A Recipe for Survival: Gluten-Free Recipe Book (Review and Giveaway)

A Recipe for Survival is much more than just a cookbook. It’s a story. It’s a testimony to faith. It’s a guidebook. If you have by necessity or by choice decided to go gluten-free, then this manual is well worth purchasing.

(Go to the bottom of this post to learn how you can win a copy!)

The book begins with an introduction about Freda and her husband Brody. You hear their love story and the trials and heart-aches that ensued soon after they were married. Health problems abounded. Both Freda and Brody were plaugued by ailments causing not just physical stress, but emotional and marital stress as well. They were desperate to find a solution. I greatly enjoyed reading this portion of the book. Freda has a warm engaging writing style that draws you in. (It was also kinda fun to see another couple who also met on eHarmony and married the same month and year as my husband and I did!)

Part I of the book is a testimony to the faith of Freda. Freda uses the Word of God to encourage and uplift the reader, particularly those readers struggling with illness issues or caring for others in the midst of a health crisis.

Part II’s focus is on practical aspects of gluten-free living. If you are new to gluten-free living, you will find that Freda discusses a number of essential topics that can help you on your journey. Topics like cross-contamination, eating out, and how to replace gluten in recipes are all explained in detail among many other topics vital to learning how to live a gluten-free lifestyle.

And finally, Part III of the book is filled with recipes. She has recipes for hard to replace gluten-free foods like waffles, breads, and desserts as well as main dishes, sauces, and side dishes.  Continue reading

Lower-Carb, Gluten-Free Baked Oatmeal (amped up with protein)

As I’ve mentioned in prior post’s, I’m trying to move my family to a lower-carb Paleo type of diet. What does that mean? Basically it means we’ve cut sugar, wheat, processed foods, and most grains…at least while we’re at home. The kids still eat some of these things when they’re at friends’ houses, visiting grandparents, or cousins. But I feel we’re really making some good strides in moving in the correct direction.

This is a recipe based on one on the Healthy Indulgences blog. I made some very minor tweeks. You should check out the blog, Lauren is a very talented cook and has some fantastic recipes!


1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1/4 teaspoon pure stevia extract
1/3 cup xylitol
1 teaspoon baking powder
2 teaspoons cinnamon
1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
1/4 teaspoon ground cloves
1/2 cup heavy cream
1/4 cup water
1 cup 4% cottage cheese
2 large eggs
1 Tablespoon vanilla
1/2 teaspoon blackstrap molasses Continue reading

Easy Baked Sausage Patties

Since our family has cut sugar, wheat, and most grains out of our diet in an attempt to move towards a low-carbohydrate paleo-type way of eating, it makes preparing breakfast a bit trickier. You see, we can’t pop open a bag of cereal or throw a piece of bread in the toaster, or shove a pop-tart at our kids and call it good.

These are positive changes—avoiding gluten, sugar, and industrial oils, not eating processed garbage, eating foods rich in nutrients, proteins, and good fats. But, with the advent of these changes there must be more forethought, particularly with breakfast. Continue reading

In Defense of Lard & How to Render it Yourself!

LARD! A word that strikes fear into the hearts of men. The fat you’re supposed to avoid at all costs. Right? Not so fast on that one.

I recently rendered my own lard and have even begun to use it in my cooking, and I’m loving it. Lard is a natural fat that has been used for many, many years—even before the “obesity epidemic.” In fact, the “obesity epidemic” didn’t begin until after we decided to add in franken-fats like Crisco and margarine. Unlike Crisco and margarine, lard is naturally hydrogenated and as such can be heated to very high temperatures without it turning to a trans-fat.

It is also interesting to note that lard is remarkably similar in it’s fatty acid composition to that of human breast milk. If you are looking for more information on healthy fats, West A. Price Foundation has a very well researched paper on fats.

Rendering lard is gently heating the fat to separate out the protein strands called “cracklings” from the fat. Organically raised pigs that have the opportunity to forage for food are the healthiest and thus contain the healthiest fat with which to make lard. I got excited about rendering lard after we decided to purchase half of a pastured pig.

I found rendering lard to be a simple and satisfying task. Below you will find the procedure I followed in rendering lard. I referenced a book I highly recommend, Fat: An Appreciation of a Misunderstood Ingredient, with Recipes and also checked out a number of websites online to figure out a procedure that looked like it would work well for me.

Be sure to begin this recipe when you’ll be around the house to occasionally stir and check on your lard. It is not labor intensive, but it is time intensive. It can take 4-10 hours for all of the fat to dissolve depending on how much and what size pieces of fat you are working with. Continue reading

New York Style Cheesecake – Low-Carb & Gluten-Free

Cheesecake is one of my favorite desserts, and thankfully it was a fairly simple dessert to turn low-carb and gluten-free. I needed to completely change the crust, but the only thing I needed to do to change the filling was alter the sweeteners.

(You will notice in my pictures that the cheesecake looks yellow. Don’t worry, your monitor doesn’t need to be adjusted. The cheesecake was yellow from all of the beautiful, nutritious farm-fresh eggs that I used in this recipe.)  Continue reading

Make your own healthy yogurt (and save money)!

My family can eat a LOT of yogurt. The probiotics in yogurt are great for gut health, but all of the added sugar and fillers in store-bought yogurt is not so good for you. A couple of years ago I started researching how to make homemade yogurt and hopefully avoid the nasty additives and sugar and also save some money. I was pleasantly surprised to find that making yogurt is super easy! There are a number of variations on this recipes that you can find online. I’ve tried a couple of different ways, but this is what I’ve found to be easiest.


1 Gallon of Whole Milk

1/2 Small Container of high quality yogurt (the fewer the ingredients and the more live active cultures the better!)

Continue reading

Berrylicious Dairy/Sugar Free Coconut Milk Shake

This recipe was a total hit in my house, even with Bradley who says he doesn’t like ANYTHING coconut! He continues to refuse that I actually made it with coconut milk even though he’s watched me make it a few times now. The chocolate coconut milk shake was good, but this one is awesome: rich, creamy, and berrylicious!


1 can coconut milk

2 cups frozen mixed berries

1/4 cup xylitol

1/8 teaspoon stevia

1/2 teaspoon vanilla


Put all of the ingredients in the blender together and whiz around until well mixed. Enjoy!

Homemade Salsa Recipe

Having a mexican fiesta and need to kick up the wow and yum factor a little bit? Might I suggest homemade salsa. Making fabulous homemade salsa is so ridiculously easy and tasty you’ll never want to use store-bought salsa again.


  • Jalapenos
  • Onion
  • Cilantro
  • Canned tomatoes
  • Salt
  • Garlic (optional)


Put your jalapenos, onions, and cilantro in the food processor and finely chop. Add the rest of your ingredients and whiz around in your food processor to mix.

You’ll notice I don’t have amounts on any of the ingredients. There are a few reasons for this. 1) Some jalapenos are super hot and some hardly have any heat. Start off with one and if it needs more heat add some more. If it’s too hot, then add more tomatoes to cut the heat. 2) There is really no right amount as far as ingredients go. Taste it, if it isn’t quite right add some more of something else.

Writing this post made me hungry for Mexican food (if you know me, you know that’s not hard to do)!

Yummy Salsa

Creamy Balsamic Vinaigrette Recipe

Since we’ve been transitioning our family towards healthier eating, one of the things I’ve started doing is making all of our own salad dressing. Salad dressing from the store is full of all sorts of nasty things… high fructose corn syrup, sugar, soybean oil, and canola oil (just to name a few).

I have other salad dressing recipes I’ll be sharing, but this particular recipe is Luke’s favorite at the moment. It’s also a great way to use MCT oil! (Check out my prior post to see many of the great health benefits of MCT oil.) Hope you’re able to enjoy it too!


4 crushed cloves garlic
1/4 cup homemade mayonnaise (check out my recipe)
2 tablespoons lemon juice
1 teaspoon dry mustard
1 packet Sweetleaf Stevia
2 teaspoons sea salt
1/2 cup balsamic vinegar
3/4 cup MCT Oil


Mix it up well and put on your favorite salad!

Dairy and sugar free chocolate coconut milkshake

This is a ridiculously easy recipe! If you are trying to avoid sugar and/or dairy try this out! It almost reminded me of a Wendy’s Frosty. Yum. Cameron, Luke, and I all really enjoyed this, but for some reason Bradley wasn’t much of a fan. Guess you can’t win them all!



Throw everything in the blender, whiz around, and enjoy!