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 These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.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


Garlic-Chive Parsnip Mash (gluten free, vegan)

Tonight, I didn't feel like cooking, I just wanted something easy, something comforting, something quick. The wedding this past weekend was a blast, but left me exhausted. Now I'm housesitting for a coworker and his wife, and while their home is beautiful and comfortable, it is always a bit exhausting moving to a new place for a week. So, I threw together this quick and easy parsnip mash, flavored with chives from my garden a sprinkling of high quality dried garlic granules. Next time, when I feel like cooking, I'll mash in roasted garlic cloves instead of dried garlic. Then these will really sing.

Nubby and chunky, a little sweet, a little salty, and full of flavor, this hit the spot. I put a big scoop on a bed of arugula, and with a few handfuls of roasted cashews, it was the perfect simple dinner. I really recommend the mixture of parsnip and arugula - delicious. And on an unrelated note, I'm going to photograph food here as much as I can over the next week, because the natural light in the kitchen around 6 pm is heavenly, isn't it?

Garlic-Chive Parsnip Mash

serves 2

2 large parsnips
1/4 c minced fresh chives
1/4 tsp dried garlic granules
1-2 T olive oil
sprinkling Herbamare or sea salt, to taste

Scrub and peel parsnips. If they are very large, slice in quarters lengthwise and remove woody core. Then slice into 1/4 inch slices.Steam parsnips for 10-15 minutes, or until totally soft. While parsnips steam, mince chives.
Place steamed parsnips in large bowl, and coarsely mash with a fork or potato masher. Add olive oil, garlic, Herbamare/sea salt, and chives, and mix until combined.

Adjust seasonings to taste, and serve immediately. Or, follow one of my lovely suggestions below this photo for some inspiration on other ways to use this...

  • Serve over a bed of raw arugula or spinach, or on warm sauteed greens.
  • Use as a topping for shepherd's pie
  • Stuff zucchini or portobello mushrooms with it
  • Serve as a side dish instead of mashed potatoes
  • If you're a dairy eater, mix in a bit of crème fraîche, sour cream, or yogurt
  • Mix leftovers with any other leftover roasted or sauteed vegetables, beans and/or leftover cooked meat, and your favorite broth for a quick soup
  • Puree with white beans for a delicious vegetable dip or sandwich spread
  • If you can eat gluten, try using it as a stuffing for making your own ravioli - I've heard wonton wrappers work great.
  • Eat plain, right out of the bowl, because it is just that good : )
  • Mix with other seasonings - Add a big spoonfull of your favorite pesto. Try using rosemary instead of chives, or fresh parsley. Dill would be lovely as well. Or perhaps some chopped up marinated sun-dried tomatoes? Get creative.



Turnip and Carrot Fries (gluten free, vegan)

Want an alternative to plain old potato fries?

Try using carrots and turnips, or other roots like cassava/yuca, parsnips, rutabagas, sweet potatoes, taro, or Jerusalem artichokes! Slice 'em up, drizzle 'em with olive oil, throw on your herbs and seasonings of choice, and pop 'em in the oven.  You have delicious fries in a flash!   I use whatever roots I have on hand at the time, and they always turn out great.  Tonight I made fries with some beautiful turnips and carrots from the farmer's market.  Instead of baking them with just oil and seasonings, I chose to dust them with a little millet flour too, and it added a nice crispness and a nutty flavor.   For seasonings, I chose a mix of cumin, coriander, mustard, and garlic powder this time around.  The beauty of this recipe is that it is extremely flexible - feel free to add any spices or fresh or dry herbs of choice.  And if you don't want to dust with flour, you don't have to - the fries still turn out delicious and just a little crisp!  For a high protein option, use nut or seed meal instead of a grain flour.  I mean it, these are endlessly flexible, and you can't mess them up!  I love using fresh thyme with rutabagas or turnips, or rosemary with parsnips.  Back when I was eating sweet potatoes and chili powder (I'm allergic to both now), I used to make spicy sweet potato fries all the time.  Cassava/yuca root and taro root  also makes great fries - their starchy texture is very much like a potato.  Experiment, and have fun!  
TURNIP AND CARROT FRIES (gluten free, vegan)
serves 2
2-3 turnips
4 carrots
1/4 c gluten free flour or nut/seed meal
cumin, coriander, mustard, and garlic powder, to taste OR other herbs/spices of choice
sea salt or Herbamare
olive oil
  1. Preheat oven to 450* F.
  2. Clean and peel turnips and carrots.  Cut into sticks/wedges about 1/4" x 1/2".  Place in a large bowl, drizzle with a little olive oil, and toss to evenly coat.
  3. On a plate or tray, mix about 1/4 c millet flour with salt and herbs/seasonings.  Transfer fries to flour tray, tossing to coat fries evenly with seasoned flour, working in batches if necessary. 
  4. Lightly oil a baking sheet, or line with parchment, and transfer fries to sheet.  Place in oven, and bake at 450* for about 15-20 minutes, flipping/stirring occasionally, until fries  are slightly crisp and brown and are softened.
  5. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, then dig in!



Herb Roasted Fennel, Parsnips, Carrots, and Brussels Sprouts (gluten free, vegan)

Roasted vegetables are my favorite. You can roast ANYTHING and it is amazing. For the Pre-Memorial Day backyard family get-together, we decided on a tasty blend of fennel bulbs, parsnips, carrots, Brussels sprouts, and sweet vidalia onions. Kissed with Herbes de Provence and fresh parsley, they are killer. Eat them hot or chill them, they are great either way! Makes lots, so you'll probably have leftovers!

yield: 8-10 servings

6 parsnips, peeled, halved and cut in 2-3 inch chunks
8 carrots, peeled, halved and cut in 2-3 inch chunks
2 fennel bulbs, cut in wedges
1 lb Brussels sprouts, sliced in half
1 large onion, cut in wedges
1 large handful fresh parsley, chopped
generous sprinkle Herbes de Provence
salt and fresh cracked pepper
olive oil

  1. Preheat oven to 425*. Drizzle olive oil in a heavy bottomed roasting pan or large baking dish.
  2. Prepare vegetables and place in dish, stirring to coat with olive oil, and adding parsley, Herbes de Provence, salt and pepper.
  3. Roast for about an hour, covering the pan with a cookie sheet. Stir occassionally, until vegetables are soft. Remove cookie sheet and roast for about 10 minutes more to brown.
  4. Remove and serve warm, or chill and serve once chilled!



Roasted Fennel, Parsnips and Celeriac (vegan, gluten-free)

Roasted vegetables are like little vegetable candies. Anything roasted is amazing, in my book. Those natural sugars concentrate, the flavor broadens, and I drool. One of favorite vegetables to roast is fennel. Oh me oh my, so delicious.

But roasted fennel becomes even MORE delicious when combined with other vegetables. Like parsnips. And celeriac (a.k.a. celery root). This combination is oh-so-lovely together. If you are on a rotation diet for food allergies, this recipe works for you too; fennel, parsnips, celeriac, and parsley are all members of the carrot family. So, you can enjoy and still keep your rotation (just omit the garlic if necessary)!

I use this a million ways. Serve over cooked grains or spaghetti squash. Dish up next to baked chicken or grilled salmon. Melt sheep feta on top. Dip in hummus or aioli. Wrap in a flatbread or eat on a rice cake. Serve warm or chilled atop a bed of greens. Puree with stock and make into a tasty soup. Or, just eat as is!

I like to cover the pan with tin foil to let the vegetables steam first, then remove the foil and let them brown up and caramelize. I find they do not get as dry this way. However, feel free to let them roast uncovered the whole time; they will get more caramelly. Just watch them carefully so they don't burn or get dry. This recipe makes as much or as little as you'd like. Great for having guests over for dinner!


1-2 fennel bulbs (and stalks, if desired), sliced
2-3 medium parsnips, peeled and sliced into diagonal rounds
1-2 medium celeriac (a.k.a. celery root), peeled and cubed
1 medium bulb of peeled whole garlic cloves
1/2 T fennel seeds
1/2 c fresh parsley, chopped
sprinkle celery salt or sea salt
fresh ground black pepper
olive oil or other oil


  1. Preheat oven to 400*.
  2. Wash and prepare vegetables as directed above. I like to leave the vegetables in large, chunky pieces, so I slice and dice 'em thick.
  3. Place in large roasting pan or casserole dish, and drizzle with olive oil, salt, chopped parsley, and fennel seeds. Stir to evenly coat.
  4. Pour a small amount of water in the pan, and cover with tin foil. Bake for 45 to 60 minutes, removing every 20 minutes to stir, until vegetables are soft and al dente.
  5. Remove tin foil, and place back in oven for 10-15 minutes, until vegetables have darkened slightly and carmelized.
  6. Remove from oven and serve!

Yield: serves a lot or a little, you decide!



Tarragon Roasted Turnips (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

"I believe that if ever I had to practice cannibalism, I might manage if there were enough tarragon around." --James Beard

I love turnips. And so did the Greeks and Romans - ancient author Pliny the Elder heralded turnips as one of the most important vegetables of the time. Cultivated nearly 4,000 years ago in the Near East, this humble member of the brassica family is versatile, stores well, and is a powerhouse of nutrition. Like the other brassicas, they have a slightly cabbagey, bitey flavor. Raw, they are crisp and pungent, and make a great addition to salads. Cooked in soups, they add a depth of flavor and nice, starchy texture. Roasted, they make great home fries. Sliced and fried, they get crisp and rich. Mashed and whipped, they are a great substitute for potatoes. Sliced thin and layered, they make a beautiful gratin. Even their greens are delicious and super nutritious! Turnips show up in a wide variety of food traditions, from French to Chinese to Eastern European to American Southern. Oh, how I love turnips and their endless versatility!

In addition to being tasty, they are darn good for you. Like other members of the brassica family, turnips have special health-promoting phytochemicals that fight cancer and other illnessess, and are naturally antifungal. Chinese medicine asserts that turnips help to move the qi and clear phlegm and mucous, making them a great choice for damp conditions like lung congestion or candida. They are low in calories and low glycemic, and full of fiber, folate, manganese, calcium, potassium and vitamin C. In fact, 1 cup of turnips provides nearly 50% of your daily recommended Vitamin C!

A cool weather crop, turnips are bounitful in the fall and winter, so now is the perfect time of year to introduce turnips to your diet. Look for firm turnips, free of blemishes, with smooth skin. While turnips can grow to be quite large, smaller turnips have a milder flavor and more tender texture that I prefer. Easily confused with a rutabaga and some radishes, the most most common turnip is white, and may have a purple, reddish, or green top. My local co-op has a beautiful heirloom variety of turnip that is a deep ruby red and is oh-so-tasty.

I had a number of turnips in my crisper that needed to get used up, so I decided on a French-inspired roasted turnip using tarragon. If you've never used tarragon, I'd recommend getting some to try - it has an aromatic licorice-y/anise-y flavor, and is often used in French cuisine for sauces, fish, and eggs. I adore tarragon, and think it combines perfectly with the turnip. This recipe is quick and delicious, and has a remarkebly complex flavor for being so simple. I would have a photo to share of the beautiful roasted little morsels, but I just ate most of them. Enjoy!

Tarragon Roasted Turnips

Yield: approx 2 cups roasted

5-6 small or 3-4 medium turnips (approx 2 1/2 c diced)
1 T dried tarragon
1-2 T olive oil
sprinkling salt and pepper to taste
optional: drizzle lemon juice

Preheat oven to 375 F.
Wash and peel turnips, and dice into approximately 1 in. x 1 in. cubes.
Place diced turnips in heavy, oven-safe baking dish or roasting pan, and drizzle with olive oil. Sprinkle on tarragon, salt and pepper, and toss to evenly coat.
Place in oven, and roast for 30-40 minutes, stirring often, or until turnips are soft and golden brown.
Serve warm or chilled over sauteed greens (like TURNIP GREENS, for example!), grains, or beans, or as a tasty side dish to fish, poultry, or meat. Delicious with a squirt of lemon juice, if you can tolerate citrus!



Page 1 ... 3 4 5 6 7