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 These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.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 Recipes: Condiments/Sauces/Stocks (36)


Sin in a Jar a.k.a. Homemade Coconut, Cacao & Goji Butter (gluten free, vegan, raw options)

Really. This tastes like pure sin!

I am trying to come up with tasty grain-free, nut-free sweet treats, and this definitely fits the bill. Wow.

 Not long ago, Heather over at Heather Eats Almond Butter tried her hand at making her own coconut butter. I'd seen similar posts online, and had thought about it myself, so I finally decided to give it a try with the coconut I had in my refrigerator.  I had purchased a bunch forgetting that I already had a large bag in my fridge. Oops.  This was the perfect solution!  Never one to be happy leaving things as is, I decided to pimp out my coconut butter and add cacao nibs and goji berries.  It is a lot like the fancy raw coconut butter blends made by Artisana and Wilderness Family Naturals and other great companies, but monumentally more economical.  Many of those have added agave nectar or other sweeteners, and I don't necessarily want all that sugar.

It was definitely an experimental process; I made it in my food processor, and thought I was going to wear the poor thing out completely, but it hung in there like a champ.  I ended up with a mostly smooth yet slightly nubby butter that was killer.  Because it was slightly warm from all the processing, the fat had liquified, resulting in a thinner, decadent chocolate sauce.  Rich, sweet, chocolatey, oh my!  Sinful!

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S.O.S. Kitchen Challenge Kick-Off: Caramelized Onion, Beet, and Rhubarb Compote. Can you "beet" that?!

Following a special diet - whether because of allergies or other conditions - can sometimes feel like an insurmountable challenge. As two people who’ve both been there (and are still there!), Ricki of Diet, Dessert and Dogs and I understand how important it is to find delicious, appealing recipes to keep you motivated and committed when you’ve cut out certain ingredients from your diet.

That’s why we’ve teamed up to offer the SOS (Sweet or Savory) Kitchen Challenge blog event!

The new SOS Kitchen Challenge invites you to create delicious dishes based on one key ingredient each time. You can choose either sweet or savory dishes (or both) for the event.  At the end of the month, Ricki and I will gather all the submissions and post them in a roundup on both our blogs—so your recipe will get double the exposure! The resulting roundup will offer a single stop where health-conscious readers can find a collection of yummy dishes to try. 

Help us showcase how tantalizing and delectable healthy foods can be!  


This month’s ingredient is BEETS!

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Homemade Vegan Vegetable Bouillon and Irish Beef & Cabbage Soup (gluten free, ACD)

I generally make my own vegetable broth from vegetable scraps and trimmings, but recently purchased a quart of store-bought broth in a pinch. Blech! I forgot how weird-tasting store bought vegetable broth is by comparison, especially for the price of an organic broth without creepy stuff in it. I swore I'd never do it again, even in a pinch, and vowed to only make my own vegetable broth from now on.  So, I started collecting all my little vegetable scraps again for my next pot of broth.

The next day I was catching up some reading over at 101 Cookbooks, one of my favorite blogs.  Heidi is so inspiring; her images are beautiful, her cooking seems absolutely effortless and elegant, and I relate strongly to her philosophy on food.  I deeply admire her cookbook Super Natural Cooking, and am excited about her forthcoming cookbook that she is currently working on.   She just seems so cool. I always find her posts inspiring, and somehow, she has this way of posting things that totally click into something I am thinking about, it is like magic.  However, my visit to her site the other day was particularly timely.  Why, you ask?  Because I came across her post for homemade vegetable boullion!  

I flipped out! Why hadn't I ever thought of this?!  It seemed so simple.  Bouillon is just ground of vegetables and spices, so why can't we make our own, right?  Geez.  

I knew I had to try it immediately.

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Coconut Aminos in Action!: Peanut-Free Satay Sauce and Cheat's Turkey Satay (gluten free, soy free, ACD)

Tonight I made a quick stop at the co-op after work and discovered something truly amazing: COCONUT AMINOS.  I saw it on the shelf by the umeboshi plum vinegar and sesame oil and other Asian specialty foods.  Curious, I picked it up, read the label, and promptly did a happy dance. Without batting an eye I put it in my basket.  

What are coconut aminos?  It is a soy-free, vegan, gluten-free, raw product that is basically like soy sauce or Bragg's aminos but made from coconut sap and salt.  

WHAT?!  Yeah.  Another soy-free soy sauce!  I already am totally addicted to South River Miso's azuki and chickpea soy-free tamaris (which, at the time of writing this, they currently do not have in stock, sorry to say), so this was like a dream come true.  I had never seen this stuff before, and it totally blew my mind.  THank you, Wedge Community Co-op, for having so many amazing new things on your shelves all the time for me to blow my paycheck on.

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Yeast-Free Soy-Free Vegan "Parmesan Cheese" (gluten free, ACD, vegan, raw)

Lazy Sunday afternoons are made for pizza.  And today, I wanted pizza.  Unfortunately, like many of you, I don't really have the option of calling for delivery.  Hrmph.

Life without gluten, tomato, and  dairy doesn't leave a lot of options for restaurant pizza.  There are a few places in Minneapolis to get vegan, gluten free pizzas, but their crusts have ingredients that don't work for me, and their cheese is that creepy vegan processed fake cheese that I also cannot eat and wouldn't touch with a 10-foot pole even if I could.  I keep hoping that I'll find a restaurant somewhere that has just the right crust, will make my pizza cheese free, and will offer a dairy-free, nut-free pesto sauce or garlic-olive oil sauce.  It will happen.  I know this place exists somewhere.

But for now, it seems that pizza as I knew it is a thing of the past.  

To be honest, I haven't done much with pizzas in my own kitchen because I get overwhelmed by making crusts.  My favorite pizza crusts are the Neopolitan-style thin cracker crusts, and recreating that in a gluten-free form is tricky.  I don't like using guar and I avoid xanthan, and that makes it hard to create thin - and most importantly, stable - crusts.  Yeah, I've made pizzas on chickpea crepes and other flatbreads, but it just ins't the same.  I could make a pizza with a thicker crust, but I don't really like thick doughy crusts, because it is just too much dough.  Pizza, for me, is about the toppings, not loads of crust.  Writing that sentence, I realize that I feel  the opposite way about pies - I could eat pie crust all damn day, often picking off all the crust from any leftover slices and ignoring the filling.  Hmn. I wonder why this difference exists.

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