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 These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.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 Holiday Recipe Ideas (19)


Sweet Potato Crumble Bars (gluten-free, vegan)


Hi there! Did American readers have a good Thanksgiving weekend? Mine was fantastic, spent with family and friends eating wonderful food, laughing a lot, and crocheting my brains out.

Our family Thanksgiving feast was quite incredible this year, boasting 25 people. My mom is now avoiding gluten and dairy as well (GO MOM!!!!), and we wanted to make sure that we had plenty of great stuff to eat that others would enjoy too. Between what we cooked and what everyone else brought, the quantity of food that sat upon the two buffet tables is almost embarassing in its bounty.  Rather than listing everything present that day, I'll share the allergy-friendly, gluten-free foods that made an appearance and had everyone smiling...

  • Cashew Pumpkin Seed "Cheese" with Apple-Cranberry Sauce and Sesmark Brown Rice Crackers
  • crudités with red pepper hummus
  • smoked turkey from Neuske's
  • roasted turkey with flourless gravy (gravy made the same way as this one)
  • beef tenderloin with mushrooms and onions
  • mashed rutabaga and parsnips
  • Rutabaga Apple Salad
  • umeboshi plum vinegar quick-pickled beets
  • pan-seared green beans with lemon oil
  • wild rice and vegetable pilaf
  • more Apple-Cranberry Sauce (I love cranberry sauce....)
  • Sweet Potato Crumble Bars 

Are we lucky, or what?  My plate was bursting. I haven't eaten this well at Thanksgiving in YEARS.  Even before I went gluten-free I didn't enjoy Thanksgiving this much. The meal was almost as awesome as my Thanksgiving dinner headpiece.  I think it is rather like Carmen Miranda gone harvest-time, don't you? 

IMG_5258harvest portrait

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Sweet Potato Pie with Seedy Amaranth Crust (gluten-free, vegan)

Sweet Potato Pie with Seedy Amaranth Crust

I am feeling quiet as I right this post. It's been an exhausting week, and I don't feel as wordy as usual at the moment. So, here's the basics:

  1. I'm absolutely happy to be almost completely unpacked in my new wonderful home.  I moved last weekend, and I now live with two awesome housemates and their dog in their wonderful home.  We share a HUGE beautiful kitchen, I have a wonderful room, and the rest of the house is a dream come true. I'm a lucky woman.  Oh yeah, and they have chickens. YES!  Expect photos sometime.
  2. I am thankful for my new home.
  3. I am thankful for sweet potatoes.
  4. This pie is tastes totally awesome (my new housemates agree) and you WILL want to make it for Thanksgiving dinner.  Or for anything, really.
  5. You'll want to eat the whole pie.  
  6. You should not feel guilty eating more than one slice, although eating the whole pie may be overkill.
  7. This is my first recipe submission for this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge (hosted by Ricki from Diet, Dessert, and Dogs and me).  This month features sweet potatoes and has two great giveaways!  Check out this post for all the details, read the SOS rules, and to enter a recipe of your own.  You can peruse all the recipes at for this month's SOS Challenge in the Linky at the bottom of this post, and can enter a recipes there as well.
  8. Check out my Gluten-Free, Allergy-Friendly Thanksgiving Recipes post for more tasty recipe ideas for your holiday meal this Thursday.
  9. If you prefer a pumpkin pie, check out my recipe for Gluten-Free Vegan Pumpkin Pie with Crunchy Crust, which is very similar to this recipe and has the grandma seal of approval.

Okay, on to pie...

Happy Sunday. xo

Sweet Potato Pie with Seedy Amaranth Crust

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Allergy-Free, Gluten-Free Thanksgiving Recipes

Here in the United States, Thanksgiving is fast approaching.  On Thursday the nation will gorge themselves on turkey, stuffing, potatoes, gravy, those pasty dinner rolls and pie.  Lots and lots of pie.  For those of us with allergies, such holiday meals can be like obstacle courses.     The traditional Thanksgiving fare leaves us feeling left out at the family table.  

Thankfully, there are many delicious ways to keep the spirit of Thanksgiving without sacrificing your diet.   Here are some of my favorite recipes that are perfect for holiday get- togethers and good enough for grandma to enjoy.

Also, check out my Thanksgiving recipe roundup from last year, which has a few other options not mentioned below.

So, let's be thankful!

And by the way, I'll be posting a recipe for a delicious Sweet Potato Pie with Seedy Amaranth Crust tomorrow - it's gluten-free, vegan, and suitable for those in the late stages of the anti-Candida diet. So check back soon!

Pepper-Crusted Cashew Cheese with Herbs


Russian Salad with Sauerkraut and Creamy Mustard Herb Dressing (GF, vegan, ACD)


Cream of Turnip and Fennel Soup (GF, vegan, ACD)


Crock Pot Beef Roast with Root Vegetables and Flourless Gravy (GF, ACD)

Main Course 

Who says you need to cook a whole turkey? Try one of these other protein packed options instead.

Wild Rice & Quinoa Pilaf Stuffing with Parsnip Gravy (GF, vegan, ACD)

Stuffing Substitutes

Apple, Turnip & Cabbage Hash (GF, vegan, ACD)


Yeast-Free Pumpkinseed Teff Sandwich Bread (GF, vegan, ACD)


Pumpkin Pie with Crunchy Crust and Cashew Cream (GF, vegan, ACD)




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!


Sugar-free, Allergy-free Easter Candy: Choco-Coco Nests and Fudge Sunny Bunnies (dairy free, gluten free, ACD, vegan)

A couple weeks ago I woke up dreaming about Easter candy.  

You know you spend too much time in the kitchen when you dream about food.

To be perfectly honest, I've never been huge for candy.  Jelly beans? Meh (except the black ones). Hard candy? No thanks (except root beer barrels). Licorice? Sorry, no (except real black licorice). Gummy candy? I'll pass (except for sour patch kids...and those sour gummy worms).  

Hmn. Maybe I like candy more than I thought.

But chocolate? No question. I LOVE CHOCOLATE.  And for that reason, I loved Easter.

My childhood Easter baskets certainly contained Cadbury eggs and jelly beans, but the real stars of the basket came from a little chocolate shop in my hometown of Oshkosh, Wisconsin called Hughes Home Maid Chocolates.  Every year their handmade milk coconut nests, chocolate pudding eggs, and chocolate rabbits graced our beautifully decorated baskets. My brother and I were very lucky children, and we each received multiple baskets every year that the Easter Bunny hid all over the house and garage. Our bunny was a very sneaky bunny, and we often had to ask for hints.  

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