2–3 Hungry Survivor servings, 4 Regular Joe servings
Once the pandemonium of the initial outbreak has passed, if you can get your grubby survivor hands on some mealworms (not actually worms, but the larvae of the darkling beetle), you will have a no-fuss-nomuss source of protein that is also a great starter bug for anyone not accustomed to entomophagy (eating insects; see Apocalyptic Entomophagy, page 115). They are also dead easy to raise yourself (see Raising Mealworms, page 125).
As far as the yuck factor goes, mealworms are pretty harmless looking: no pointy legs or searching antennae, bulging eyes or stingers. Mealworms have a springy texture and slightly nutty flavor, making them good for a variety of applications—roasting, sweet and savory baking, or stewing.
Though the recipe here uses rice, you can use any shelf-stable grain. Generally, leftover rice works quite well for fried rice, though you can also cook your rice fresh and air-dry it a little on a baking sheet. Use whatever foraged ingredients you have available in your area, though lambsquarters work very well here (see Foraging at the End of the World, page 102). What makes this recipe especially good is the garlic and ginger, which can be grown successfully when Rooftop Farming (page 153) or Window Farming (page 148). Mince both the garlic and ginger on the large side and cook them slowly until they are medium brown and crunchy.
This recipe is adapted from Jean- Georges’ “Ginger Fried Rice,” published in Mark Bittman’s January 2010 New York Times article “The Minimalist: Fried Rice, Dressed Simply.”
Chef’s or survival knife and cutting board
Medium saucepan or pot with lid
Large cast-iron skillet or other frying pan
Direct, open flame or other Stovetop Hack (page 42)
10 minutes prep
30 minutes cooking time
4 c. potable water
2 c. white rice or other grain
2 c. foraged or farmed mealworms
½ c. vegetable or olive oil plus a splash for cooking rice
3 cloves farmed or foraged field garlic
(2 tbsp. minced)
¼ c. minced farmed ginger
1 c. minced farmed onion
2 c. foraged lambsquarters, washed and roughly chopped
2 tsp. sesame oil (if available)
4 tsp. soy sauce (if available; try to scavenge some takeout packets)
Salt & pepper, to taste
1. Start a cooking fire or set up other Stovetop Hack. In a medium saucepan or other pot, bring the water and rice, along with a splash of oil and pinch of salt, to a boil. Once it reaches a boil, cover, adjust flame to low heat, and let the rice cook undisturbed for about 15 minutes (if using white rice; adjust cooking time for other types of rice or grains).
2. In the meantime, rinse the mealworms well with fresh potable water. Set aside. Once the rice is cooked, let it sit covered for about 5 minutes off the heat, then spread on a baking sheet to dry out. Set aside.
3. Heat ¼ cup of vegetable oil in a skillet or other frying pan over medium-high heat. Add the garlic and ginger, then cook, stirring frequently, until it is nicely browned and crispy—do not brown over excessively high heat; rather, brown the garlic and ginger gently for about 5 minutes. Remove the ginger and garlic with the slotted spoon, draining off as much fat as you can, and add to a small bowl. Sprinkle with salt and toss, then set aside.
4. Reduce the heat to low and add more oil if needed. Cook the onions until they are soft and translucent without taking on much color. Adjust the flame again to medium-high heat and add the mealworms. Cook until they begin to brown, stirring frequently, for about 5 minutes. Add the lambsquarters and cook until the greens are wilted and tender, another 3 minutes.
5. Add the rice to the pan and mix to distribute the onion, mealworms, and lambsquarters evenly. Add salt and pepper to taste. Continue mixing until the rice is heated through. Taste and adjust seasoning if needed. Divide the rice among bowls, then top with a drizzle of sesame oil, soy sauce, and the fried garlic and ginger. Serve immediately.
The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse: A Cookbook and Culinary Survival Guide by Lauren Wilson (Goodreads Author), Kristian Bauthus
Just because the undead’s taste buds are atrophying doesn’t mean yours have to!
You duck into the safest-looking abandoned house you can find and hold your breath as you listen for the approaching zombie horde you’ve been running from all day. You hear a gurgling sound. Is it the undead? No—it’s your stomach.
When the zombie apocalypse tears down life and society as we know it, it will mean no more take out, no more brightly lit, immaculately organized aisles of food just waiting to be plucked effortlessly off the shelves. No more trips down to the local farmers’ market. No more microwaved meals in front of the TV or intimate dinner parties. No, when the undead rise, eating will be hard, and doing it successfully will become an art.
The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse is a cookbook and culinary field guide for the busy zpoc survivor. With more than 80 recipes (from Overnight of the Living Dead French Toast and It’s Not Easy Growing Greens Salad to Down & Out Sauerkraut, Honey & Blackberry Mead, and Twinkie Trifle), scads of gastronomic survival tips, and dozens of diagrams and illustrations that help you scavenge, forage, and improvise your way to an artful post-apocalypse meal. The Art of Eating is the ideal handbook for efficient food sourcing and inventive meal preparation in the event of an undead uprising.
Whether you decide to hole up in your own home or bug out into the wilderness, whether you prefer to scavenge the dregs of society or try your hand at apocalyptic agriculture, and regardless of your level of skill or preparation, The Art of Eating will help you navigate the wasteland and make the most of what you eat.