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)


Sprouted Quinoa Millet Waffles (gluten free, vegan, candida friendly, sugar free, yeast free)

Right now I am eating a sprouted, gluten free, vegan, sugar free waffle that doesn't fall apart, is crispy on the outside, moist on the inside, tastes great, and is actually quite pretty.  A waffle that won't leave me feeling like I need to double over in stomach discomfort or go pass out somewhere while my body tries to digest a sugar-gluten bomb.  A waffle that is actually healthy.   Am I dreaming?  

I haven't eaten waffles in ages, because they always made me feel like crap.  We had a waffle maker in my college cafeteria, and after a few goes with that bad boy for Sunday brunch, I kind of gave up on waffles.  Like how I gave up on pancakes.  While my friends would eat stacks of crispy, golden, syrup drenched waffles or pancakes or whatever, all I could think about was that icky feeling.  Maybe I could half a waffle, or one pancake, but that was the max.  Then I discovered gluten free waffles.  But I wasn't crazy for those either - they have all sorts of weird fillers and binders that I can't or don't like to eat.  So, my involvement with waffles has been minimal.  

But yesterday, I wanted waffles, and decided I was going to make some.  I was hell bent on eating a waffle for breakfast today.  To me, it kind of seemed like the ultimate gluten free challenge. So, I went to Target and bought an electric waffle iron, started researching recipes online, and decided on a plan of action. After a TERRIBLE attempt at making waffles for dinner last night using brown rice flour - disaster - I was wondering if it was even possible.  But I was determined.  

I combined a few recipes, made my own alterations, and ended up with a totally kick ass waffle.  These seriously do not seem gluten free or vegan, in my opinion!  Fool your friends and lovers!  Instead of using flour, this recipe uses sprouted whole grain quinoa and millet.  Full of enzymes, easier to digest, and lower glycemic.  It is totally free of weird binders, full of good fiber and protein, and is really filling.   I can't eat cinnamon and nutmeg and ginger and all that stuff right now, but if you can, spice these bad boys up, and I bet they'd be killer.  I sprinkled one with sunflower seeds before cooking and that was pretty darn good too.  Make sure to plan ahead - your grains need to soak and sprout overnight, or for at least 5-6 hours, before you use them.  I made these using a little xylitol - a natural, zero glycemic, candida-friendly sweetener - but feel free to use a tablespoon or two of agave, honey, maple syrup, molasses, or brown rice syrup, if sugar is not an issue for you.  Just slightly reduce the amount of water.  Instead of water, I suppose you could use a milk substitute, or some apple or other fruit juice.  I'm thinking that these would be awfully good made savory, with herbs stirred in. Maybe a dallop of dairy-free pesto sauce added to the batter would be good, or some red pepper puree?  Hmn.

Try it out, experiment, and let me know how you make this waffle your very own!  Serve with your favorite nut butters or spreads, or if you can eat sugar, your favorite maple syrup, honey, or other sweet syrup.  Serve with cooked fruit sauces or jams.  Or make it savory and serve with a side of steamed vegetables or with soup or anything.  I ate mine this morning with steamed broccoli and toasted sunflower seeds and it was awfully good.  I'm going to make a bunch and keep in the freezer - like  my very own Eggo's!  

Ah!  Gluten free, vegan waffles!  I can't believe it!I'm going to try using buckwheat groats and make another pass at a waffle.  And I might try to make one that is full of something dark and rich, like carob or cocoa...hmn...I'm going to eat waffles a lot from now on, I think.

Sprouted Quinoa Millet Waffles (gluten free, vegan, sugar free, candida friendly)

YIELD: 5 5-inch square waffles

recipe combined and adapted from:

1/2 c whole dry quinoa grains
1/2 c whole dry millet grains
1 t coriander (or other spices/seasonings - like nutmeg, ginger, cinnamon, cardamom, clove, allspice, orange zest, etc etc etc)
1/2 t gluten-free vanilla extract or flavoring
1 t xylitol, a pinch of powdered stevia extract, 20 drops stevia liquid, or 1-2 Tbsp agave, brown rice syrup, or maple syrup (optional, include if you want a  little sweetness)
1 T ground chia seed or ground flax seed
1/4 t salt
2 T mleted coconut oil, sunflower oil, light olive oil, or melted butter/ghee
optional: sunflower seeds, or other seeds or chopped nuts

Rinse quinoa and millet, and place to soak in water overnight or for at least 5-6 hours.  The millet will soften, and the quinoa will start to sprout!

AFter soaking, drain and rinse quinoa well, rubbing grains together. Transfer to a blender, or if using an immersion blender, a large cup or bowl.  

Level grains, and add just enough water to cover.  Add the salt, seasonings, baking powder, salt, oil, vanilla, and xylitol/stevia.  Blend until well mixed and grains have been chopped up.  It will be a thick batter.  Let sit for 5-10 minutes for chia to absorb liquid.

Heat up waffle iron, greasing well with a high heat oil like coconut, grapeseed, sunflower, or with ghee, if tolerated.  When ready, fill waffle iron, and if desired, sprinkle with seeds or nuts.  Close iron and bake as directed in waffle iron user's manual, until waffle stops steaming and starts to smell done.  I found that about 7 minutes in my waffle iron yielded a well cooked waffle that had a  beautiful golden color and seemingly impossible crispy crust.  Remove from iron and let cool a minute or two on a rack, the waffle will continue to crisp up, or keep warm in an oven heated to 200º F.



Dining al desko: Wild Rice with Hijiki and Carrots (gluten free, vegan)

Susan Jane Murray, one of my favorite food bloggers, wrote the phrase "dining al desko" in one her blogs. I liked it, and am using it as inspiration.

I hate eating at my desk. But I work at a desk. And I need to eat. And sometimes, the two need to happen at the same time.

This is one of my favorite quick and tasty meals to eat at my desk. I like to use chopsticks when I'm eating and working because it makes me think more about eating and chewing and I do it more slowly, instead of mindlessly scarfing down the food while working on a project. Plus chopsticks are fun. And coworkers find it amusing and quirky. This recipe requires just a little prep work at home, but it is fast and simple to throw together if you have the necessary elements prepared.

Basic concept: cooked grain + hijiki + cooked vegetable.

My favorite grain in this dish is broken wild rice. Broken wild rice is less expensive than full grain wild rice, but has all the same benefits - the grain is just broken. Wild rice isn't really rice at all, it is a grass native to North America. It is very high in protein, is a great source of complex carbohydrates, and is high in fiber. The flavor is earthy, rich, and nutty. I love it combined with hijiki - the textures are great together, and the nutty earthy flavor of the wild rice balances well with the saltiness of the seaweed. Hijiki is one of my favorite sea vegetables; I often soak up a big batch of hijiki, or other sea vegetables, and keep them in the fridge for whenever I want them. Sea vegetables are a great addition to a diet - they stimulate the thyroid, are high in fiber, help balance healthy gut bacteria, and are a good source of calcium and iron. Combining sea vegetables with other vegetables is not only delicious, but it also helps the body apsorb all their readily available nutrients! In fact, vitamin C helps the body assimilate both calcium and iron, so carrots make the perfect addition to this dish. Plus, their sweetness rounds out the overall flavor effect.

If I know I want to eat this, I'll usually steam up some carrots the night before while I'm steaming up my dinner veggies. No carrots? Fine! Any veggies will work, whatever you have leftover that you want to use up: green beans, asparagus, green onion, brocolli, squash, sweet potato, zucchini, whatever. The final touch is a bit of flax oil, for healthy fats and good omegas. Sesame oil is really tasty too, if you can tolerate sesame. Do you know that a little healthy fat helps the body absorp vitamin C? What a marvelously balanced dish!

The end result is a high fiber, super nutritious, wonderfully satisfying bowl of goodness. And it will leave you feeling much better than corn chips from the vending machine or leftover bagels from yesterday's meeting.


Wild rice (or any other cooked grain - rice, quinoa, millet, etc)
Hijiki (soaked 30 minutes, rinsed, and drained)
Carrots (or other veggies)
Flax oil (or sesame oil if you tolerate sesame)
optional: tamari (soy-free or soy), Bragg's aminos, or ume vinegar
optional: sprinkle of gomasio (sesame salt, find at asian markets...or see THIS for my non-sesame version!)

Mix it all together in a bowl. Eat greedily, either cold or warm. Feel energized, alert, and awesome!


Sunshine Burger on a cloudy day.

I was hungry for something this morning beyond my usual bowl of warm spiced grain. It is dreary, drizzly, and cool today Minneapolis, the kind of morning that in the past would have warranted a quick run to the cafe down the street for a steaming Americano and a trip to the cafeteria for a spinach, turkey, and cheese omelet.

Unfortunately, that's not really on the menu right now. I needed a substitute.

After eating a small piece of lasagna (Butternut, Fennel, and Chard Lasagna - recipe to come!) this morning while packing my lunch, and still feelings pangs of hunger, I knew I'd have to come up with something at work. Then I remembered! A package of Sunshine Burgers was waiting for me in the freezer. I recently discovered Sunshine Burgers, delightful little patties made solely of brown rice, ground raw sunflower seeds, carrots, and herbs. Convenient, delicious, minimally processed, and totally free of gluten, soy, dairy, eggs, and corn!

I have tried both the Garden Herb and Original, and have a box of South West style (with black beans, red pepper, cilantro, etc) waiting for me in the freezer at home. This is the Sunshine Burger website, check 'em out: http://sunshineburger.com/

This is how I did mine up this morning in the microwave at work, using leftover brown rice and the remaining sauteed chard from last night's lasagna-making experiment.


Sunshine Breakfast

1 Sunshine Burger
1 c wilted greens (I used red chard)
1/2 c brown rice
Ground flax seed
Flax seed oil
salt and pepper to taste

Put frozen Sunshine Burger, greens, and brown rice in the microwave for 2-3 minutes, until everything is warmed through. Chop up Sunshine Burger and stir up ingredients until mixed, like a scramble. Warm for 20-30 more seconds. Remove from microwave, add flax meal and flax oil, and season as desired.

This would be even more satisfying if made on the stove in a fry pan - Sunshine Burgers are really tasty when warmed up in a pan!


spiced congee with a zucchini "bread" twist

Late summer always brings an abundance of zucchinis, and in my past life as a gluten-eater, lots of wholesome zucchini baked goods would result. Having a slice of fresh zucchini bread or a tasty muffin with my morning coffee was the ultimate way to start the day.

In my current gluten-free, sugar-free, caffeine-free existence, zucchini bread and coffee just doesn't fit in the picture so well.

So, I made something close that does: spiced congee with a zucchini 'bread' twist

In my bowl I mixed together the following:
Congee (a ginger/anise/orange spiced wild rice, brown rice, sweet brown rice blend)
flax seed
flax seed oil
ginger and cinnamon
finely chopped zucchini

I threw the whole thing in the microwave until the zucchini softened. Yum! It was delicious! I threw on a little roasted laver, because I love laver endlessly. It would be amazing with walnuts or pecans too... It was the perfect midmorning snack at work. And close enough to the flavor of zucchini bread to satisfy.


Congee - ultimately satisfying

Congee is a traditional Chinese food famed to have healing properties. It is said to boost qi and nourish the spleen, and restore health to the ailing. The most simple and common recipe for congee is 1 part rice to 6-12 parts water, but you can also mix in other grains, beans, meats, spices, whatever you choose. The waterier the congee, supposedly the more healing. The trick is the cooking process - congee is best cooked over low heat for many many hours. What results is an easily digestible, soupy porridge, and it is tasty and fulfilling beyond words.

I have been on a congee kick lately and have been playing with different combinations. My favorite combo of the moment is a mix of wild rice, sweet brown rice, brown rice, kombu, ginger, orange peel, and star anise. I use my crock pot, throw in the ingredients the night before, and awaken to a large batch of warm, delicious congee. And one batch lasts for days! The wild rice adds a nutty flavor, hearty texture, and lovely color variation. Living in Minnesota, I have a deep love for wild rice in a very general sense. It isn't technically a rice either, did you know that?

Warming wild rice congee

1/2 c wild rice
1/2 c sweet brown rice
1/4 c brown rice
2 inches fresh ginger, grated or chunked per your preference
1 star anise (break open pods a bit)
a couple pinches dry orange peel or fresh zest
1 3-inch piece kombu seaweed (adds flavor, minerals, and helps soften rice)
8-9 c water (seriously - the wild rice sucks it up)

Rinse rice well, and soak for at least 6 hours. Soaking the rice starts the sprouting process, and makes the rice more easily digestible.

Put the soaked rice, ginger, anise, orange peel, and kombu in the crock pot with 8 cups of water. Cover, and put on low. Cook overnight, or for at least 6-7 hours. I've let mine cook as long as 12 with great results. The longer you cook, the more water you need, so if you know it will be a long time, add a little more water for good measure.

When done, remove the kombu chunk and large chunks of anise/ginger/etc, and serve up!

Serving suggestions:
*flax seed oil or pumpkin seed oil drizzled on
*flax seeds, pumpkin seeds, hemp seeds
*nuts or nut butters (I added a little homemade hazelnut butter and that was divine)
*dash of cardamom, cinnamon, allspice, clove, etc
*add beans (azuki or garbanzo are really tasty mixed in)
*add seaweed (crumbled laver, nori, soaked hijiki, etc)

*switch up your spices or herbs to change the flavor completely
*switch up your rices
*add another grain that you can tolerate - millet, quinoa, teff (teff, brown rice, and sweet brown rice is really tasty), amaranth, oats, whatever
*add any combination of garlic, onions, grated carrots, squash chunks, sweet potato chunks, beans, meat, etc to the raw rice and cook it all together
*add dried fruits

This is a basic recipe that could go ANY direction, sweet, savory, spicy, herby, whatever. Get creative!


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