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 These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.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

Recent Posts

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner

Site Search
Connect

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. 

Thursday
Feb192009

Millet-Quinoa Kefir Flat Bread (gluten free, egg free, vegetarian, yeast free)


This recipe is an adaptation of Susan Jane Murray's fabulous recipe for Rooibos Quinoa Flatbread. Made with rooibos tea and with a slightly sweet flavor, her recipe is amazing (although i've always substituted some other flour for the soy, due to my allergy). You must explore her website, it is full of inspirational, easy, and super food intolerance friendly recipes. I like to use her recipe as a framework for a super adaptable flatbread that goes together quickly, bakes in a jiffy, and freezes well. It is delicious and moist, sturdy and beautiful, and loves to be changed! So get creative, and try out something new each time.  I whip this bread out a lot; it has become a standby in my freezer and is loved by one and all who tries it.  Plus, if you use a slightly smaller pan, you can slice it in half horizontally, and use it for sandwiches, like focaccia.

My favorite flour combination for her quinoa flatbread recipe is quinoa/millet, but other flours work great too (rice, garbanzo, or buckwheat - she has a separate recipe for buckwheat flatbread that will bring you to your knees). This time, instead of throwing it together quickly with a bit of rice milk or water, I decided to use overnight soaking method from Sally Fallon's wonderous Nourishing Traditions (love!).  My flours sat for about 12 hours in my lovingly homemade goat milk kefir.  

I've done a lot of baking this week, it is a little freaky, actually.  But I made that kefir the other day, and am heading out of town to Seattle for the weekend.  The kefir needed to get used, and I wanted a variety of frozen, tasty baked goods to throw in my carry-on for easy food while there for the weekend.  Plus, I just got my copy of Nourishing Traditions in the mail the other day, and I wanted to try another kefir/yogurt soaking recipe after my success with Carrot's Whole Grain Buckwheat Yogurt Muffins, an adaption of a recipe inspired by Fallon's book.  

And now, I am having a seriously hard time not devouring the entire loaf.  I wasn't going to eat any of it, just put it in the freezer right away.  But it smelled so damn good, it was so golden and crusty, so beautiful...I couldn't resist.  I should have known I'd eat a square.  It is GOOD.  Damn good.  Wow.

The result of this flatbread is TOTALLY different than when making it with water.  Soaking the flours in kefir yielded a moister, richer texture, and a wonderful, slightly sour flavor that combines oh so well with the quinoa. It is lighter and more fluffy, but still has a sturdy and substantial texture.  This bread is good, and reminds me of the tasty buttermilk cheddar cornbread I used to make from time to time. Plus, if the friendly bacteria in the kefir was doing its job, the flours should be more digestible and all those good vitamins, minerals, and protein more available and easily assimilated.  Hooray!  Fermentation is fun.

If you want to skip the whole kefir thing, and just make the recipe the normal way, just check out Susan's website, and try it out.  You won't be sorry!  And while there, you must must must try Susan's recipe for Wholemeal Buckwheat Bread, a similar flatbread loaf made with buckwheat flour. I substitute quinoa flour for the soy flour, and quinoa flakes for the millet or barley flakes (you can't find millet flakes in the U.S., and I'm off gluten). It is amazing. Totally amazing. That is probably my favorite gluten free bread on earth.  I'd like to try it with the kefir soaking method.  Also try her Carrot Cake recipe.  Holy smokes.  So good. I made it last Thanksgiving for my family (substituted flax eggs for real eggs) and even my grandparents loved it.  

 

QUINOA MILLET KEFIR FLATBREAD (gluten free, egg free, yeast free)

yield 1 flatbread loaf

1/2 c quinoa flour
1/2 c millet flour (or another flour option, like rice, amaranth, buckwheat, or garbanzo)***
3/4 c quinoa flakes (or millet flakes, if you can find them!  I can't find them in the U.S.)
1/4-1/2 c whole millet or quinoa grain (or another whole grain, try matching up your alternative flour choice!)***
1 1/2 c kefir or yogurt (I use goat kefir)
squirt of agave
a little water
1 t salt or Herbamare/Trocomare
1 t baking soda
1 t cream of tartar
1/4 t vitamin C crystals (optional, helps with leavening)
optional: handful of sunflower seeds or other seeds/chopped nuts
optional: herbs, spices, or other seasonings of your preference, like one of these combinations...
  • cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger
  • curry powder and cumin seeds
  • caraway seeds
  • lemon zest, cardamom, and poppy seeds
  • herbes de provence
  • basil, oregano, and rosemary
  • garlic (roasted mashed cloves, diced, or powder)
  • orange zest and clove
  • roasted onions and fresh parsley
  • Chinese 5 spice
  • saffron soaked in kefir
SOAK THE FLOURS
  1. Mix flours, quinoa flakes, whole quinoa or millet grains, optional seeds in a large bowl. 
  2. Pour in kefir and optional agave, and mix well.  Cover bowl with towel and let sit on kitchen counter for 12-24 hours.
MAKE THE BREAD
  1. Preheat oven to 350* F. Grease an 8"x8" square pan, or 9" round pan with oil/ghee/shortening, or line with parchment.
  2. In a small bowl, mix together salt/Herbamare, herbs/spices, baking soda, cream of tartar, and vitamin c crystals.
  3. Dissolve dry ingredients in a couple tablespoons of water, and pour over kefir/flour mixture, and stir until just well mixed.  Add just enough additional water to create a batter of pouring consistency, and stir until just evenly moistened and mixed.  Do not overmix!
  4. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake in preheated oven for approximately 35-40 minutes. The top should be golden brown and crisp, with some crackles, and a fluffy but firm inside.  A toothpick inserted in the middle of loaf should come out clean.
  5. Remove from oven, allow cool in pan for 10 minutes, then transfer to a wire rack to finish cooling. 
  6. When cool, slice into squares or wedges of desired size.  Try slicing in half horizontally, and using for sandwiches, like focaccia.
***Flour choice creates very different breads in this flatbread.  I really love quinoa/millet.  Quinoa/rice yields a lighter color, moister and lighter crumb, and a slightly lighter flavor. Quinoa/garfava yields a strong beany flavor, a stable texture, and a nice, crispy crust. The garfava blend is tasty with curry powder and cumin seeds.  I've never tried quinoa/amaranth in the flatbread recipe, but I imagine it would be very tasty, especially with whole amaranth grains thrown in.  Whole soaked millet and quinoa added are very tasty, as is buckwheat.  

 

Wednesday
Feb182009

Crunchy Millet Carrot Muffins (gluten free, vegan)

Hooray hooray, I found my original millet muffin recipe. After posting the Millet Rosemary Muffin recipe the other day, I was on a mission to find my most favorite (but more complicated) millet muffin recipe amongst my recipe sheets. I found it buried among many, and had to share it with ya'll!

So, here it is. It uses a mix of millet, brown rice, quinoa, and garbanzo bean flour, with grated carrot, applesauce, flaxmeal, coconut oil, and a hint of orange zest. Don’t be intimidated by all the ingredients – this recipe really is quick and easy! If you don't want to add all the extra spices or zest, fine! This muffin is moist, light, and flavorful. Whole millet grains add crunch while grated carrot adds just a hint of sweetness. Great for breakfast, or the perfect on-the go-snack!

I bet a bit of shredded coconut thrown in would be awfully tasty. As usual, I have listed ideas for variations at the bottom of the recipe.

CRUNCHY MILLET CARROT MUFFINS (gluten free, vegan)

yield 12 muffins

1 c millet flour
½ c brown rice flour
½ c garbanzo bean flour
½ c quinoa flour
1.5 t baking soda
1.5 t corn-free baking powder
¼ t powdered stevia extract
1 t ginger
½ t ground cloves
⅓ c whole millet grain, rinsed and soaked for 30 minutes
1 flax or chia egg (1 T flaxmeal whisked with 3 T water and sit for 5 minutes)
¾ c rice/soy/hemp/nutmilk, orange juice, or apple juice
½ c water
¼ c coconut oil, warmed to liquid consistency
¼ c unsweetened applesauce
1 carrot, peeled and finely grated
1 T flaxmeal
2 t orange zest

Preheat oven to 400° F. Grease 12 muffin cups.
In a large bowl, sift together flours, leavening agents, stevia, ginger, and cloves to introduce air and make fluffy. If you don’t have a sifter, stir with a whisk until well blended.
To prepare flax/chia egg, put 1 T flaxmeal/ground chia and 3 T water in a small saucepan or microwaveable bowl. Heat for approximately 1 minute, then stir briskly until mixture reaches a think, egg-like consistency. Let cool.
In a small bowl, whisk together cooled flax/chia egg, rice milk, water, coconut oil, and applesauce. Add wet ingredients to dry until just mixed.
Add rinsed whole millet grain, finely grated carrot, flaxmeal, and orange zest. Stir again until just evenly mixed, and transfer to prepared muffin cups.
Bake approximately 15-20 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into middle of muffin comes out clean.
DEVOUR.
Variations...
  • use another variety of fruit or vegetable puree in place of applesauce (peach, pear, squash)
  • substitute a different oil (olive, canola, almond, walnut) instead of coconut oil
  • use other spices or herbs in place of ginger and cloves
  • switch out your flours
  • add ground nuts or seeds
  • add dried fruit
  • use shredded parsnip instead of carrot, and add a touch of nutmeg instead of cloves and ginger. Yum!

 

Tuesday
Feb172009

Hot Cocoa or Carob Drink (vegan, sugar free, fat free)

 

I love European drinking chocolate, a thick and sinfully rich version of hot chocolate that kicks Swiss Miss in the ass.  It is dark and flavorful, just a little sweet, and oh so creamy. But, it is made with lots of dairy and is sweetened with sugar.  Hmn.  A substitute was needed.  Tonight.  So, here it is.  This is a sugar free, dairy free, fat free, half-ass version that at least starts to satisfy my longing for a proper cup of chocolat chaud.  
Hey, sometimes you just have to take what you can get.   
Since rice milk doesn't really thicken the way milk does, I thickened my hot chocolate with a bit of sweet rice flour (yup, still housesitting, and still using the mystical sweet rice flour I found in the pantry).  I sweetened it with bit of stevia, added a dash of cardamom (my favorite), and drank it with a smile.  Satisfying!  Tasty!  Just slightly sweet!  Yum!  
As I took spoonfuls of my hot chocolate, I wanted a biscotti for dipping.  Hmn.  Maybe that's next on the list of gluten free things to make.    Biscotti are totally dry.  Gluten free baked goods are often way too dry.  Perhaps it could be a match made in heaven.  Time to convert my old biscotti recipes to gluten free versions, I think.  Stay tuned!  In the meantime, enjoy a cup of chocolate.  Don't want the acid, oxalates, or caffeine?  No worries, use carob.  Truth be told, I almost like carob more than cocoa, because it is naturally sweet.  Hot carob drinks kind of rock.

The measurements below are totally approximates, you know how I cook. If it seems to thin, add more flour. If it seems to thick, add more rice milk. Want it more cocoa-y or carob-y? Add more. You get the idea.  I'm going to keep working on this recipe - there must be a way to make it thicker and richer.
If only I could find vegan, gluten free, corn free, soy free, sugar free marshmallows to drop in my hot cocoa.  It seems like an impossibility; anyone know of any?  : )  Maybe I'll try to figure that out, it could be my claim to fame and riches.

HOT COCOA OR CAROB DRINK (vegan, sugar free, fat free)
serves 1

1 c unsweetened rice milk (or soy, almond, hazelnut, etc)

1-2 Tbsp cocoa powder or carob powder
1 1/2 tsp arrowroot starch or 1 Tbsp sweet rice flour (I prefer arrowroot, it dissolves and thickens better)
stevia to taste (or use agave if you want)
optional: 1/2-1 Tbsp coconut oil (it adds great flavor and body)
optional: dash cardamom, ginger, or cinnamon
  1. Dilute the sweet rice flour or arrowroot starch in liquid.  If using sweet rice flour, dilute in 1/4 c of rice milk.  If using arrowroot, dissolve in 1-2 T of rice milk.
  2. In small saucepan, whisk together the remaining rice milk, coconut oil, and cocoa/carob powder. Bring to a boil over medium high heat, stirring a few times to mix in the coconut oil as it melts.
  3. Reduce to a simmer, and add diluted flour/starch/milk mixture.  Whisk together and let simmer for a few minutes to thicken.
  4. Add stevia/agave and optional spices to taste.
  5. Pour into a small cup, and let cool to drinking temperature.  It will thicken slightly as it cools.  
  6. Enjoy on its own or with your favorite gluten free cookies or baked goods.  Serve with a spoon and savor it slowly.

 

Monday
Feb162009

Rosemary Millet Muffins (vegan, gluten free)


I whipped up some quick muffins tonight, and they were so tasty I had to share! I am house sitting, and don't have my usual full array of flours. I brought millet flour with me, so decided on a millet muffin, but wanted a blend. Luckily, hiding amongst the wheat flour and oats and powdered sugar, I found some sweet rice flour. Hooray! I wasn't too surprised to find it - the people I am house sitting for are total foodies. She is a food stylist who loves to bake, and he is a gluten-intolerant photographer. Their pantry and fridge are stocked with all sorts of fantastic ingredients (shiso fumi furikake! fancy dried mushrooms! gourmet jams and mustards! lebni! herbed chevre! pomegranates!). I also found some amazing rosemary fleur de sel (from Tesco of all places), and have been using it on everything. I think my sodium intake has tripled in the last three days. I couldn't resist using it in the muffins - so I sprinkled the tops of each muffin with it before putting it in the oven. Delightful! If only we had a Tesco in the U.S. Just another reason to plan a trip to the U.K.

Anyway, out of necessity, I chose a millet-rice blend. I normally use brown rice flour, not white or sweet, so this was kind of a fiber-free adventure for me into the world of refined rice flour. The flavor of the sweet rice flour is totally transparent and the texture much lighter than its brown counterpart; I can see why it gets used for sweet baked goods all the time! I decided to add some whole millet grains for crunch. Conveniently, I had a package of fresh rosemary that needed to be used, a scavenged leftover from last week's food shoot at the photo studio. Friday afternoons = free leftover food. So, in the rosemary went, along with garlic powder and poppy seeds, and that tasty rosemary fleur de sel.

I made them to eat tomorrow - I have a big, crazy, busy day and need some food on the go - but couldn't resist one fresh from the oven. Yum! The top is crusty with a salty bite, the inside is moist, and the flavor is deep and fragrant.

This was an on the fly sort of thing, I make a lot of variations of this muffin with whatever is on hand. Normally, I use my homemade corn-free "baking powder", but didn't have that along, so used a combination of baking soda and cream of tartar. I think the measurements are pretty accurate for those, darn close anyway... If you don't want to use sweet rice flour, feel free to try another flour - I've made a similar muffin in the past with millet and garbanzo flour. Buckwheat flour would provide an earthy flavor and stable texture, or try amaranth flour for a moist crumb, rich flavor, and boost of protein!

I only made six muffins, so double the recipe for a full batch of twelve.


ROSEMARY POPPY SEED MILLET MUFFINS (vegan, gluten free)

yield 6 muffins

3/4 c millet flour
1/4 sweet rice flour
2 T whole millet grain
1 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp baking soda
1/4 tsp salt
fresh cracked black pepper
1/2 tsp garlic powder
2 5-inch sprigs of fresh rosemary, leaves removed and chopped
1-2 tsp poppy seeds
1/2 c + 2 T unsweetened rice milk, broth, or water
2 T olive oil
optional: fleur de sel for sprinkling on muffin tops

  1. Preheat oven to 375. Prepare muffin pan, or line with muffin cups.
  2. In a large bowl, mix together flours, cream of tartar, soda, salt, pepper, and garlic powder. Whisk briskly to introduce air.
  3. Add rice milk and olive oil, and stir ingredients together until just moistened.
  4. Add chopped rosemary and whole millet grain, and stir briefly. Do not overmix!
  5. Transfer to muffin tin, filling each about 2/3. Sprinkle with fleur de sel if desired.
  6. Bake for 20-25 minutes, or until muffins are golden brown and a toothpick inserted in largest muffin comes out clean.
  7. Let cool for 5 minutes in tin, then transfer to cooling rack.
  8. Enjoy!


Don't like rosemary? Or, want it sweet, not savory?

 

Use the same basic recipe but switch up the ingredients - mix and match, get creative!

  • For savory variations, try different herbs, like tarragon, oregano, thyme, dill weed, herbes de provence, or an italian herb mix, or try using different spices or spice mixes, like curry powder
  • Add 1/8 tsp of stevia or substitute 2 T of water with equal amount of agave nectar, honey, maple syrup, molasses, or brown rice syrup
  • Try coconut oil, sunflower oil, fruit puree, mashed pumpkin/squash, or a mix of oil/fruit instead of olive oil (I've made a similar muffin with a mix of applesauce and coconut oil - tasty!)
  • Switch the seasonings to something spicy or sweet, like cinnamon, ginger, nutmeg, cardamom, or cloves
  • Add lemon, orange, or lime zest, or a bit of the juice in place of water
  • Add almond extract or vanilla
  • Add dried fruit, chopped nuts, coconut, chocolate/carob chips
  • Add 1/4 c grated carrot or zucchini
  • Substitute 2 T of flour with cocoa or carob
  • Use juice instead of rice milk
  • Add fresh or frozen berries

A few ideas for combinations...I can't help but brainstorm...

  • lime juice, lime zest, coconut oil, coconut, and freshly grated ginger
  • pumpkin/squash and pumpkin pie spice
  • applesauce, cinnamon, and chopped dried apple
  • carrot, zucchini, raisins, coconut, walnuts
  • orange zest, clove, vanilla
  • chocolate or carob, chocolate/carob chips
  • sesame seeds, ginger, honey
  • poppy seeds, almond extract, almonds
  • keep in mind...the more junk you add, the more batter you get, and the more muffins you make!

 

Monday
Feb162009

Crispy Flaxseed Crackers (raw, vegan, gluten free)

I have been wanting to try making raw crackers with the dehydrator I'm borrowing from my parents. I did a little internet research, and found this recipe for flax crackers.  PERFECT!  So, I decided to give it a shot.  They turned out great!  Crispy, flavorful, and sturdy, using soaked flaxseeds.  Yum!  And oh-so-good for you.  Each cracker is like a little omega-3 bomb. This is a really versatile recipe and can be seasoned however you'd like.  I bet you could add sesame, hemp, or other finely chopped or ground seeds/nuts as well.  Or, use a mix of brown and golden flaxseeds for a pretty color mix.  
I'm finally getting around to putting up this post, but I'm housesitting and don't have the crackers with me, so no photo as of yet!  But soon, I promise.  They are beautiful.  


CRISPY FLAXSEED CRACKERS

recipe from The Holistic Chef

2 cups flax seeds
4 cups filtered water
2 teaspoons sea salt
seasonings of choice - herbs, spices, curry, seaweed, tamari, etc (I divided the batch in thirds and did one with thyme, one with azuki tamari and dulse, and one with caraway, fennel, and dill seeds).  
 

Soak flax seeds in water for 1 to 2 hours. The flax will absorb the water and create a thick gooey liquid similar to egg whites.
Grind flax seeds and sea salt in several batches in a blender or food processor. If the flax is too thick to process, add more water until mixture moves freely. Blend until flax seeds are completely broken. Add desired seasonings and blend for another 30 seconds to thoroughly mix.
Spread mixture in a thin layer to the edges of a teflex sheet on top of a dehydrator tray. Use a rubber spatula for easy spreading. Recipe should cover 3 or 4 trays. For a thicker cracker, spread in a slightly thicker layer. 
Dehydrate at 108 degrees for 15 to 20 hours or until mostly dry. Peel the flax off the teflex sheet and break into whatever shape of cracker you want. 
Place crackers back onto dehydrator tray without the teflex sheet and dry for 2-4 more until crispy. Store in a cool dry place.