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. There's big changes coming to the site - it will soon be the home of my new health coaching practice! Stay tuned. 

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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. 

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Blogger Secret Ingredient Roundup & Winner: Artichokes!

When Alisa from One Frugal Foodie asked me to host last week's Blogger Secret Ingredient event, I wanted to make sure that I chose something that would present a challenge.  So, I went for the noble artichoke.

Well, everyone seemed to agree that the artichoke provided a bit of a puzzle. What do you do with this spiny little thing?  How do you cook with it?  How in the world do you prepare a fresh one?  

This week's participants met the challenge and provided a lovely range of delicious-looking recipes! I was impressed at everyone's creativity, and participants used canned, fresh, and  marinated artichokes in a variety of ways that all looked incredible!  I lived vicariously through the wide range of ingredients and flavors that participants used that are off limits to me, and had my taste buds tempted.  And I made two artichoke recipes this week as well!

Hosting this challenge was funny for me because I actually can't eat a single one of these recipes as is, other than my own. I forgot how many common ingredients I don't use, even in comparison to other healthy cooking, allergy-free, and gluten-free folks! Ingredients are gracing my blog today that have never shown their face here before, like parmesan cheese and tomatoes and Tofutti!  So, I took the liberty of adding "special diet" notes to each recipe to make it easier for all my regular food intolerance-laden readers to navigate these recipes.  

Before I forget to mention it, your next BSI hostess will be the marvelously creative and upbeat Aubree Cherie from Living Free.  After reading this round up, be sure to check out her blogfor the reveal of week 58's Blogger Secret Ingredient and all the challenge rules!  I'm awfully excited about her ingredient, because it is one that I really love love love... I can't wait to enter!

Okay, enough talk, bring on the food!

This was really hard, and so much fun.  These recipes all looked incredible. But one recipe won my heart:  Raw Marinated Artichoke Salad by Jody at VegChic! I totally loved this idea; I would have never thought to use raw artichoke in a salad. It is also the recipe that comes closest to my dietary restrictions, which I have to admit makes it much more appealing! I feel it truly celebrated the unique qualities of this interesting vegetable, and taps into a culinary tradition - Greek cuisine - that I love!  So congrats Jody, your under-the-wire submission took my breath away in a photo finish, and made you the winner. As promised, you will win a 4 oz bottle of Dad's Original Blend Seasoning, a spice mix made by my very own dad!  I will contact you regarding shipping.


Raw Marinated Artichoke Salad

by Jody, VegChic

Special diet: vegan, gluten-free option (use GF tamari), corn-free, soy-free option (use Coconut aminos or azuki/chickpea tamari), egg-free, dairy-free, sugar-free




HOnorable mention:

Stuffed Artichokes

by Christina, Dinner at Christina's

Special diet: vegetarian, corn-free, soy-free, sugar-free, gluten-free option (use very fine GF bread crumbs), rice-free, nightshade-free



Savory Morrocan Lentil Soup

by Katie, Making Food and Other Stuff

Special diet: vegan, gluten-free, corn-free, soy-free, sugar-free, rice-free, dairy-free, egg-free, grain-free, citrus-free


Baby Artichoke Salad with Cheater's Creamy Curry Dressing

by Alisa, One Frugal Foodie

Special diet: vegetarian, vegan, corn-free, sugar-free, gluten-free, rice-free, nightshade-free





Artichoke Pizza

by Beth, Biggest Diabetic Loser

Special diet: vegetarian, corn-free, sugar-free, rice-free, citrus free, nut free

Italian Herb Green Beans & Artichoke Dressing

by Amy Stanley, adapted from the Penzey's Spice Catalog
Serves 4

Special diet: egg-free, sugar-free, corn-free, nut-free, soy-free, dairy-free option (use dairy-free cheese), gluten-free option (use GF breadcrumbs), vegan option (use vegan cheese), nightshade free, rice-free, citrus-free

1 lb fresh green beans
1 (14 ounce) jar artichokes (including the juice)
1 cup fresh breadcrumbs
1/2 cup olive oil
1/2 cup parmesan cheese
2 teaspoons Italian herb seasoning or pasta sprinkle seasoning
salt & pepper

Preheat oven to 350°.  Steam green beans until tender and place in a bowl.

Add artichokes, breaking up if needed. Mix in bread crumbs, olive oil, Parmesan cheese, Italian Herb Mix and salt and pepper to taste.

Bake in a casserole dish 25-30 minutes, until bubbly and lightly browned.


Dairy-Free Artichoke and Spinach Dip

By Geri Tucker

Special diet: dairy-free, grain-free, gluten-free, sugar-free, corn-free, egg-free, nut-free, vegan, rice-free, nightshade-free option (use carrot)

1/2 cup small diced onion
1 Tbsp olive oil
1 Tbsp diced red pimiento or small chopped carrot
2 cloves fresh pressed garlic

Saute those ingredients in pan and add...

1/2 cup chopped fresh spinach

Continue to saute till wilted then add...

 2 cups chopped canned artichoke hearts

And then add...

 1 carton of Dairy Free Tofutti Cream Cheese
1 carton of Toffutti sour cream
1/2 teaspoon dill weed
Salt to taste

Serve hot or cold with pita chips, crackers or crusty bread! 

Insalata di Pollo con Carciofi (Chicken Salad with Artichokes) 

by Kim Christensen, Affairs of Living

Special diet: gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, egg-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, grain-free, nut-free, nightshade-free, rice-free, citrus-free

Pesto di Carciofi (Artichoke Pesto)

by Kim Christensen, Affairs of Living

Special diet: gluten-free, soy-free, corn-free, egg-free, dairy-free, sugar-free, grain-free, nut-free, nightshade-free, rice-free, citrus-free


Thanks for participating everyone! It was really fun to host the BSI event, and I hope to participate in more in the future.  I hope that you all enjoyed this event as much as I did! 

Week 58 Host: Aubree Cherie from Living Free  


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Reader Comments (5)

I wish I would have had time to participate in this one, but now I'm excited to have some great artichoke recipes to start with! Everything looks so tasty :)

~Aubree Cherie

May 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAubree Cherie

Great round up!! Thanks again for hosting this week! :D

May 3, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterBiz

Congrats to the winner! I didn't even know you could eat artichokes raw! How cool!

Thanks for honorable mention! Woo that's the closest I've ever come to winning so I'll cherish it! :D

Thanks for hosting, I thought it was a great ingredient!

Seriously yum! Great job with the round up :)

May 4, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterAlisa

I was walking by the artichokes in Whole Foods all week thinking maybe I should give it a shot. I'm not going to lie... I chickened out. But I'm absolutely taking the plunge and trying these recipes. I can't believe how delicious that pizza looks.

May 5, 2010 | Unregistered CommenterKim Trick
Sorry, no comments/questions allowed right now.
Hi reader! My schedule as full-time grad student with two part-time jobs doesn't allow me the time to manage comments. I hope you enjoy what you find and can figure out answers to any questions you may have. xo