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 These days, I'm in a new phase of life, and this website is no longer updated.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: Breads and Baking (41)


Triple Buckwheat Bean Bread (yeast free, gluten free, vegan)

Featuring buckwheat flour, kasha, and whole buckwheat groats, this is a whole grain bread for buckwheat lovers! It is dense and just moist enough, and has a nice crisp crust. It slices like a dream and can be whipped up in a jiffy. Perfect! The strong flavors of the buckwheat and garfava flour meld well, and give a full, unique flavor. If you don't like buckwheat, or bean flours, this is not the bread for you. 

I love baking with buckwheat flour; it is a great source of fiber, protein, and is a low glycemic, gluten-free grain that can help stabilize blood sugar. The addition of the kasha* and the whole groats add a great texture and a little crunch. Want to know more about the nutritional benefits of buckwheat? Check out this page from World's Healthiest Foods! The garfava flour adds an extra boost of protein, and flax adds healthy fiber. The end result is a high fiber, high protein, low glycemic bread. Plus, this bread is versatile - feel free to embellish with herbs and seasonings of your choice, or optional add-ins listed below! Delicious toasted or as is, serve with soups, spread with your favorite nut or seed butter, or use for mini sandwiches. Enjoy!

TRIPLE BUCKWHEAT BEAN BREAD (yeast free, gluten free, vegan)
yield 1 9"x5" loaf 

2/3 c buckwheat flour
1/3 c garfava or garbanzo flour
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 tsp baking powder
1/4 tsp vitamin C crystals
1/2 tsp salt
2 T ground flax seed
1/4 c uncooked kasha/creamy buckwheat cereal*
1/4 c uncooked whole buckwheat groats
optional: 1 tsp dried herbs, spices, or seasonings of choice
2 T olive oil
1 1/4 c water/juice/milk substitute
1/2 c finely grated carrot or zucchini
1/4 c ground or chopped nuts or seeds
1/2 c currants, raisins, or chopped dried fruit

Preheat oven to 375* F. Oil a small loaf pan (approx 8 x 4 x 2 1/2), and dust with garfava flour.

In large bowl, mix together flours, flax seed, baking soda, baking powder, vitamin C crystals, salt, and any optional herbs/spices/seasonings. Whisk briskly to introduce air and mix well. Add kasha and whole groats and mix again. Create a well in the middle of flour mixture.

Pour oil and water into well, and stir into flour mixture until just evenly moistened. Gently fold in grated carrot/zucchini, nuts, or dried fruit if using. Pour batter into prepared pan, and bake for 50-55 minutes, or until golden brown and toothpick inserted in middle comes out clean.  Remove from oven, and allow to cool in pan on cooling rack for 10 minutes. Remove bread from pan and place on cooling rack. Let cool completely before slicing, use serrated knife for best results.

Approximate nutritional information per serving (8 servings/loaf, made with water, no added fruit/nuts): 105 calories, 4 g fat, 16 g carb, 6.5 g fiber, 4 g protein


*Kasha is coarsely ground buckwheat groats. I like Wolff's Kasha the best, it is toasted and flavorful. Bob's Red Mill also makes a great creamy buckwheat cereal. If you can't find kasha, pan toast whole groats until then are brown and fragrant. Then blitz a few times in a coffee grinder, food processor, or blender until coarsely ground.



Spiced Sweet Potato Quick Bread (gluten free, yeast free, vegan)

I pulled together this recipe not for myself, but for my celiac childhood friend and my gluten-intolerant landlady. I had some sweet potato that needed to be used, a bunch of flours, and an open afternoon, so why not bake for friends? This is an adapted version of the Pumpkin Spice Bread recipe from the Food Allergy Survival Guide. While it isn't something I can eat right now, and I actually didn't even try it,the report from my landlady is that this bread is perfectly spiced, has a sweet honey flavor, is totally sliceable, and was decadent smeared with goat butter. She said it was just a little crumbly, but in a good way. I can attest to the fact that it smelled amazing while it baked. My other friend said it became dry quickly, but she loved the taste.

The flour mix is way more complex than I usually go for - it uses 6 different flours - but the results were really positive. The loaf was dense, raised like a gem, and removed from the pan very easily. If you want to simplify the flours, go forth at your own risk - I'm not sure what will happen! I made a double batch, and cooked half in a large loaf pan, and the other half in two mini loaf pans (mini loaves baked 40-50 minutes). Both looked lovely! This recipe would make great muffins too, probably baking for 20-25 minutes. I chose to add pecans and currants, but feel free to mix it up - try dried cranberries, golden raisins, or snipped dried apricots, or chopped walnuts, brazil nuts, or hazelnuts. Or, try adding a handful of chocolate or carob chips!

Sorry the photo is so awful, but at least it gives an idea! :)

Spiced Sweet Potato Quick Bread (gluten free, vegan)

 3/4 c pureed cooked sweet potato
1/2 raw honey (substitute raw agave nectar if hardcore vegan or if you require low GI)
1/3 c canola or sunflower oil
1/4 c unsweetened natural applesauce
1/4-1/2 c apple juice
1 c homemade all-purpose flour mix (equal parts millet, sorghum, and brown rice flours)
1/4 c tapioca flour/starch
1/4 c garfava flour
1/4 c quinoa flour
1 1/2 tsp corn-free baking powder
1 1/2 tsp baking soda
1 t cinnamon
1 t ginger
1/2 t allspice
1/2 t salt
1 tsp guar gum
optional: 1/2 c chopped pecans
optional: 1/2 c currants or dried cranberries

Preheat oven to 325 F. Oil a large loaf pan (8 1/2 in x 4 1/4 in x 3 1/8 in) and dust with rice flour.

In a large bowl, combine sweet potato, oil, honey, applesauce, and 1/4 c of apple juice. Mix until smooth and well combined.In a medium bowl, whisk flours, baking soda, baking powder, guar gum, spices, and salt.
Gradually add dry ingredients to wet, beating at low speed. Add more apple juice as needed to get a smooth batter.Fold in currants and pecans if using.

Spoon batter in prepared loaf pan, and smooth top. If desired, sprinkle with additional finely chopped pecans! Bake for 60-70 minutes, or until toothpick inserted into middle of loaf comes out clean. If top is browning too much and loaf is still soft in center, cover loosely with foil until loaf is fully baked.

Remove from oven, and let cool 10-15 minutes in pan, then gently transfer loaf to a cooling rack. Let it cool completely before slicing with a serrated knife.




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.


It's gettin' steamy in here: Steamed Sigtebrod a.k.a. Danish Spiced "Rye" Bread (gluten free, vegan)

I've been wanting to try my hand at making a gluten free steamed bread for quite some time now. Baking buns, biscuits, breads and puddings with steam is a very traditional way of baking that isn't done very commonly here in U.S., with the exception of Boston Brown Bread. But in other cultures, it is a standard, everyday way of preparing baked goods! In India, there is the dhokla, a steamed bread made of besan (chickpea) flour, yogurt, and spices. In Kenya, millet and sorghum are fermented, and then steamed into biscuits. In the UK and Australia, steamed puddings and cakes are common special occasion treats. In China and Japan, rice flour dough is filled with various sweet and savory ingredients, and steamed into little buns and mochi.

Many steamed recipes are naturally free of eggs, gluten, and dairy, due to the traditional cuisine of cultures who steam. A perfect solution for those of us on special diets! Steamed breads don't require added fats or oils, so they are great for people watching their fat intake. Plus, you don't need to use the oven! All you need is boiling water, a large covered pot, a can or baking tin of some kind, and a couple hours to sit back and let your bread steam over a low flame. Simple!

I've been wanting to try out this recipe for dhokla, but I'm in the midst of a detox, and all dairy is out the window for the next month. While I could adapt it to be dairy free, I really crave the tang of goat yogurt with the besan flour. So, February will be dhokla month (if I don't cave and make a dairy free version before then). Instead, I decided to adapt a steamed bread recipe from The Allergy Self-Help Cookbook, by Marjorie Hurt Jones. I would highly recommend this cookbook - not only does it have a wide variety of recipes that are free of all the most common allergens, it also has tons of great, useful information about ingredients, substitutions, basic nutrition, food families, rotary diets, etc etc etc. The recipes are delicious, clever, easy, and don't use lots and lots of crazy, expensive hard-to-find ingredients.

Rather than make the sweet, fruit-studded rice and sunflower seed bread from Marjorie's recipe, I decided to throw in a Danish twist. In my gluten-eating days, I was always a sucker for a dark, heavy rye-based loaf, laced with caraway, dill, or fennel. I can't help it, I'm a Dane through and through. I've been craving the deep taste of a heavy, dark loaf - so, I decided to make a gluten-free, yeast-free steamed version of sigtebrod, a traditional Danish spiced rye bread. To emulate the rich flavor and color of rye, I chose a healthful blend of buckwheat, millet, amaranth, and carob flour. I used a traditional combination of spices from this recipe. To fit my allergies, I omitted the orange zest, but you should use it! Throwing back to Marjorie's recipe, I included ground almonds extra protein, and dark agave nectar replaces the sigtebrod's traditional molasses.

The result? A moist, dense loaf, studded with aromatic seeds, boasting a rich flavor, dark rye-like appearance, and lots of fiber and protein. Plus, a thick slice has as much vitamin C as glass of orange juice, thanks to vitamin C crystals. All in all, this bread packs a nutritious punch in a fun, ridged cylindrical shape. You can even slice it thin.

Steamed Sigtebrod a.k.a. Danish Spiced "Rye" Bread (gluten free, vegan)

1/2 c buckwheat flour
1/4 c + 2 T millet flour
1/4 c amaranth flour
3 T carob powder
1 1/2 t baking powder*
1/2 t fennel seeds
1/2 t caraway seeds
1/2 t anise seeds
1/2 t ground cardamom
optional: 1/2 t orange zest
1/2 c almonds, or other nut
1 1/4 c boiling water or apple juice
1/4 t unbuffered vitamin C crystals** (or 1 T lemon juice or vinegar)
optional: 1 T - 1/4 c agave nectar, depending on your tastes and sugar tolerance

large covered pot or dutch oven
boiling water
1 qt baking mold or empty 1 lb can (bean tins work great!)
tin foil
rubber band/string
metal rack or empty bowl
food processor


  1. Liberally oil mold/can.
  2. In large bowl, combine flours, carob, baking soda, salt, and spices.
  3. In food processor, pulse almonds until finely ground, stirring between pulses. Add boiling water/juice, and process for 20 seconds. Add agave nectar and vitamin C crystals, and process briefly.
  4. Pour almond mixture into flour, and mix until until evenly moistened and combined. Do not overmix! If too dry, add a little more boiling water.
  5. Spoon batter into the well-oiled tin/can, leaving 1/2-1 inch between the batter and the edge of the can for bread to expand. Cover top with double layer of foil, creating a slight dome shape, leaving room for the dough to rise, and secure with rubberband/string. I did not do this and mine exploded through the foil!
  6. Place a wire rack in the large pot, and put the can on the rack. Pour in enough freshly boiled water to come half way up the sides of the can.
  7. Cover the pot, placing a towel between the pot and cover if necessary to create a tight seal. Place the pot over medium-low heat, and steam for 2 hours. Do not remove the cover while steaming!
  8. After 2 hours, remove lid, and check if bread is cooked by inserting a toothpick in the center. If it comes out clean, bread is done! If not, re-cover can with foil, steam another 10-15 minutes, and recheck.
  9. Remove mold/can from pot, remove foil, and let bread cool in the mold/can for 10-15 minutes. Transfer bread to wire rack to finish cooling completely before slicing. Once ready to slice, serrated knife works best!
  10. HINT: Have a little leftover batter, but not enough to warrant a second can? Blob leftovers onto a greased or parchment lined baking sheet, spread 3/8-1/4 inch thick, and bake 8-10 minutes at 350 F. It makes a tasty flatbread.

Serve bread slices with your favorite nut butters or spreads, use for tiny finger sandwiches, or slice thick and dish up along with a warm cup of soup. Would be delicious served with lox, mustard sauce, and capers. I think it should freeze well, so make a double batch and stash the extra loaf in the freezer for later. Nyde!


Approximate nutritional information:
Per loaf: 975 cal, 36 g fat, 145 g carbs, 22 g fiber, 30 g sugar, 30 g protein, 1,250 mg vitamin C (2083% daily value)

*If allergic to corn, make a baking powder substitute by combining 1 part arrowroot : 1 part baking soda : 1 part cream of tartar. Store in a well sealed glass jar and use in equal amounts to baking powder.

**Unbuffered vitamin C crystals make a great acid substitute for lemon juice or vinegar in recipes. According to The Allergy Self Help Cookbook, use 1/4 t unbuffered vitamin C crystals for each tablespoon on lemon juice. Marjorie suggests using vitamin C crystals equal to half the amount of baking soda. Look for vitamin C crystals, in powder form, in the vitamin department of your local health foods store or on many vitamin retail sites online, like this one.



Soft Amaranth Quinoa Buns (Gluten-free, Vegan, ACD)

I had an experiment with amaranth flour earlier this week, and while it didn't turn out exactly as I'd hoped, I think it is decent enough to post. This recipe makes 8-10 good size, flattish buns/rolls. They are chewy, moist, and flavorful, and could stand any number of added variations, like herbs, spices, chopped up dried fruit, or nuts, or substitute fruit juice for the milk/water.

These might work baked in muffin tins as well - if you try that, give it a shot and let me know how it works!

Soft Amaranth Quinoa Buns

1/2 c amaranth flour
3/4 c quinoa flour
1/2 c quinoa flakes
1 T arrowroot powder
2 T flaxmeal
1 t baking powder
1 t baking soda
2 t cream of tartar
1 t salt
1 T coconut oil (solid, not warmed)
1/2 c applesauce
1 c water, milk, or milk substitute

Preheat oven to 350 F. Grease a large cookie sheet, or line with parchment.
In large bowl, mix all dry ingredients together. Rub coconut oil into flour mixture with your fingers until well incorporated.
In a small bowl or large measuring cup, mix applesauce, and water/milk. Mix well, then gradually add to flour mixture. Stir until evenly mixed and moistened, adding more water as necessary, to create a goopy, spoonable batter. Add any optional additional seeds, nuts, fruits, etc at this point, and stir until just evenly mixed.
Spoon batter onto prepared cookie sheet, in 3-4 inch rounds. Bake for 20-25 minutes, until golden brown and firm to the touch. Remove from oven, let cool slightly, then transfer to cooling rack.

Smear as is with your favorite spread or nut butter, or slap two together and make a sandwich. Great reheated in the toaster oven - the top gets crusty and golden brown. Yum! These freeze and thaw very well.


Approximate nutritional information per bun:
125 calories, 4 g fat, 17 g carb, 2.5 g fiber, 2.5 g sugar, 3 g protein

12/31/08 update: I put two frozen and thawed buns to the test over the holiday weekend! I made a sandwich with two buns, a Sunshine Burger patty, hummus, lettuce, and cucumber slices, wrapped it in tinfoil, and took it on the road for my drive home. The sandwich held together well enough that I could eat it while driving without creating a total mess! Awesome. I was most impressed at the fact that they actually held together - no crumbling, no breaking, no lost sandwich fillings! Thaw frozen buns at room temperature, or place in toaster oven and toast for slightly longer than usual for a crisp outside and chewy inside!