat up waffle iron, greasing lightly with coconut oil. When ready, fill waffle iron with batter. Close iron and bake as directed in waffle iron user's manual, until waffle stops steaming and starts to smell done. I found that about 8 minutes in my waffle iron yielded a well cooked waffle that had a beautiful golden color and seemingly impossible crispy crust.
Remove from iron and let cool a minute or two on a rack, the waffle will continue to crisp up.  

 

 


yeild: approx 2 c sauce 
1 c organic lite coconut milk
1 1/2 c Kabocha squash, peeled and diced (or other dense, sweet squash like Hubbard or Buttercup)
optional, if more sweetness is desired: pinch stevia  - or if sugar isn't an issue for you use agave or a little maple syrup (the maple would be really good!)
optional: fresh or dried ginger
optional: 1 T flaxseed oil
  1. Steam Kabocha until soft, or microwave in a covered dish with a little water for 5 minutes until tender.
  2. In a blender or with an immersion blender, mix coconut milk and cooked squash until smooth, adding more coconut milk as necessary to reach desired consistency.  
  3. If desired, add a pinch or stevia or a squirt of agave to taste, some fresh or dried ginger for added kick, or a tablespoon of flax oil.
  4. Serve warm over waffles!  Freeze leftovers to use later.  Or just eat it because it is that good.  :)

 

Saturday
Feb282009

Sprouted Quinoa Millet Waffles (gluten free, vegan, candida friendly, sugar free, yeast free)


Right now I am eating a sprouted, gluten free, vegan, sugar free waffle that doesn't fall apart, is crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, tastes great, and is actually quite pretty.  A waffle that won't leave me feeling like I need to double over in stomach discomfort or go pass out somewhere while my body tries to digest a sugar-gluten bomb.  A waffle that is actually healthy.   Am I dreaming?  

I haven't eaten waffles in ages, because they always made me feel like crap.  We had a waffle maker in my college cafeteria, and after a few goes with that bad boy for Sunday brunch, I kind of gave up on waffles.  Like how I gave up on pancakes.  While my friends would eat stacks of crispy, golden, syrup drenched waffles or pancakes or whatever, all I could think about was that icky feeling.  Maybe I could half a waffle, or one pancake, but that was the max.  Then I discovered gluten free waffles.  But I wasn't crazy for those either - they have all sorts of weird fillers and binders that I can't or don't like to eat.  So, my involvement with waffles has been minimal.  

But yesterday, I wanted waffles, and decided I was going to make some.  I was hell bent on eating a waffle for breakfast today.  To me, it kind of seemed like the ultimate gluten free challenge. So, I went to Target and bought an electric waffle iron, started researching recipes online, and decided on a plan of action. After a TERRIBLE attempt at making waffles for dinner last night using brown rice flour - disaster - I was wondering if it was even possible.  But I was determined.  

I combined a few recipes, made my own alterations, and ended up with a totally kick ass waffle.  These seriously do not seem gluten free or vegan, in my opinion!  Fool your friends and lovers!  Instead of using flour, this recipe uses sprouted whole grain quinoa and millet.  Full of enzymes, easier to digest, and lower glycemic.  It is totally free of weird binders, full of good fiber and protein, and is really filling.   I can't eat cinnamon and nutmeg and ginger and all that stuff right now, but if you can, spice these bad boys up, and I bet they'd be killer.  I sprinkled one with sunflower seeds before cooking and that was pretty darn good too.  Make sure to plan ahead - your grains need to soak and sprout overnight, or for at least 5-6 hours, before you use them.  I made these using a little xylitol - a natural, zero glycemic, candida-friendly sweetener - but feel free to use a tablespoon or two of agave, honey, maple syrup, molasses, or brown rice syrup, if sugar is not an issue for you.  Just slightly reduce the amount of water.  Instead of water, I suppose you could use a milk substitute, or some apple or other fruit juice.  I'm thinking that these would be awfully good made savory, with herbs stirred in. Maybe a dallop of dairy-free pesto sauce added to the batter would be good, or some red pepper puree?  Hmn.

Try it out, experiment, and let me know how you make this waffle your very own!  Serve with your favorite nut butters or spreads, or if you can eat sugar, your favorite maple syrup, honey, or other sweet syrup.  Serve with cooked fruit sauces or jams.  Or make it savory and serve with a side of steamed vegetables or with soup or anything.  I ate mine this morning with steamed broccoli and toasted sunflower seeds and it was awfully good.  I'm going to make a bunch and keep in the freezer - like  my very own Eggo's!  

Ah!  Gluten free, vegan waffles!  I can't believe it!I'm going to try using buckwheat groats and make another pass at a waffle.  And I might try to make one that is full of something dark and rich, like carob or cocoa...hmn...I'm going to eat waffles a lot from now on, I think.

Sprouted Quinoa Millet Waffles (gluten free, vegan, sugar free, candida friendly)

YIELD: 5 5-inch square waffles

recipe combined and adapted from:

1/2 c whole dry quinoa grains
1/2 c whole dry millet grains
1 t coriander (or other spices/seasonings - like nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, allspice, orange zest, etc etc etc)
1/2 t gluten-free vanilla extract or flavoring
1 t xylitol, a pinch of powdered stevia extract, 20 drops stevia liquid, or 1-2 Tbsp agave, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup (optional, include if you want a  little sweetness)
1 T ground chia seed or ground flax seed
1/4 t salt
2 T mleted coconut oil, sunflower oil, light olive oil, or melted butter/ghee
water
optional: sunflower seeds, or other seeds or chopped nuts

Rinse quinoa and millet, and place to soak in water overnight or for at least 5-6 hours.  The millet will soften, and the quinoa will start to sprout!

AFter soaking, drain and rinse quinoa well, rubbing grains together. Transfer to a blender, or if using an immersion blender, a large cup or bowl.  

Level grains, and add just enough water to cover.  Add the salt, seasonings, baking powder, salt, oil, vanilla, and xylitol/stevia.  Blend until well mixed and grains have been chopped up.  It will be a thick batter.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes for chia to absorb liquid.

Heat up waffle iron, greasing well with a high heat oil like coconut, grapeseed, sunflower, or with ghee, if tolerated.  When ready, fill waffle iron, and if desired, sprinkle with seeds or nuts.  Close iron and bake as directed in waffle iron user's manual, until waffle stops steaming and starts to smell done.  I found that about 7 minutes in my waffle iron yielded a well cooked waffle that had a  beautiful golden color and seemingly impossible crispy crust.  Remove from iron and let cool a minute or two on a rack, the waffle will continue to crisp up, or keep warm in an oven heated to 200º F.

 

Thursday
Feb262009

Roasted Red Pepper Zucchini Bisque (vegan, gluten free)


This is super fast, super tasty, and super healthy. Hooray! While I was at the grocery store, I had a craving for red peppers, and decided I wanted to make a red pepper soup for lunch tomorrow. So, I grabbed some peppers, some zucchini, and decided to see what would happen.

I like using zucchini or summer squash as a base to make creamy dairy-free soups; once pureed, they have a remarkably creamy, rich texture. In fact, you can use zucchini or summer squash as a milk substitute in baking and cooking recipes - ever heard of zucchini milk? It works great! Just make sure to peel the zucchini first if you want to keep a white colored milk substitute - otherwise you end up with green "milk".
I used roasted red peppers from a jar, since they were cheaper than the super expensive middle of winter red peppers. If you want to roast your own red peppers, even better - it is way easy! If you don't know how, check out my post for Gypsy Soup and see the pepper roasting instructions at the bottom of the recipe. Buying roasted red peppers jarred can be tricky; many have vinegar and sugar added. If Candida is an issue for you, look for roasted red peppers packed only in salt and water.
I decided to make a pureed soup; I really like creamy soups. An immersion blender makes this a piece of cake! With an immersion blender, you can puree soups right in the soup pot - it is an easy and mess-free way to make perfectly creamy soups in an instant, without all the messy transferring between blender and stove top. Truly $30 well spent. However, if you don't have one, use a blender or food processor, puree in batches, and return to the soup pot.
ROASTED RED PEPPER ZUCCHINI BISQUE (vegan, gluten free)

yield: approx 7-8 cups
4-6 small or medium zucchini, chopped
1 turnip, peeled and diced
1 onion, diced
5 garlic cloves, crushed and chopped
1 c roasted red pepper slices/halves, coarsely chopped (if roasting your own, you might need 3 or 4 whole peppers to get 1 c of roasted)
6 c water or stock
1 T basil
1 /2 T marjoram
salt and fresh cracked black pepper to taste
1 tsp arrowroot powder
olive oil
  1. Coat heavy bottom soup pot with olive oil. Saute onions over medium heat for 5 minutes, until they start to soften. Add the crushed garlic and saute for a few more minutes, covering the pot, and stirring occassionally to prevent sticking.
  2. Add chopped zucchini and turnips, stir to mix, and saute for a few more minutes.
  3. Pour in water or stock, bring to a boil, then reduce to a simmer. Cook over low heat until zucchini and turnips are nearly soft.
  4. While zucchini and turnips are simmering, rinse the jarred red peppers, and chop coarsely. If roasting your own, start roasting them before you put the onions on to saute, so they can be ready by the time your zucchini is soft.
  5. Add red peppers, and simmer a few more minutes to let flavors meld.
  6. Turn down heat, and puree with immersion blender or blender until smooth.
  7. Add basil, marjoram, salt, and pepper to taste, and return to low heat on stove top. Bring to a simmer.
  8. To thicken soup, dissolve 1 tsp of arrowroot starch in a few tablespoons of water, and add to simmering soup. Stir in until well mixed, and watch it thicken! Never add straight arrowroot powder to whatever it is you are trying to thicken - it will not dissolve and will just make weird chunks. Always dissolve it in a little liquid first.
  9. Let soup simmer over low heat a few more minutes, then serve! Soup will continue to thicken slightly as it cools.
Garnish with fresh basil, diced red pepper, or a dollop of yogurt or splash of kefir (if you're into that kind of thing). I imagine this soup would be very delicious chilled as well.

 

UPDATE 3/9/09: a few weekends ago I had some friends over and needed some party food; I had some of this soup leftover. I mixed it with some crumbled goat feta, roasted garlic cloves, and minced roasted red pepper until it was thick, and served it as a dip for vegetables. It was a hit! Everyone wanted to know what recipe I used for my awesome dip. Hoorah!

As a general note, leftover pureed soups make GREAT dips - blend them with beans and make hummus-style bean dips, mix them with crumbled cheese to make cheese dips, add mashed squash or sweet potato to make thick vegetable dips. Get creative and use those leftovers!!!!

 

Wednesday
Feb252009

Herbed Ground Turkey Jerky (gluten free, low fat)

I LOVE JERKY. When I was a kid, I ate it all the time.  Then I went vegetarian for nine long, passionate, dedicated years. I never craved meat when I was a vegetarian - I wasn't tempted by bacon, cared less about cheeseburgers, and never had late night, drunken escapades with pepperoni pizza, like many of my fair-weather vegetarian peers. But I missed one thing, and one thing alone: JERKY. When I was still a teenager living at home, sometimes I'd make my own jerky with my parent's food dehydrator - I don't remember what we used, it was probably some kind of tofu and TVP-based puree.  Those were the days before food blogging had taken over the internet, when you had to use real books made of paper to find recipes and had to rely mostly on your own ingenuity to come up with crazy substitutes.  The world of the internet has done amazing things for those us living with dietary restrictions; what a wealth of knowledge we can share in an instant!  

Anyway,  I can still remember the weird crispy-chewy texture and totally unappetizing brown color of my soy "jerky" - but it tasted good and totally worked on camping and canoe trips.  Then I went off to college and had a food co-op in my town, and was thrilled to find so many vegetarian jerky alternatives - Primal Strips, anyone?  God, I lived on fake jerky in college.  Hell, I lived on fake meat products.  My college caf had all sorts of vegetarian and vegan friendly stuff - veggie burgers, soy and rice milk, fake deli meats, fake "sausage",  fake "chicken", vegan "cheese", beans and tofu chunks on the salad bar.  It was a vegetarian hippie kid's dream!  
Yeah, I went to a private college.  I'm still paying the government each month for that vegan cheese that didn't melt and those "sausage" crumbles.
These days I wouldn't touch half of those meat substitutes with a 10 foot poll.  ost of them are so wildly processed and full of weird soy and corn by-products and strange binders and vegetable gums that NO ONE should probably them.  That ain't real food, man.  No wonder I'm allergic to soy, I think I ate it at every meal for nine years.  Anyway, that's neither here nor there.  Basic point: I LOVED Primal Strips and all those things, because they were such a good replacement for jerky.     

 

Then I started eating meat again and got back on the jerky bandwagon big time.  The farmer's market in downtown Minneapolis has this amazing turkey jerky, thick slices of turkey breast that have been marinated in soy sauce and brown sugar. Yum. And if you are willing to pay the price, you can get some really high quality, pre-packaged jerkies, made from beef, bison, and turkey. But sadly, when I started having my major digestive troubles last year and figured out Candida was causing my problems, I stopped eating jerky all together, since most commercially produced jerkies, even the good ones, are was usually treated with sugar. Man, have I have missed jerky.

Then, the other day, I realized something marvelous.  I have my parent's food dehydrator and jerky making accessories!  I can make my own jerky!  
So, I threw a batch together using some organic ground turkey from the co-op.  I'm picky about meat, and whenever possible, try to eat locally produced, organic poultry and red meats. Organic meats are non-irradiated, come from animals that are antibiotic and hormone free, have been free-range or pastured, and have not been fed GMO feed or feed that contains animal byproducts or has been treated with pesticides/herbicides/etc.  Try to find a local farmer at your local farmer's market or grocer; often times small family farms, even if they aren't certified organic, give their animals access to pasture, do not use hormones or 
antibiotics, and use high quality feed or allow grass-feeding.  If you can't find local products, and are shopping at a market, at least try to find free-range, non antibiotic and hormone meats.  Bottom line: if you are going to eat meat, make it good.  Even though it will cost more per pound, ultimately, you are better off eating smaller amounts of high quality meat than lots of low-quality meat. 
 
Anyway, I threw my turkey in a bowl with a bunch of herbs and seasonings and mixed it up.  I mentioned jerky-making accessories earlier - my parents have this cool jerky gun thing.  It is kind like a cookie press, but for ground meat.  It comes with different attachments for making different jerky shapes - strips, sticks, etc.  See the fine photo example I found online?  This thing is cool.  So, I packed it full of my ground turkey mixture, pulled the trigger, and - voila! - perfect jerky strips.  Awesome. So I threw the trays on the dryer, turned the bad boy on, and let it work its magic.
My kitchen smelled like cooking turkey while it dried and dried and dried some more.  And the jerky turned out great! Oh, it is so good, I am so happy, and now I have a high-protein, gluten-free, all natural on-the-go snack.  Plus, making your own jerky, even from more expensive, high quality meat, is much more affordable than purchasing an equally high quality, pre-packaged jerky. I got about 20 strips (around 4 oz) of jerky out of my 1 pound, $4 package of turkey.  FActor in maybe $.50 for seasonings, and that's $4.50 for about 4 oz of high quality jerky. A 4-oz package of similarly high-quality jerky can cost $6, sometimes as much as $8.  So, that's a deal! Plus, you can tailor the seasonings, marinades, and meats to fit your desires and requirements, an important thing for us sensitive folks.  I am going to try it with the ground bison I have in the freezer, and may try drying slices of the venison roast I still have from the big family deer hunt in Northern Wisconsin last fall. That deer was about as free-range an animal as you an get.  Hell, I'm going to make jerky out of everything.  My food dehydrator cookbook even has dried fish jerky recipes - I've gotta try that.
I fell back on my old favorite herbes de provence for this first batch, but feel free to try any variety of seasonings and herbs.  Try adding lemon zest and pepper, or ginger, tamari, and garlic.  Add cumin, chili powder, cilantro, and lime juice, or italian seasonings and minced sundried tomato or tomato powder.  Get creative!  Go wild!  

HERBED GROUND TURKEY JERKY (gluten free, low fat)

 

yield: approx 20 strips of jerky

1 lb ground turkey
a few big pinches of herbes de provence
about 1 T tamari (azuki, or regular soy) or some sea salt, or a little of both
fresh cracked pepper
about 1 T dried chopped garlic
about 1 T dried onion
  1. Mix all ingredients together in a bowl
  2. Lightly oil dehydrator trays.
  3. If you have a jerky gun, select your tip attachment, assemble, and pack it full of the turkey mixture.  Squeeze jerky onto dehydrator leather trays.
  4. If you don't have a jerky gun, you can hand form your jerky. You have a few options.  either form and pat them by hand right on the leather tray, choosing to completely cover the sheet and score into wedges, or forming into strips or rounds.  Or, place small balls or strips on a sheet of wax paper, press flat, place another sheet of wax paper over the top, and roll with a rolling pin until about 1/8 inch thick, and transfer to leather tray.
  5. Dehydrate strips at 145* for 18-24 hours until crisp,, turn over if necessary to dry evenly.  If oil rises out of the turkey, pat off with paper towel.
  6. Store in a plastic bag in the refrigerator, or freeze for longer storage.

 

Tuesday
Feb242009

Dining al Desko #2: Turkey and Sprout Nori Wrap with Tarragon Mustard Sauce


 

 I wrap everything in nori.  Nori is so remarkably versatile! Sure, it can be used for futomaki-style rolls, but is also traditionally used for onigiri, temaki, or for crumbling as a condiment.  Onigiri are fun to make, super transportable, and very tasty, try it out sometime.

 

I think nori is the ultimate convenience food. And most of the time, I don't do anything even close to traditional with it - I just use it like a wrap, in place of those devilishly pasty flour tortillas that always made me feel sick. Meat, vegetables, beans, grains, whatever - roll it in nori, and you have a meal! One of my favorite on-the-fly fillings is leftover spaghetti squash and a tin olive oil-packed sardines with a sprinkle of azuki tamari and black pepper.  Have some leftover squash or mashed sweet potato, some greens, and some beans?  Spread it in a sheet or two of nori, and you are good to go.  Want a mexican style burrito, don't want to deal with making your own gluten-free tortillas,and don't want to pay $6 for a package of them at the co-op? Wrap it in nori, baby. Have some cooked up rice or quinoa, some leftover fish, and some old green onion and cucumber sitting in the fridge? Wrap it in nori, and you suddenly have a half-assed version of sushi.  It becomes even MORE like sushi if you have some good-quality wasabi powder stashed in your spice pantry to whip up for such an occasion.  Seriously, I think nori is like god's gift to food.  I keep a package of it at work just in case I have something to wrap up.  And I like to travel with it too - you never know when that can of tuna in your purse might need something to get stuffed into for an emergency meal on-the-go.   

Plus, nori is so fantastically good for you.  Like all sea vegetables, nori is high in iron, calcium, B vitamins, vitamin C, magnesium, healthy sodium, and hard-to-find iodine, an important mineral that helps to regulate healthy thyroid function. Sea vegetables can help remove heavy metals from the body, and the unique concentration of fiber can help to remove toxins from the intestinal tract. Plus, seaweeds have naturally antimicrobial properties, and help to regulate healthy bacteria levels in the gut. In Chinese dietary therapy, seaweeds are considered a yin food, and can help tonify the kidneys, especially important during times of stress, detoxification, or poor adrenal function. Seaweeds benefit everyone's diet, so try them out! Toasted sheets of nori is a good way to start adding sea vegetables to your diet - it has a mild flavor, requires no additional preparation, and is easy and versatile. Plus it is inexpensive - shop at Asian markets to find the best deals!!!


Today I made a turkey sprout wrap using a sheet of nori at my desk at work, and it was fast and super tasty.  And here's another dining al desko trick: I didn't have a bamboo mat to roll it up with, so I used a piece of office paper, and it worked just fine.

TURKEY AND SPROUT NORI WRAP (gluten free)

1 sheet nori
2-3 slices organic turkey sandwich meat or 2-3 oz pulled turkey
handful sunflower sprouts (or other sprouts)
some pieces of lettuce or other greens
any of your other favorite sandwich fixings (cucumber, grated carrot or beet, avocado, bell pepper, tomato, sauerkraut, etc)
drizzle of favorite dip, dressing, spread, or sauce - like the tasty Tarragon Mustard sauce below
  1. Lay out nori on bamboo roller or on a piece of paper, or if you're lucky and not at work, a bamboo mat
  2. Layer ingredients on nori, starting with sliced turkey and the flatest ingredients, ending with the fluffiest, hardest to control, or moistest (like sprouts or avocado slices, for example).  
  3. Roll up the nori, dabbing the surface a few times with a bit of water to make the seaweed stick together.  Finish rolling, and squeeze together a few times to make it all stay sealed.  Slice in half, in smaller rounds, or eat as is like a big burrito!  If for some reason your nori is gets too soggy and starts to tear, just roll another sheet of nori around it.  
TARRAGON MUSTARD SAUCE (gluten free, vegan)
1 tsp mustard (only if made with apple cider vinegar)
1/4 olive oil
1 T azuki tamari, ume vinegar, apple cider vinegar, or lemon juice
1 tsp crushed dry tarragon
1 tsp dry mustard powder
Put all ingredients together and whisk.  Store in a jar in the fridge.  Drizzle on salads, vegetables (really good on beets), wraps, or sandwiches.