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 These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.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: Sides (35)


Spanish Yellow Rice, Rice-Cooker Style (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

Yellow Rice served with Spanish Bean Soup

My meal last week at The Columbia Restaurant has put me in the mood for Spanish-inspired food, so I threw together a little Yellow Rice to eat with some homemade Spanish Bean Soup.  Instead of cooking it on the stove top, I made it in the rice cooker, so it was super simple. 

The rice turned out fragrant and flavorful, with a beautiful yellow color, thanks to a mixture of turmeric and Spanish saffron. It was really delicious with the soup; my recipe for Spanish Bean Soup was inspired by a soup I had at The Columbia, and it was great.  I only had Hungarian paprika, so I need to get over to Penzey's for some pimenton (Spanish smoked paprika) and make the soup again.  It contains chorizo and ham (I am breaking the "no sugar" rule to indulge in some local ham!), so vegans and vegetarians, don't hold your breath for this one.  After I give it another go, I'll share the recipe with you.

In the meantime, enjoy some delicious Spanish Yellow Rice!  My housemates both loved it.


Spanish Yellow Rice, Rice-Cooker Style

serves 6-8 | adapted from Emeril Lagasse

This recipe has a subtle flavor that would go well with a wide variety of cuisines, but is especially excellent with beans or other Spanish cuisine. Use high-quality saffron to get the best flavor - good saffron is worth the extra money. Penzey's is a good source of spices if you don't have good spice shops or kitchen shops locally - you can order online.

  • 2 cups long-grain brown rice, soaked in water 8-12 hours, drained, and rinsed
  • 1/2 large sweet yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 large garlic cloves, crushed and minced
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 3/4 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 2 pinches cinnamon
  • large pinch high-quality saffron threads, crushed
  • 4 cups chicken stock, vegetable broth, or filtered water (broth/stock will lend a better flavor)
  • 2 tablespoons olive oil, ghee, or butter
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt

Place all ingredients in a rice cooker, cover, and cook per manufacturer's instructions. After cooking is complete, let sit covered and undisturbed for 10-20 minutes. The fluff with a fork and serve!  If desired, garnish with green peas, thinly sliced green onions, thinly sliced red pepper, or fresh cilantro. 



On visiting a nutritionist and making Mango Chicken Curry and Steamed Napa Cabbage & Fennel


I recently had a session with Jennette Turner, a Natural Foods Educator here in Minneapolis, MN. Jennette has a lot of experience and a grounded, whole foods approach to nutrition. From her website: "Jennette earned her Holistic Nutrition degree after three years of intensive study at the Institute for Integrative Nutrition in New York City. After graduation, Jennette taught classes at the Institute alongside Paul Pitchford, Sally Fallon and Annemarie Colbin. She is a certified member of the American Association of Drugless Practitioners and a member of the Weston A. Price Nutrition Foundation. Her articles have appeared in publications nationwide."  I was excited to hear that she has spoken at the WAPF Conference - I've always wanted to go!  She also  has a really cool meal planning subscription called Dinner with Jennette. My new housemate subscribed last year - some strange coincidence, right? - so we have a stockpile of recipes that I'm excited to go through.

I really enjoyed my appointment with Jennette, and found her approach to diet completely affirming. I struggle - like so many of you do, too - with my weight, and body images issues, and spinning cycles of "I should eat this" or "I shouldn't eat that" and feeligns of guilt. I get all tied up in knots, and end up denying myself things, only to binge on them later. Jennette had excellent advice for me about new ways to approach how I thought about eating. she gave me book titles to read, and affirmed all the work I've done to change my diet and improve my health with food. And the best part yet? She told me to stop worrying about my weight, eat what I want, and see if my cravings reduce.  She told me to eat breakfast at home instead of eating at my desk at work. She told me to eat lots of butter and protein.. She told me to eat snacks during the day.  She gave me great recipes to try.

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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...

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Apple, Turnip & Cabbage Hash (gluten-free, vegan, ACD) and an unrelated crafty announcement

sweet, savory, sour, and so so so good 

This month's SOS Kitchen Challenge features none other than the trusty apple, a harbinger of autumn.  For my first apple recipe of the month, I wanted to make something that walked the line between sweet and savory.  I decided on a mix of apples, turnips, and cabbage, spiked with onion and caraway seeds. It is very much inspired by Scandanavian and German food; what can I say, I'm influenced by my cultural heritage.  It is aromatic and full of flavor, and I am convinced that caraway, apples, and cabbage were absolutely made for each other. Despite the fact that this combination makes vegetables almost sinfully delicious, you needn't worry - no sinning here.

If you want to participate in this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, it's easy! Just check out the kick-off post for all the rules, and submit your apple recipe to the Linky at the bottom of this post. You can submit recipes until the end of the month, when Ricki (my challenge co-host) and I will post a round-up highlighting our favorites. Awesome.

Apple, Turnip & Cabbage Hash

yield 4 side servings

2 organic apples, cored and diced
2 large turnips, peeled and diced
1 medium sweet onion, diced
2 cups finely chopped purple cabbage 
2 Tbsp olive oil, coconut oil, ghee, or butter
2 tsp caraway seeds 
pinch allspice
umeboshi plum vinegar, to taste

Heat oil in a large saute pan over medium heat, then add onion and stir. Saute 2-3 minutes, then add turnips, stir to coat with oil, and saute for for 5-8 minutes, until turnips just start to turn slightly golden. Then add apple, cabbage, allspice, and caraway seeds. Saute until apple and cabbage are softened, stirring often. Then crank up the heat and saute for about 5 minutes to give everything a nice little brown edge. Season to taste with umeboshi plum vinegar, and serve.

* * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * * *

Oh, hey, wait a minute!  I have an unrelated announcement!

I'm excited to present you with My Little Ideas, my very own shop on Etsy! Etsy is a an amazing site that provides virtual storefronts to artisans and crafters, and is the source of amazingly unique handmade goods on the internet. I've been meaning to start a site for years to sell the various things I make - embroidered items, jewelry, crocheted and knitted items, the list goes on. However, my recent crocheting solution to a problem finally kicked me into gear. I use mason jars for everything, and generally have one bouncing around in my purse to use as an eating or drinking vessel. After one too many broken jars, I finally decided to start crocheting jar cozies, and it turned into nothing short of an obsession! So, I now present you with my very own shop, my place to sell whatever I make, including my beloved cozies. 

My Little Ideas

one of my handmade mason jar cozies, available on Etsy

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September SOS Kitchen Challenge Reveal 

Happy September! This month brings a hint of autumn in the air, as well as another SOS Kitchen Challenge, the monthly recipe event hosted by Ricki of Diet, Dessert, and Dogs and me. Up here in the north, mornings are getting cooler, the leaves are starting to look slightly more golden, and the gardens are delivering all their bounty, urging us to preserve food for winter.  Soon it will be time for warm stews and soups.  But before we pull out our winter gear, we have the golden days of autumn ahead of us.

This month's SOS Kitchen Challenge is featuring one of the tastiest foods of early autumn, a fruit that is delicious, nutritious, and has appeared prominently throughout history. According to the Bible, Adam and Eve ate from the forbidden tree that bore these fruits, resulting in God banishing them from the garden and punishing all of mankind by cursing women with painful labor and childbirth (um, aren't you glad that doesn't really happen when we have a fruit craving?).  Some millennia later, William Tell was challenged to shoot an arrow through one of these fruits on top his son's head, in exchange for his freedom from some pesky Austrian emporers.  Not so long after that, Isaac Newton formulated that whole notion of gravity by watching one fall off a tree.  And most recently, one of these little beauties put the legendary Snow White to sleep.

That's right friends, we are featuring none other than the humble apple this month.


Click to read more ...