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 These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.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

Entries in Events (10)


MPLS Swappers: Food Swap Love comes to Minneapolis on March 19!

Homemade Jam is the perfect contribution to a Food Swap.

Canning jars and homemade curry powder in hand, I am following the lead of Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking author Kate Payne and Brooklyn Homesteader Meg Paska. These ladies started the BK Swappers, and contributed to a modern trend of food swaps around the country! Food swaps are a place to trade your homemade, homegrown, and foraged food items with other like-minded folks, and are a great way to share knowledge, build community, and turn home food production into a habit. Truly inspired, I am starting a chapter here in Minneapolis: say hello to the MPLS Swappers.  I am so excited, and can hardly wait for our first swap on March 19. 

The Dish

If you live in the Twin Cities area, and would like to join me and other enthusiastic foodies for the first meeting of the MPLS Swappers, all you need to do is register and bring something to swap. Canned goods, a batch of homemade mustard, kombucha SCOBYs, sourdough starters, homemade sauerkraut or kimchee, spice mixes, home-cured meat - the options are endless, and anyone is welcome. I'm excited to meet you!

MPLS Swappers March 2011 Food Swap

Saturday March 19, 2011, 2-4 pm

3401 Chicago Ave S, Minneapolis, MN (located upstairs)

In order to have the most productive swap possible (and so my brain doesn't explode the first time I'm organizing this), participation is limited to 30 people. Registration is required, and the cost is free.

Register for MPLS Swappers March Food Swap in Minneapolis, MN  on Eventbrite

Check out all the details on the MPLS Swappers blog: http://mplsswappers.wordpress.com 

Want to know more about Food Swapping?

Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking Food Swaps Guide

Food Swaps around the country:

(list courtesy of Hip Girl's Guide to Homemaking Food Swaps Guide)

BK Swappers: Brooklyn NY

  • Brokelyn featured the August 1, 2010 swap here.

ATXswappers: Austin TX

MPLS swappers: Minneapolis MN

PDX Swappers: Portland OR

  • Video from Cooking Up A Story
  • Huffington Post article, January 20, 2011

BAHSwappers: Houston and Bay Area TX

LAX Swappers: Los Angeles CA

East Bay CA Food Swaps: East Bay CA

  • Check out the blog they’ve started

Derby City Food Swap: Louisville KY



Announcing..."A Procraftinator's Delight: Last-Minute Holiday Craft Sale"

 illustration by Kim Christensen, 2010

 Some of my artistically-inclined friends and I are teaming up to throw A Procraftinator's Delight: Last-Minute Holiday Craft Sale this Saturday from 10-5 in Minneapolis!  It will feature a wide variety of awesome handmade goods, perfect for gift giving. We might even have some select vintage finds as well. This sale is meant for the last-minute holiday shopper!  

My friends and I have a varied assortment of things that will be featured, and all of it is unique and one-of-a-kind.  I've been busy making some super cute stuff - cowl-neck capelettes, fingerless gloves, wraps, and the like.  If you live in the Twin Cities area, come on over and visit with me!  I'll probably be making tasty gluten-free, allergy-friendly treats to share with our shoppers... I'm just sayin'. 


handmade pottery 
A Year to Eat Freely: 2011 Allergy-friendly Recipe Calendar
crocheted and knitted accessories
The Fit hats by Alison Hoekstra
homemade jellies, jams, pickles, and preserves, using organic ingredients
vintage accessories
...and more!

S A L E    H O U R S   &   L O C A T I O N

Saturday, December 18, 2010 - 10 am-5 pm

3541 Bloomington Ave., Minneapolis, MN

It is a blue and white house with a shrub-lined front yard, there will be a sign out front.   Street parking is available, although our recent snowmaggedon storm has made parking a bit of a challenge.

Spread the word, invite your friends, and bring along some cold-hard cash.

See you there!


November SOS Kitchen Challenge Kick-Off

Ricki is so sneaky!

You see, even though Ricki and I had chosen our SOS (Sweet or Savory) Kitchen Challenge key ingredient a week ago, Ricki wanted to suss out the general response to this food before posting, just for fun.  So she posed a question on her DDD Facebook page, asking y’all what was your favorite root vegetable.  Secretly, she was hoping for our veggie to win out. . . and, in the course of our conversation over there, it became clear that the frontrunner was none other than our very choice for this month: 




Yes, my friends, the ever versatile sweet potato is our SOS key ingredient this month! Oh, so sneaky.  But also, delicious. ;)

Do you love sweet potatoes as much as we do?  They really are the Phillip Seymour Hoffman of root veggies: aside from being ubiquitous on food blogs this time of year, they’re equally comfortable as your mild-mannered dinner companion, your spicy weekend fling, or your sweet chaperone for Sunday brunch.  Indeed, they’re the perfect ingredient for a sweet or savory challenge, since they straddle both flavors with aplomb.

And we’re not the only ones who love sweet potatoes here in North America.  These orange (and sometimes yellow, white, or purple) fleshed tubers are a staple in many types of cuisines, from African spicy stews to Chinese soup and steamed buns to Japanese tempura–and let’s not forget our own favorite candied sweet potatoes and the ever-popular sweet potato fries. Ricki has written about these orange gems before, when she devoted an entire “Lucky Comestible” series to them on her blog; that’s how much she loves them!  They are also one of my absolute favorite foods, but I had to take some time away from them due to what turned out to be a mild allergy to them. Thankfully, I'm able to eat them again, and am slowly incorporating them into my blog, like this tasty recipe, for example...


One theory states that sweet potatoes, originating between Mexico and Venezuela, were cultivated as early as 2500 BC.  They also existed early on in Polynesia, where they’re called kumara (which is also the Maori name used in both New Zealand and Australia, as I found out from my friend Johanna’s blog). Nowadays, sweet potatoes are cultivated anywhere it’s warm enough to support the crop, but most crops originate in China; in North America, the leading producer of sweet potatoes is North Carolina. Go figure!

Aside from their delicate flavor and culinary versatility, sweet potatoes are nutritional superstars. Their high fiber content makes them a great source of complex carbohydrates. They’re also extremely high in beta carotene (converted to Vitamin A in the body) and vitamin C; with good quantities of iron and calcium (about 10% and 3.5% of the daily requirement, respectively, per serving). And, something especially helpful for vegans, they offer up  3 g of protein per medium root, which will give you a good head start on your daily quota. 

In fact, in a 1992 study by the Center for Science in the Public Interest (CSPI), sweet potatoes were compared to a selection of other nutritious vegetables on a series of attributes, such as fiber content, vitamins, minerals, etc.–and sweet potatoes ranked Number One on the list.  And here’s a bonus: they are basically fat-free, rating low on the glycemic index and with only about 100 calories per serving!

No wonder we love the sweet spuds.


Interestingly, there is some controversy over what is and isn’t a true sweet potato.  In North America, we often use the terms “sweet potato” and “yam” interchangeably, but according to this site, true yams are a different vegetable entirely, and not even distantly related to sweet potatoes.

Whatever you call them, we want you to cook up some of your favorite dishes with these vibrant root veggies and submit them to the challenge this month!

And once again, there will be prizes! 

Both Ricki and I are giving something away this month: once all the entries are submitted and the linky is closed (at midnight CST on November 30th), we’ll pick two names at random. One reader will win a custom handcrafted jar cozy from me (perfect for those of us who like to tote our own drinks with us when we’re out and about!); and the other will receive a package (pdf file) with both of Ricki's ebooksAnti-Candida Feast and Desserts without Compromise.  (I have both these books and think they are brilliant. And. . . you may just find a sweet-potato based recipe or two within their pages!;)

How to Enter

To enter the challenge, simply cook up a new recipe–either sweet OR savory (or both)–using sweet potatoes, following the usual SOS guidelines for ingredients and submission requirements.  Then submit it by linking up to your blog post with the linky tool, below.  Be sure to add a link to this page on your post, and if you wish, include the SOS Logo. All entries will be eligible for the prizes!

We look forward to more of your delicious, creative, enthusiastic entries this month!  Since I'm busy packing to move to a new place right now, my ability to cook is massively hindered - but expect recipes from me later this month!  


November SOS Kitchen Challenge Submissions: Sweet Potatoes


iHerb giveaway winners & October SOS Kitchen Challenge Round up

We couldn't be more pleased with the incredible array of entries we received for this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge on sesame seeds!  As always, your creativity and versatility the kitchen are awe-inspiring. 

We received 35 entries--the best turn out yet!--all of them inventive, delicious and sesame-packed! From noodles to omelets to salads, the savory side of the challenge was well represented.  I was in awe of Kris's chickpea flour omelet--doesn't it look great? And how about this Caprese-inspired Japanese Tomato Tofu Salad? I also loved this Zatter Casserole and Sesame Roasted Eggplant with Rice Pilaf.  

And the sweet sesame treats were over the top! From beverages to cookies and more, you all outdid yourselves this month.  One of the most innovative sweets, I thoughts, was this Warm Maple Sesame Drink from Maid in Alaska.  I also loved the look of these Sesame Seed Cookies with Maple Tahini Icing, Chocolate Tahini Cookies, and Grain Free Gingerbread Cutouts, and two types of tahini bars! Finally, don't the Sesame Chocolate Pudding and raw Sweet Sesame Balsamic Cashews look phenomenal, too? I could go on and on! You can check out the rest of the mouthwatering entries by clicking on the linkys, below!

Thanks to everyone for participating this month.  For the first time, we also offered prizes - 10 bags of sesame seeds and a $50 shopping spree, generously provided by iHerb.  You definitely rose to the challenge, and we are excited to announce the winners!  

The ten winners of the bags of sesame seeds are:

1. Saveur from The Taste Space
2. Megan from MAID in Alaska
3. Valerie from City Life Eats
4. Deanna from The Mommy Bowl
5. Noelle from Singer in the Kitchen
6. Andrea from Andrea's Easy Vegan Cooking
7. Meghan from Live to Eat
8. Bellwookie from B & the Boy!
9. A-K from Swell Vegan
10. Claire from Chey Cayenne

the winner of the $50 iHerb shopping spree is:

K from Tale of Two Vegans


Email us BEFORE NOVEMBER 5, 2010, at soskitchenchallenge@gmail.com with your full (real) name and email address.  REMEMBER, you must sign up for an account at iHerb to be eligible for the prize!

If we don't hear from some of you by then, we will select new winner(s) until all prizes are awarded.  


Please let us know if you've enjoyed the SOS Challenge with this new sponsored twist--it's something we're considering for future SOS Challenges, too! 

Can't wait to see what you all cook up for next month!  We're both crazy about this next ingredient, and we're pretty sure that most of you will be, too. :) The reveal post is coming up next week...

Congrats to all the winners and thanks to everyone who participated! 

SOS Kitchen Challenge Submissions: Sesame




The Ravishing Rutabaga - or - It's Not a Turnip, People: four recipes for using a misunderstood root vegetable

Beautiful rutabaga, ready for eating. Image from "The Kitchn"

A couple weekends ago, I did a cooking demo at the Minneapolis Farmers Market called "The Ravishing Rutabaga - or - It's Not a Turnip, People".  The goal was to share recipes that celebrate a vegetable that I love deeply, but I feel is often misunderstood and underused!  It was a gorgeous day for the demo, becoming warm and sunny as the morning went on, and it was very well attended by fellow bloggers, cooks, friends, and passing shoppers interested in learning more about our earthbound vegetal friend. 

I wish I could give cooking demos everyday. I shared three recipes with the crowd - a crunchy raw rutabaga salad, mashed rutabaga and sweet potato, and a rutabaga cake. It was awesome!  So, I wanted to share the recipes with you too, plus another bonus recipe that I love. I only have photos of the rutabaga salad, so use your imagination!

The rutabaga is a delicious, nutritious, and versatile vegetable that is perfect for fall and winter cuisine. Wonderful raw or cooked, it is high in vitamins, is a good source of complex carbohydrates, and contains naturally anti-microbial and anti-oxidant properties. Don’t know what to do with it? No worries! Here's a bunch of information, flavor combinations and four easy recipes featuring rutabaga that will surely make you a fan.

As a side note, I might be a bit absent the next few weeks. I'm having a flare-up of Lyme symptoms, my internet access at home is gone, and I'm moving to a new place in a few weeks. I'm busy and not feeling well. So, I'll be posting round up and kick-offs for the next SOS Kitchen Challenge, but might not be post much else the next few weeks until I get settled in in my new place and am hopefully feeling a little more sprightly. 

In the meantime, just so you don't miss me too much (har, har), how about buying a copy of A Year to Eat Freely: 2011 Allergy-Friendly Recipe Calendar, the recipe collection I have for sale, and trying out some of those new recipes?  ;)

Okay, on to the rutabaga...

Click to read more ...