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 These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.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: Desserts & Sweets (51)


Grain-Free Lemon Coconut Cut-out Cookies (gluten-free, vegan)

lemon coconut cut-out cookies

I ♡ cut-out cookies.  Since I hadn't made cut-out cookies since Easter, I figured it was about time.  I found a great little recipe over at Green Kitchen Stories for Pepparkaka.  Instead of going the gingerbreadesque spicy route as their recipe called for, I tweaked it in favor of something lemony and coconutty.  They are super delish, and were loved by my housemates and me. I took a few to fellow blogger and Minneapolitan A-K from Swell Vegan when we met for tea the other day, and she polished off three of them in a jiffy. Since she's a rockin' baker, I think that her favorable review bodes well for these little lovelies.

These cookies are grain-free and gluten-free, featuring a mix of ground cashews, shredded coconut, amaranth flour (made from the high protein amaranth seed), and arrowroot starch, with an assortment of other tasty ingredients.  They are also vegan, featuring coconut oil instead of butter.  I thought they would be a perfect submission to this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, which features coconut oil.  Ricki, my SOS Kitchen Challenge co-host, and I are also offering a great giveaway this month to one SOS Kitchen Challenge participant: a 32-oz jar of Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil from Tropical Traditions! Pretty great, right?

If you are interested, check out the details and rules of the recipe event and giveaway HERE, then get in the kitchen and get cookin'!  Be sure to check out the Linky below this post to see all the great recipe submissions this month - don't forget to add yours!

This recipe has been featured on Slightly Indulgent Tuesdays and Baking is Hot.

zesting lemons for cookieslemon coconut cut-out cookieslemon coconut cut-out cookies

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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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Cashnana Cookies (gluten-free, vegan)


I've been on a quest for the perfect gluten-free, vegan cashew butter cookie. And this recipe probably isn't it. But I do like these cookies a lot, and thought I'd share what my friend B and I came up with last weekend.

The combination of cashew butter and banana in this cookie really is lovely; they are soft and sandy and just a wee bit chewy.  These are very banana-y, so don't expect a burst of nutty flavor first.  The nutty cashew flavor comes at the end and lingers in the back of your mouth until the next banana-y bite.  Both B and I think that these little morsels would be amazing dipped in or drizzled with a chocolate glaze, or baked with a chocolate drop or a cluster of chocolate chips in the middle, like a classic peanut butter thumbprint cookie with a Hershey's kiss.   Or what about a handful of raw cacao nibs or roasted, salted cashews thrown in the dough? Or a nice beautiful cashew pressed into the top? So many options.

Next time I make these, I'm going to try including a bit of chocolate, but for now, I love the delicious simplicity of this cookie.  Oh, and by the way - if you can, wait until these are fully cooled before digging in for the best texture and flavor.  They are best eaten within a day of baking for the best texture; after that they become quite soft - but still tasty. 

I'm working on a Thanksgiving round up post that features a few delicious recipes - Cashew-Pumpkin Seed Cheese, Apple-Cranberry Relish, and Sweet Potato Crumble Bars. So stay tuned. :)  But in the  meantime, make some cookies!

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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)



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