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 These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.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: Main Course (42)


Herbed Turkey Meatballs (gluten free, egg free)

I love turkey.

That's all there is to it.
These are super fast, super easy, and super tasty.  Lots of meatball recipes use eggs and bread crumbs and all sorts of stuff as fillers and binders.  I just leave it to the turkey and don't deal with adding anything other than herbs and seasonings!   I like to bake meatballs; they stay moist, you don't need to use any added oil, and you can do other things while your little meatballs bake away in the oven.  However, you can choose to cook them up in a big fry pan just as easily!
These freeze like a dream - so cook a big batch and freeze the leftovers for quick meals later on.
HERBED TURKEY MEATBALLS (gluten free, egg free)
1 lb ground turkey, hormone free and free range preferred
1/4 c fresh parsley, finely chopped
1  T dried basil
1 T dried thyme
sprinkle garlic powder or 1-2 minced garlic cloves
salt and pepper
  1. Preheat oven to 375*.  Line a tray with parchment paper.
  2. In a large bowl, mix turkey, herbs, garlic/garlic powder, salt, and pepper until all ingredients are well incorporated through turkey.
  3. With your hands, grab small chunks of turkey and roll into balls, slightly smaller than a walnut.  Place balls on parchment lined tray.
  4. Place tray in oven and bake for 30-35 minutes, or until centers are no longer pink and meatballs are golden brown.  
Serve any number of ways:  
  • Eat with cooked greens and sauerkraut
  • Throw in a bun, wrap, or huge collard leaf with sandwich fillings
  • Eat with red sauce, bechamel sauce, or cheesy sauce and serve over pasta, or for a low-carb meal, spaghetti squash
  • Put on toothpicks or skewers and serve as appetizers with mustard or other dips
  • Add to soups
  • Eat on salads
  • Anything else you can think of!



Pan Seared Trout with Soba, Bok Choy, and Sauerkraut (gluten free)

This meal rocked my world tonight, and I just had to share it. I had a beautiful fillet of fresh, wild caught skin-on trout that I needed to cook up, and soba sounded good, so I decided on a Japanese/macrobiotic inspired meal of fish, soba, and stirfried vegetables with sauerkraut. Could easily be made in a larger portion for a crowd! It was super quick - probably about 15 minutes prep time tops. Even better, it tasted amazing and left me feeling great.

If gluten-intolerant, make sure to use 100% pure buckwheat soba (soba is most commonly made with a blend of wheat and buckwheat). It is a little harder to find than regular soba, but worth the effort!


yield: 1 serving

4 oz fresh wild caught trout
2 oz 100% pure buckwheat soba noodles
2 baby bok choys, chopped
4 green onions, chopped
3-4 baby carrots, or 1 small carrot, cut into fine strips or diagonal rounds
1-2 T azuki tamari (or regular soy tamari)
1/2 c raw, natural sauerkraut
olive oil or sesame oil
1 sheet nori
wasabi powder


  1. Bring water to boil in small saucepan, and add soba. Boil until just al dente - do not overcook pure buckwheat soba, it WILL get mushy and fall apart! Rinse and put in bowl.
  2. While soba is cooking, heat oil in heavy bottom fry pan. Add bok choy, green onion, and carrot, and saute briefly. Add a splash of tamari, and saute until just softened. Remove, and place in bowl.
  3. Pour some tamari on your trout, and let soak into flesh. Wipe out fry pan, then add a touch of oil and turn up to medium high heat. If trout has skin, first place flesh side down, and sear. Then flip and place skin side down, add a touch of water to the pan, and cover. Let cook for 5-7 minutes, or until fish is cooked through and flaky. Remove from pan, and remove skin. Place fish in bowl next to noodles and vegetables.
  4. Spoon some sauerkraut into the bowl. Cut your nori into fine strips, and sprinkle over noodles. Add another splash of tamari to the noodles if desired.
  5. Mix wasabi powder with water to make a paste, and serve alongside the meal. If you can tolerate sesame, sprinkle some sesame over your noodles, it woudl be darn good Eat with chopsticks for ultimate enjoyment. Yum!



Dining al desko: Wild Rice with Hijiki and Carrots (gluten free, vegan)

Susan Jane Murray, one of my favorite food bloggers, wrote the phrase "dining al desko" in one her blogs. I liked it, and am using it as inspiration.

I hate eating at my desk. But I work at a desk. And I need to eat. And sometimes, the two need to happen at the same time.

This is one of my favorite quick and tasty meals to eat at my desk. I like to use chopsticks when I'm eating and working because it makes me think more about eating and chewing and I do it more slowly, instead of mindlessly scarfing down the food while working on a project. Plus chopsticks are fun. And coworkers find it amusing and quirky. This recipe requires just a little prep work at home, but it is fast and simple to throw together if you have the necessary elements prepared.

Basic concept: cooked grain + hijiki + cooked vegetable.

My favorite grain in this dish is broken wild rice. Broken wild rice is less expensive than full grain wild rice, but has all the same benefits - the grain is just broken. Wild rice isn't really rice at all, it is a grass native to North America. It is very high in protein, is a great source of complex carbohydrates, and is high in fiber. The flavor is earthy, rich, and nutty. I love it combined with hijiki - the textures are great together, and the nutty earthy flavor of the wild rice balances well with the saltiness of the seaweed. Hijiki is one of my favorite sea vegetables; I often soak up a big batch of hijiki, or other sea vegetables, and keep them in the fridge for whenever I want them. Sea vegetables are a great addition to a diet - they stimulate the thyroid, are high in fiber, help balance healthy gut bacteria, and are a good source of calcium and iron. Combining sea vegetables with other vegetables is not only delicious, but it also helps the body apsorb all their readily available nutrients! In fact, vitamin C helps the body assimilate both calcium and iron, so carrots make the perfect addition to this dish. Plus, their sweetness rounds out the overall flavor effect.

If I know I want to eat this, I'll usually steam up some carrots the night before while I'm steaming up my dinner veggies. No carrots? Fine! Any veggies will work, whatever you have leftover that you want to use up: green beans, asparagus, green onion, brocolli, squash, sweet potato, zucchini, whatever. The final touch is a bit of flax oil, for healthy fats and good omegas. Sesame oil is really tasty too, if you can tolerate sesame. Do you know that a little healthy fat helps the body absorp vitamin C? What a marvelously balanced dish!

The end result is a high fiber, super nutritious, wonderfully satisfying bowl of goodness. And it will leave you feeling much better than corn chips from the vending machine or leftover bagels from yesterday's meeting.


Wild rice (or any other cooked grain - rice, quinoa, millet, etc)
Hijiki (soaked 30 minutes, rinsed, and drained)
Carrots (or other veggies)
Flax oil (or sesame oil if you tolerate sesame)
optional: tamari (soy-free or soy), Bragg's aminos, or ume vinegar
optional: sprinkle of gomasio (sesame salt, find at asian markets...or see THIS for my non-sesame version!)

Mix it all together in a bowl. Eat greedily, either cold or warm. Feel energized, alert, and awesome!


Parsnips, Chard and Chickpeas with Besan Puda (Chickpea Four Flat Bread)

I love quick, one bowl meals. Warm veggies and beans dumped over something starchy? Heaven. So, here's the first in a series of quick meals that fit in a bowl. Parsnips, Chard and Chickpeas, served with Besan Puda, an easy-to-make chickpea flour flatbread. Quick, tasty, and high in protein.

Parsnip, Chard, and Chickpea Yum Yum

Yield: a bunch, or a little, it is up to you.

Parsnips are one of my favorite foods. I could eat them endlessly. This combination is great, and you can do anything with it! Make an extra big batch and freeze the leftovers. Proportions are totally versatile. The main goal is to include all the ingredients, however much of each you have will work just fine.

  • 1 red onion, thinly sliced
  • 3 parsnips, peeled and sliced
  • 1/2-1 bunch chard, washed and prepared as directed below
  • 1/2-1 can rinsed drained chickpeas
  • olive oil
  • pinch anise seeds
  • dash cardamom
  • dash turmeric
  • salt & pepper to taste
  • water/broth
  1. To prepare chard: wash it, then cut out the hard rib from each leaf, and chop it up. Then, layer the leaves, roll, and slice thinly (approx 1/4 inch). This is called a chiffonade! You'll end up with long, lovely thin strips of chard.
  2. In a nice big covered skillet, heat the olive oil over low-medium heat. Add your onion, stir around a few times, cover, and let sweat for 5 minutes.
  3. Take off cover, stir around, add a little water if necessary, add your turmeric, cardamom, and anise seeds, and the chopped chard ribs. Cover again, and let brown another 2-3 minutes, or until onions are brown and starting to carmelize.
  4. Add your peeled parsnips, add a little more water, and cover again. Cook a few minutes, or until parsnips start to soften.
  5. Place chickpeas and chard on top of parsnip mixture, pour in a little more water, and cover again. Cook until chickpeas are warm and chard is softened, then stir to mix evenly. Salt and pepper to taste.

Options from here:

  • Add more broth and make it like a thick stew
  • Serve it over cooked grain . I'd recommend wild rice!
  • Serve with tortillas or flatbreads, like the chickpea-flour based Besan Puda (see recipe below!)
  • Add sheep/goat yogurt or feta and serve with raw veggies
  • Eat as it is - no frills, still awesome.


Besan Puda (Chickpea Flour Flatbreads)

Yield: 8 flatbreads

Besan Puda are traditional Indian flatbreads made from besan/gram flour, a flour made from chickpeas (a.k.a. garbanzo beans). Delicious and high in protein, these are one of my favorite fast survival foods. They are irresistible fresh from the frying pan, and leftovers freeze very well. This is a traditional version of the recipe, but feel free to make it yours - omit the veggies, switch the seasonings, make it spicy, savory, or sweet (agave, ginger, and cinnamon perhaps?). Half or quarter it for a really quick meal solution. Look for inexpensive chickpea flour at Middle Easter or Indian markets, or find the Bob's Red Mill version at health food stores.

  • 1 c chickpea/garbanzo/gram/besan flour
  • ¼ c brown rice or millet flour* **
  • 1 c water
  • 1 small zucchini, finely grated
  • 2 scallions, finely minced
  • 1 t cumin seeds, toasted
  • fresh or dried finely chopped parsley or cilantro (optional)
  • oil or ghee for frying
  1. Finely mince scallions and grate zucchini. Set aside.
  2. In a large bowl, mix flours. Stir briskly with whisk to introduce air and make fluffy.
  3. Slowly add water to flour mixture while stirring until moistened. Add zucchini, scallions, and cumin seeds, and stir until well mixed.
  4. Heat oil or ghee in medium frying pan or griddle over medium heat, until water sizzles on surface. Pour ¼ c batter into pan, spreading thinly over pan surface into a 7-8 inch circle.
  5. Once surface has firmed, approximately 2-3 minutes, flip flatbread in pan and cook reverse side. Flatbread should be golden brown and cooked through.
  6. Re-oil pan as needed and continue pan frying flatbread until batter is gone. If batter starts to thicken too much, add a little more water. 
  7. Serve warm as a side to soups, grain, or vegetable dishes, or use as a wrap for sandwiches.

*The choice of rice or millet flour mixed with the chickpea flour creates two very different flatbreads. Brown rice flour yields a crispier, lighter flatbread with a lighter flavor. Millet flour has a stronger flavor and yields a moister, bendier flatbread that works better for wrapping up ingredients.

**If you want to make these totally grain free, omit rice/millet flour and add additional 1/4 c chickpea flour.


Sunny Quinoa Burgers (vegan, gluten-free, ACD)

It may be cloudy outside, but I'm having a sunny start to 2009 in my kitchen.

I've been wanting to make my own sunflower seed burger, mimicking the beloved Sunshine Burger, but with a non-rice base. Thanks to 2009, I have the day off today, and decided to give a whirl. I'm totally pleased with the result of my experiment! I had some red quinoa already cooked up in the fridge, and thought its sticky texture would make the perfect base to hold everything together. I was right! The result is dense, high-protein, super nutritious burger that could be jazzed up a million ways. The red quinoa and flecks of green parsley look lovely as well. Success! I'd like to try this recipe again, including grated carrot, finely diced onion, miced bell pepper, or something along those lines...

I used the seeds raw, but you could toast them if desired for a nuttier flavor. Also, I kept the seasonings really simple, but you could add any combination of herbs and spices. Eat with your favorite gluten-free bread, sandwich fillings, and a side of veggies, or serve alone with a tasty dip! Or - here's a thought - make the balls really small and serve up like savory truffles...I'm doing that for the next party I host.


Sunny Quinoa Burgers

yield: 4-6 burgers, depending on how large you make them

1 c raw sunflower seeds
1 1/4 c cooked red or white quinoa
splash water
1 tsp Herbamare, celery salt, or seasoning salt OR a splash of tamari
1/4 c finely chopped fresh parsley
1 tsp dried onion flakes
optional: any other herbs/spices you'd like

Pulse sunflower seeds in food processor or blender until coarsely ground, until they resemble very coarse bread crumbs. You may have to grind your seeds in batches depending on how large your processor/blender is. Transfer ground seeds to large bowl.

Place 1 c of the cooked quinoa, Herbamare, parsley/herbs/spices in the processor/blender. Pulse a few times with a splash of water, stirring between pulses, adding just enough water to get things moistened. You want a chunky paste to form, with some whole quinoa grains left over. Transfer quinoa paste to the bowl with the ground seeds.

With a big spatula or your hands (my preference!), knead the quinoa and seeds together, adding the remaining 1/4 c of whole quinoa grain. It should form a slightly moist, sticky dough.
Divide into 4-6 balls, and flatten into patties. Eat as is if you are in a hurry, though they won't be as tasty as if you warm them up for a crispy nutty flavor!

To warm them you have two options:

  1. option 1 (no added fat): heat oven to 350. Line baking sheet with parchment, and bake until warm and golden, flipping as necessary.
  2. option 2 (crispy and delicious): heat sunflower oil in fry pan. When hot, fry patties until warmed through, and golden brown and crisp.

Approximate nutritional information per patty (yield 5 patties): 200 calories, 12 g fat, 18 g carbs, 3.5 g fiber, 1 g sugar, 7 g protein


Approximate nutritional information for entire recipe: 1000 calories, 61 g fat, 90 g carbs, 17 g fiber, 5 g sugar, 36 g protein

Bon appetit!