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. 

Entries in Recipes: Breakfast & Brunch (30)


Super Seed Granola and Cultured Homemade Oat Milk (gluten-free, vegan, ACD)

Those of us here in the US of A are celebrating our nation's independence day on Sunday.  That means we get a nice, long holiday weekend, with no work on Monday! Hooray.  Long weekends are perfect for leisurely breakfasts and relaxing mornings, and what could possibly be better for such a thing than a bowl of homemade granola soaked in homemade cultured oat milk, topped off with juicy fresh raspberries?  With an extra day of vacation thrown in the mix, you might even have the time to try out a new recipe.  So read on, my friend, and learn how to make an awesome breakfast perfect for a lazy holiday weekend.

For this granola, I used oats and brown rice flakes, pumpkin and hemp seeds, some shredded coconut, and spices. I sweetened it with apple juice and stevia. One cup of apple juice has about 35 grams of sugar, which is a lot if one were to drink it plain. But spread out over an entire BATCH of granola, it only contributes about 2 grams of sugar per 1/2 cup serving.  Not bad, huh?  

It is full of complex carbs, healthy fats, lots of fiber, and packs in over 10 grams of protein per serving.   It is also a great source of omega fatty acids, phosphorus, thiamin, copper, magnesium, and manganese, and potassium (270 mg per serving). Serve with non-dairy or dairy milk or yogurt, over shredded jicama (surprisingly tasty!) or fresh fruit, or as a snack all on its own.  Where else can it come in handy?

  • Take on car, train, or plane trips for healthy travel snacks on the go.
  • Pack in your child's school lunches for a totally nut-free, classroom friendly snack
  • Keep a small snack-sized baggie or jar in your purse or backpack to combat nasty low blood sugar moments while you're out and about. 
  • Keep a jar at work to snack on during those crazy meeting-filled days! 
  • Great for busy students - you could easily make large batches on the cheap!
  • Keep some in the car to have in case of emergency breakdowns 
  • Perfect energizing snack before or after the gym

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Some new foods and Loaded Strawberry Lemon Poppyseed Bread (gluten free, dairy free, ACD)

First,  I have two words: duck eggs.

Second, I am happy to say that the noble lemon has found its way back into to my diet.

Third, the Minneapolis Farmers Market has the most beautiful strawberries in the whole world.

And fourth?  These three foods have made my culinary life much more interesting lately.

Ah yes, I'm reintroducing foods again, for better or worse.  So far, it is only for the better - I think - so I'll just keep rolling with it, and hope that it never seems worse.

In the meantime, I am taking full advantage of my new foods.  It is so exciting to have access to this incredible trio of ingredients! Let's start with the duck eggs. Minneapolis has multiple places to easily purchase duck eggs: the Seward Co-op, Traditional Foods of Minnesota, and the Minneapolis Farmers Market.  This is absolutely incredible and makes me feel über fortunate.  After deciding to take the plunge and try them, I was first a little perplexed - I haven't cooked with eggs in two years, and really didn't know what to do! So, my first duck egg experience was simple: scrambled with fresh herbs and arugula from my garden, finished with smoked sea salt.

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Invisible Spinach Smoothie (gluten-free, vegan, ACD, raw) 

Hey, where's the spinach in this smoothie? It sure doesn't look green. In fact, this smoothie is a rather unappealing fleshy purple-tan color, not spinach-like at all! But trust me, there's LOTS of spinach in there!

I made this smoothie yesterday for a quick lunch to take with me while I worked on my garden. It was sweet and lovely, shockingly filling, and the perfect lunch-on-the-go, especially for something like gardening when you don't want a big heavy meal in your stomach.  And check out the great light on this jar, right? I wish I could shoot food outside more often!

I hope that you are making lots of tasty things with spinach too.  If you are, you should submit them to the  SOS Kitchen Challenge!  Spinach is this month's ingredient of choice, and you get to make it sweet, or savory! Submit your spinach recipe by May 20th, and check out all the instructions on this page.  Ricki and I can't wait to see what you make!

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S.O.S. Kitchen Challenge Kick-Off: Caramelized Onion, Beet, and Rhubarb Compote. Can you "beet" that?!

Following a special diet - whether because of allergies or other conditions - can sometimes feel like an insurmountable challenge. As two people who’ve both been there (and are still there!), Ricki of Diet, Dessert and Dogs and I understand how important it is to find delicious, appealing recipes to keep you motivated and committed when you’ve cut out certain ingredients from your diet.

That’s why we’ve teamed up to offer the SOS (Sweet or Savory) Kitchen Challenge blog event!

The new SOS Kitchen Challenge invites you to create delicious dishes based on one key ingredient each time. You can choose either sweet or savory dishes (or both) for the event.  At the end of the month, Ricki and I will gather all the submissions and post them in a roundup on both our blogs—so your recipe will get double the exposure! The resulting roundup will offer a single stop where health-conscious readers can find a collection of yummy dishes to try. 

Help us showcase how tantalizing and delectable healthy foods can be!  


This month’s ingredient is BEETS!

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Sprouted Buckwheat Gluten-Free Blini with Smoked Salmon, Cucumber, and Pumpkin Seed Cream (gluten free, ACD, vegan option)


I think I'm going to start a Sunday brunch series.  Not only is a wonderful brunch a great way to start the week, it is also one of the only times I have the opportunity to make use of natural light to photography food! Seriously - a little sun makes all the difference!  Last week I had Salmon & "Eggs"Scramble.  Today? Buckwheat blini, baby.  Gluten-free blini.  Sprouted, even.  With smoked salmon.  And pumpkin seed cream. Yum.

It seems appropriate to follow up my Russian Salad from the other day with blini, another Russian culinary contribution.  These little blini may not be as light and fluffy and magical as "real" blini, but for a blini made without yeast, gluten, eggs, or dairy, I think they are pretty darn good.  I like using the same basic soaked and sprouted blended grain technique I used for my waffles as I do for making pancakes and blini.  They are soft and moist, not too heavy, and have a lovely, light buckwheat flavor that isn't too strong.  I love buckwheat, but it can be a little overwhelming sometimes; I cut the buckwheat with some quinoa for a milder flavor.  I think I will probably continue to tweak this blini recipe some as time goes on (as we cooks do) but here is the first published version.  I have a couple other tricks up my sleeve I think could help make these a wee bit fluffier.

Next time I plan to serve this with a little hijiki caviar.  There are many recipes like this one floating around online.  I have made it using a recipe from Myra Kornfield's The Voluptuous Vegan on a number of occasions, and adore it.  Sadly, my seaweed stash is running a little low at the moment, so no "caviar" for me this morning.  That's okay though, because I had some tasty pumpkin seed cream (my substitute for craime fraiche), sliced cucumber, and a lovely greens salad with azuki miso & mustard vinaigrette to go with it.  

Vegan? Omit the salmon!  Try substituting with thin slices of your favorite lentil or bean loaf, or if you tolerate soy, roasted tempeh or tofu steaks. Or, just serve with cream and a batch of that tasty caviar.

Perfect for breakfasts and brunches, or for the perennial favorite of breakfast-for-dinner, this is a healthy, delicious meal you can feel good about.  And it is easy too!  

So, again, I'll say it: 

Приятного аппетита (prijatnogo appetita)!

Gluten-Free Sprouted Buckwheat Blini with Smoked Salmon, Cucumber, and Pumpkin Seed Cream

Make it: buckwheat blini, pumpkin seed cream

Buy it: smoked salmon, thinly sliced cucumber, capers, fresh dill sprigs or dry dill, freshly cracked pepper

To serve as a breakfast or brunch, arrange individual portions of each ingredients on plates, allowing each person to make their own blini stacks.  If desired, serve with a greens salad.

To use as an appetizer, make appetizer-size blini variation (see recipe below).  Stack one cucumber slice, a bit of smoked salmon, a dollop of cream, a caper, and a bit of dill on top.  If desired, sprinkle with freshly cracked pepper and fleur de sel.   Arrange on a tray, and serve.  Bite size blini beauty!


yield 20-22 4" blini

3/4 cup whole buckwheat groats

3/4 cup whole quinoa grains


3/4 cup non-dairy milk (or water)

2 tsp baking powder

1 Tbsp flax meal

2 Tbsp light olive oil, grapeseed oil, or melted ghee

2 Tbsp buckwheat flour

1 tsp salt

optional: 5 drops stevia liquid (I like SweetLeaf)

Rinse quinoa and buckwheat grains, and place in a large bowl.  Cover with 4 cups of water, and let soak for up to 12 hours.  Drain and rinse well, rubbing grains together.

Place soaked grains in a blender, and level off.  Pour in just enough water to cover grains, and blend until grains are almost completely chopped up (if using a Vita-Mix or some other high powered blender, do not use the High setting, go only as high as highest setting in Low).  Add 3/4 cup milk/water, oil, flax, salt, flour, and stevia, and blend until totally smooth.  Let sit for 5 minutes.

Heat a non-stick griddle over medium-low heat until a drop of batter sizzles.  Spoon about 2-3 Tbsp of batter per pancake onto griddle, and cook until surface bubbles, edges peel away from pan, and top is set, about 3-4 minutes.  Flip, and cook again for 4-6 minutes, until golden and slightly crisp (cooking time may depend on your griddle and heat setting, use your best judgement).  Transfer to a parchment lined pan in a 150º F oven as you remove them from the griddle.  Let blini warm oven for 15-20 minutes before serving - it will help set up the blini so they aren't mushy in the middle, and will soften the crisp edges so they become pliable.  It is worth the wait, I promise!

Remove from oven, and let cool slightly.  Serve with salmon, or serve as desired.  Leftovers freeze very well.

Appetizer Size Variation (2-inch)

Spoon 1 Tbsp of batter onto griddle, and cook for 2-3 minutes, then flip and cook an additional 2-3, then place in oven.  Yields LOTS and LOTS of little blini, at least 45 of them.  



yield 1 cup 

Pumpkin seeds have a very strong flavor.  If you find the taste of pumpkin seeds do not agree with you, substitute all or part of the seeds with cashews, almonds, sunflower seeds, or hemp seeds for a milder flavor.

1 cup pumpkin seeds

1/2 cup unsweetened non-dairy milk (or water)

1/2 tsp dry dill weed

1/4 tsp dry ground mustard

1/4 tsp salt

1/4-1/2 tsp vitamin C crystals, to taste

3 drops stevia liquid (I like SweetLeaf) - the stevia helps cut the bitterness of the pumpkin seeds

Place 1/2 cup pumpkin seeds and all other ingredients in a blender, pulse a few times, then blend.  With blender running add remaining pumpkin seeds.  Stop blender and scrape sides as necessary, and blend on high until smooth.   Store leftovers in refrigerator.