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. 

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: Breakfast & Brunch (30)


Blueberry Soaked Oatmeal Smoothie (gluten-free, vegan, ACD, raw


The secret to this smoothie's magical color is frozen blueberries. Whenever there is an abundance of natural color, there is usually an abundance of vitamins, minerals, antioxidants, and other great stuff. This smoothie is no exception, and I feel lucky to have access to such nutritional wealth! And to top it off, the opulent indigo hue makes me feel fancy, like I'm drinking some kind of beverage fit for royalty. 

In addition to the rich color, this smoothie boasts a wonderfully creamy texture, a result of blending the blueberries with soaked steel cut oatmeal and hemp seeds.  Soaking does more than soften the oats for easier blending -  it also breaks down the phytic acid and allows for easier digestion.  Hemp seeds to not contain phytic acid, and are easily assimilate by the body and do not need to be soaked. 

If you've never used hemp seeds, this smoothie is an easy way to start.  For more information about hemp seeds, I recommend reading this post by Food Renegade. According to the post,

Hemp seeds contain all the essential amino acids — those building blocks of protein which our body can not manufacture on its own. Flax seed also contains all the essential amino acids, but unlike flax seed, 65% of the protein found in hemp seeds is globulin edistin.  What is globulin edistin? It’s a simple protein that our bodies need to build the immunoglobulins necessary to repel infection. The best way to ensure your body has enough amino acid materials to build these globulins is to eat foods high in globulin proteins.   [see References for source]

Pretty cool, right?  With each sweet sip, you are getting all sorts of things your body needs.  It has a beneficial balance of complex carbohydrates, protein, and fat, and provides bioavailable nutrition that will keep you satisfied. I love this smoothie as a breakfast-on-the-go - as long as you do a little planning ahead the night before to soak your grains and nuts/seeds, it takes mere moments to prepare in a busy morning. It would also make a great recovery drink for after a good exercise routine.

I'm including this recipe in February's SOS Kitchen Challenge, which features stevia. My co-host Ricki and I are encouraging our readers to use stevia in delicious, sugar-free recipes this month. Four lucky participants will receive a stevia prize from NuNaturals, our favorite brand of stevia. 

Each prize contains:

For full Challenge guidelines, please see this post, then check out the Linky below the recipe to enter your recipe in the round-up and be eligible for the giveaway! Good luck, and we can't wait to see what you make with stevia this month. 


This recipe is linked to  Slightly Indulgent Tuesday at Simply Sugar & Gluten-Free, written by Amy Green. As a side note, Amy just released her new cookbook and it looks fantastic, so check it out!


Blueberry Soaked Oatmeal Smoothie

yield: 2 cups 

I use hemp seeds in this smoothie.  Hemp seeds are high in protein, omega fatty acids, and amino acids, and have a nutty, warm flavor that I love. Unlike other nuts and seeds, they do not contain phytic acid, an antinutrient that can inhibit digestion. If you do not like, have or tolerate hemp seeds, feel free to use 2 Tbsp of any other nut or seed, and soak them with the oats to break down the phytic acid and allow for optimal digestion (and creamier blending).

  • 1/4 cup gluten-free steel cut oats, soaked for 6-12 hours in 1 1/2 cups water and 1 tsp raw cider vinegar, raw coconut vinegar, whey, or lemon juice
  • 1 cup frozen blueberries
  • 2 Tbsp hemp seeds
  • 1 cup filtered water
  • 1 Tbsp finely ground flax seed or chia seed
  • 2 tsp flax oil or hemp oil
  • plain or vanilla stevia liquid, to taste (I like NuNaturals brand)

Place steel cut oats with 1 1/2 cups water and acidic medium in a bowl, cover lightly with a cloth, and let soak for 6-12 hours. Drain and very rinse well.

Place soaked oats and all remaining ingredients in blender, and blend on high until smooth. Sweeten with stevia to taste. Serve immediately,  or refrigerate until ready to serve.


February SOS Kitchen Challenge: Stevia



Cinnamon Raisin Granola (gluten-free, vegan, cane sugar-free)


Here's another one for this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, which features coconut oil. Granted, there isn't a lot of coconut oil in this granola, but it is still in there!  Coconut oil is definitely my preferred oil of choice for such kitchen endeavors. But despite my deep love for coconut oil, I don't see the need to drown my granola with it! There are lots of recipes out there for granola calling for upwards of 1/4 cup of oil for a comparable amount of oats and other ingredients, which I think is total overkill and leads to very heavy granola. I like what the combination of a little coconut oil with cashew butter does in this recipe. The cashew butter adds great flavor, fabulous protein, the combination of fats allow the oats to crisp up and turn golden without being heavy or greasy.  

I came up with this recipe for a friend who was having a serious granola craving, and she and her husband both loved how easy it is to make and how delicious it tastes. I hope you enjoy it as much as they do.  Granola is perfect for breakfasts, snacks, or to sprinkle over everything from homemade coconut milk ice cream to rice porridge. 

If you are interested in participating in this month's SOS Kitchen Challenge, read the kick-off post HERE and then get cookin'. This month we are giving away a quart of Tropical Traditions Gold Label Virgin Coconut Oil to one lucky participant. 

This recipe is also linked to...




Cinnamon Raisin Granola

yield 4-5 cups

This easy-to-make granola is nutty, sweet, and spicy. If cashew butter isn't your thing, try tahini, sunflower seed butter, almond butter, or another butter of your choosing. The unbaked granola "dough" will taste sweeter than the finished granola does after it is baked, so add a little more sweetener while making to taste than you might think you should - it will bake up perfect then.

  • 4 cups gluten-free rolled oats (NOT quick cook)
  • 1 1/2 tsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 pinches finely ground sea salt
  • 3/4 cup organic apple juice 
  • 1/2 cup roasted cashew butter (or other nut or seed butter)
  • 1/4-1/2 cup honey, agave nectar, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup, to taste (if desired, use only 1/4 cup sweetener plus stevia, to taste)
  • 2 Tbsp coconut oil
  • 1 cup raisins (a mixture of purple, red, and golden raisins would be pretty)

Preheat oven to 325º F and line a baking sheet with parchment.

Mix together oats, salt, and cinnamon in a large bowl and set aside.  Whisk together apple juice, cashew butter, sweetener, coconut oil, and cinnamon in a small saucepan. Heat over low flame, whisking constantly to mix.  Once is starts to thicken slightly, remove from heat. 

Immediately pour warm cashew butter mixture over dry ingredients and stir. Spread mixture evenly onto a baking sheets. Mixture should be no more than 1/2-inch thick, so if your baking sheet is too small, line another sheet and spread mixture onto two pans.

Place in oven and bake for an hour to and hour and fifteen minutes, stirring every 15 minutes, until golden and crisp (if using two pans in the oven, rotate between oven racks each time you stir). Remove from oven and let cool completely, then stir in dried fruit and store in a well-sealed jar or container. 

If kept well-sealed, this will keep fresh for 2 weeks. 

january 2011 SOS Kitchen Challenge: coconut oil


Celebrating a Florida Christmas with Sweet Green Smoothies and Maple-Candied Bacon


I am spending the holiday weekend in Orlando, Florida, hanging out at my brother and sister-in-law's cozy little apartment. My parents drove down from Wisconsin and I flew down from Minnesota, and the warm Florida sunshine is a welcome departure from the wildly snowy, grey weather up north.  The weather in Florida has been marvelous, perfect for sitting outside playing cribbage and telling stories, going on walks, and simply enjoying the sunshine. I forgot that there are many parts of the world where things remain colorful, sunny, and green all year round, and this has reminded me that I need to get away to warm places more often during the cold Minnesota winters. I don't even want to think about the snow back home, and I'm sure my parents don't either. I mean really, when this snowy mess (otherwise known as my parents' house) is what the northern Midwest has to offer right now, why wouldn't we want to see all this beautiful color that Florida has to offer?

Why deal with this in Wisconsin and MInnesota when you could have warm, sunny weather and flowers in Florida?

little purple loveliesmy brother and mepalms at Christmastime! Hibiscus are one of my favorite flowers.I'm always amazed at the way that trees become habitats for so many other plants and animals, especially in warm climates. This tree had lichen and two other varieties of plants growing on the bark. Amazing.

Of course, since this is a food blog, I have to talk about what we have eaten thus far. We have eaten lots of great food together so far.  My mom brought down their Vitamix, so we have been able to make lots of delicious green smoothies.  The warmer temperatures left me craving fruit and raw foods, which is an unusual departure from  my normal winter desires for warm stews, meatloaf, and starch!  So, the smoothies were a welcome addition.  In addition to smoothies, I have made lots of other things, like roasted butternut squash, seared Brussels sprouts with apples, chickpea and celery spread, roasted cauliflower and broccoli, and a wonderful clean-out-the-fridge leftover soup. I made awesome red curry with chicken, squid, and fresh vegetables, served with quinoa (I will share that recipe soon!).  And my dad made grilled salmon and grilled mahi mahi that brought us to our knees.

Since the holiday always makes me want to bake, I did spend plenty of time whipping up sweet treats to satisfy the cookie craving. I made raw "trail mix" truffles, a nice mixture of a Larabar, dried apple juice-sweetened cranberries, homemade trail mix, and coconut oil.  We ate those on Christmas Eve instead of cookies, and they absolutely satisfied everyone's taste buds.  Later on, I dug through the pantries and my mom's snack box, and managed to throw together a really delicious breakfast scone/biscuit/cookie thing, made from freshly ground rice flour, oatmeal, apple sauce, finely shredded carrot, among other things.  Everyone loved it, and I'm going to refine that recipe and share it in my  next recipe collection.  

But the real star of the kitchen thus far has undeniably been the maple-candied bacon we ate on Christmas morning, accompanied by green smoothies.  


Click to read more ...


May Day Blueberry Crumb Cake (gluten-free, vegan)

Much to my surprise, I just found this completed post in my drafts section. I had written it all the way back in May and thought I had scheduled it to post, but apparently, I forgot! So, here it is, much delayed, but still delicious.  I have made this a couple of times since, each time with slight tweaks, and it has always been delicious. Enjoy!

On Sunday I marched in the annual MayDay Parade.  Every year in Minneapolis, everyone comes out to the streets to see a wild procession of larger than life puppets and celebrate the renewed energy and rebirth of Spring. It is incredible, and this year I marched in a rowdy marching band with a bunch of people that I played music with last fall.  It fulfilled my childhood dream of playing viola in a marching band - we had a whole marching string section! We also  had a banjo, accordions, a big brass section, a ton of drummers, and a flag twirling color guard. Our parade section theme color was blue and silver, and some very talented people made us beautiful costumes to wear.  It was incredible.

We were having a big grill out brunch before the parade. Inspired by the blue color theme and the communal brunch, I wanted to bring a blueberry coffee cake to share.  

So I did.

I showed up to this brunch feast with fresh coffee cake, snap peas, raw sauerkraut, and a couple chicken sausages in hand, and was greeted with a table FULL of food, a grill going, and a backyard full of people. This backyard is huge, and has gardens, a chicken coop, and a hand-built little cottage that someone lives in with a wood stove inside.  A seriously great space.  The feast was incredible. Everything was homemade (with the exception of some very out of place Pringles and PopTarts).  Sliced beets, zucchini, and other veggies were on the grill. Fresh fruit was on the table. Pear crisp and banana bread joined my bread, along with homemade pancakes, fresh yogurt, egg bake, and hardboiled eggs. There was a big pot of brown rice with curry. There was pasta salad. There were roasted potatoes. Sure, I couldn't eat all of it, but it was a site to behold. I snapped a shot at the end, when most stuff was gone... including my cake, whose nearly empty pan is in the front left corner.  

Pre-parade feast.

Lining up before the parade begins. So many accordions! My dream come true.

My amazing parade uniform cape, from the back.

Click to read more ...


Grain-Free Chocolate Pumpkinseed Bread (gluten-free, ACD)


I've been experimenting with eating grain-free the last few weeks.   By grain-free I obviously mean gluten-free, but also free of gluten-free grains like sorghum and oats and the grain-like seeds quinoa, millet, buckwheat, teff, and amaranth.  

Why am I doing this, you ask?

Lately I have noticed that when I eat grains, I feel quite imbalanced.  Despite the fact that energetically grains are very grounding and stabilizing, somehow that gets screwed up for me. My blood sugar goes wacky. My cravings and appetite become insatiable. My emotions seem to spike more. Once I start, I can't stop, and find myself eating half a bag of rice cakes or 3 muffins in a row or massive bowls of rice. AH! I have carb problems!  I was also feeling a massive flare up in my Lyme symptoms, was suffering crazy sinus congestion (one of my main allergy symptoms), and felt very sluggish digestively.  I knew I needed to make a change and focus on a diet high in protein and healthy fats and low in carbs. 

So, I went grain free. Conveniently, I have recently learned that I tolerate small amounts of duck egg.  So, I decided to try my hand at a bit of high protein baking with coconut flour and duck eggs. Victory!  After making a great batch of plain bread, I made a beautiful loaf of chocolate bread that turned out very well.  In fact, I loved it more than pretty much any loaf of grain-containing bread I've ever made, aside from this one. I was amazed! The flavor and texture was so fantastic and rich, and it looked beautiful.  And it sliced. Like REAL bread. Wow.


Click to read more ...