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 These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.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

Recent Posts

Subscribe to RSS headline updates from:
Powered by FeedBurner

Site Search

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: Salads (30)


Spicy Tuna & Black Bean Salad with Romaine and Chile-Toasted Pepitas


As the winter goes on, the more I crave spicy food. I am adding various forms of dried and fresh hot peppers to just about everything I'm eating these days, and am inspired by the fresh - and often sweat inducing - flavors of ethnic cuisines. This salad was inspired by South American cuisine, combining black beans, lime juice, green olives, pepitas, and chile powder.  It is so easy to make; if you can use a can opener, you can make this salad.  Prepare the Tuna & Black Bean Salad and Chile-Toasted Pepitas to eat with romaine, as suggested here, or make them seperately to eat however you'd like. These recipes are super versatile! 


Click to read more ...


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 ...


Apple & Avocado Salad with Fresh Herbs (gluten-free, ACD, vegan, raw)

Apple & Avocado Salad with Fresh Herbs

I have a helper in the kitchen. That helper's name is The Flavor Bible, and it is my trusted assistant, mentor, and companion. 

Written by Karen Page and Andrew Dornenberg, The Flavor Bible is the ultimate kitchen resource. The introduction speaks to the basics of creating well-balanced food, and alphabetical index of flavors, ingredients, and cuisines follows for the next 350 pages. You can search complimentary combinations for a particular ingredient, and classic pairings are also listed for each flavor or cuisine (sardines and olive oil, squash and nutmeg, etc). Scattered throughout the book are short essays from various chefs that inspire and inform, and add depth to the subject at hand.  Despite the fact that there are no photos, no actual recipes, and the layout is remarkably simple, this book is really fun to read, even if you're just sitting on the couch and not cooking anything at all.  Every time I pick it up, I feel like I learn something new and get inspired to create new dishes. The thing I like about it is that it feels approachable and accessible - this is not a book that is reserved only for the most elite chef. I think it is a great way to learn about "what goes with what" and feel confident in creating recipes and seasoning your food. I'm absolutely addicted to this book. 

Click to read more ...


Basil-Lime Tuna Salad (gluten-free, ACD)

 Basil-Lime Tuna Salad

I don't eat a lot of canned food, but I just can't resist canned fish. High quality canned tuna, salmon, sardines, and anchovies top the list of some of my favorite foods. My ultimate favorite is olive oil-packed tuna, which is so flavorful, rich, and indulgent that it is almost like fish dessert.

I know the words "fish" and "dessert" should never really be used together, but I think olive-oil packed imported tuna is an exception.

When selecting tuna, make sure to read the label - many conventional tunas are packed in vegetable broths that contain soy or other additives.  High-quality tunas are packed only in water or olive oil, and are actually lower in mercury than conventional tunas, often higher in omega-3 fatty acids, and are often more sustainably farmed. There are many excellent, natural tunas imported from Italy, Spain, and France.  These are often absolutely crazy delicious, but are generally pretty darn pricy and are hard to find in many smaller cities. For more widely available tunas, I like tunas by American Tuna (lowest in mercury and BPA-free cans, sold at Whole Foods), Crown Prince (switching to BPA-free tuna cans this year, sold at Whole Foods, many regular grocers and co-ops), Wild Planet (BPA-free cans, high omega 3, low mercury, I've only seen it at my co-ops so far), and Natural Sea (sold at Whole Foods and many regular grocers), or for a really cheap deal when you're feeling thrifty, the tuna by Genova (sold almost everywhere) or Trader Joe's.  Crown Prince and Wild Planet also make excellent canned sardines, if you're feeling fishy...

Click to read more ...


Grain-Free Tabouli Salad with Mint and Olives (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)


This month's SOS Kitchen Challenge ingredient is mint, one of my favorite herbs. So, here we go!

I love the way that Middle Eastern food uses mint in savory dishes. One of my favorite Middle Eastern salads is tabouli. I adore tabouli!  When I stopped eating wheat and could no longer make tabouli with the traditional bulgar, I started using quinoa and millet instead, which works like a charm. Right now I'm on a grain break, so my standard gluten-free tabouli isn't really in the cards.  Desperate to satisfy my tabouli cravings, I was trying to come up with ways to make a decent grain-free tabouli salad.  I have seen recipes for tabouli made with finely chopped nuts or seeds, but the thought of eating that much nut or seed in one sitting along with other foods is a little overwhelming to my digestion. Then it came to me - cauliflower "rice" is so delicious, why not use it as a stand-in for bulgar in tabouli?

Hey, where there's a will, there's a way.

Click to read more ...