With the luxuries of modern-day dining devoured by the dead in the zombie apocalypse, you'll have to arm yourself with a whisk as well as a shotgun in order to live. Lauren Wilson's The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse gives survivors culinary knowledge to help battle the hunger pangs prevalent in a zombie-ridden world, and BenBella Books has provided us with a set of preview pages. 

"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 75 recipes (from “No Knead To Panic Bread” and “Apocalypse Soup for the Survivor's Soul” to “Pasta Aglio et Oh No!,” “Down and Out Sauerkraut,” 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.

Just because the undead’s taste buds are atrophying doesn’t mean yours have to!"

To learn more about The Art of Eating through the Zombie Apocalypse, visit:

Sprouting for Food

In a world devoid of commercial agriculture and chock-full of survivors who know little about growing their own food, sprouting just might save your life. That may seem like pure hyperbole, but it’s not—sprouted foods are incredibly quick, easy, and nutritious. Sprouting gives you all the vitamins, minerals, and proteins you’d get from full-grown plants in a super concentrated source, and the process is as simple as an initial soak followed by rinsing your seeds a few times a day until they’ve done their thing and are ready to eat. Depending on what you’re sprouting, you can have fresh and highly nutritious food in as little as a day or two.

Nutritional Info
Like many health foods, the claimed benefits of sprouts are wide and varied, but what really matters to survivors of the zpoc is their nutritional content. Sprouts have more nutrients per calorie than any other food. Not only do sprouts retain all the nutritional nature packed into their seeds to create a plant, but the process of germination gives them very high enzymatic content and converts their starches and proteins into simple sugars and amino acids, which are easier for the body to digest.

What to Sprout
The most commonly used seeds for sprouting are alfalfa, broccoli, radish, clover, and sunflower. But you can sprout more than just seeds. Other good sprouters include grains like wheat, barley, buckwheat, and rye, or beans like mung bean, soybean, lentils, adzuki beans, black beans, and garbanzo beans.

What Not to Sprout
Some seeds produce poisonous sprouts and should not be eaten: all members of the solanaceae family (tomato, potato, or eggplant) and rhubarb, for example.

How to Sprout
Any viable seed can be sprouted; however, seeds that are produced specifically for sprouting and eating, as opposed to gardening, tend to be cleaner. Often seeds for gardening have been treated with pesticides. So if you are stocking up ahead of time, make sure you are getting seeds for sprouting. In the midst of the zombie apocalypse, you might not be able to be so choosy.

As is true when dealing with any and all food, and especially true when undead viruses are kicking around, make sure all tools and equipment have been cleaned thoroughly or sterilized in boiling water before you begin. Clean water is also key for hygienic sprouting, so be sure that the water you are using has been properly filtered and sterilized.

Add 1–3 tablespoons of a single variety of seed to a large glass jar. Cover the seeds with clean and potable water and soak for about 8–10 hours. After soaking, drain the seeds and rinse them with fresh water. Cover the jar with a fine breathable fabric or cheesecloth to allow for drainage and to protect them from dust, debris, and insects. Prop each jar up at an angle (a folded towel or a book is useful for this) to drain completely. Continue to rinse the seeds twice daily—not rinsing regularly can cause the sprouts to go rancid. Harvest timing is largely a matter of personal preference. Taste as you go along to see when the sprouts taste best to you, but most are ready in 3–5 days. Once sprouted, remove the hard hulls on seeds before eating (beans can be eaten whole).

Foraging Kelp at the End of the World

Kelp. Or, as most folks would more generally identify it, seaweed. Pre-zpoc, many regard “seaweed” as an exotic ingredient most often enjoyed in Asian cuisine, but there are several edible varieties of kelp and other seaweeds that are totally native to North American waters.

Kelp is an underrated and amazing part of the ocean’s ecosystem. It’s often called “the rainforest of the ocean” for its ability to pull carbon from our overtaxed waters—5 times more than any land-based plant (including trees). According to kelp farmer Brendan Smith of the Thimble Island Oyster Company in Long Island Sound, Connecticut, the common sugar kelp (Saccharina latissima) provides you with more iron than red meat, more calcium than milk, more fiber than brown rice, and more protein than soy beans! It will also give depleted long-haul survivors magnesium, potassium, B vitamins, vitamin C, iodine, zinc, and omega-3.

Kelp is an excellent crop for those cold, lean months of winter, providing a serious nutritional power punch when other land-based forageables are not available. Because it is a such a reliable winter crop, pre-zpoc there is a movement in Maine and other fishing towns to supplement shellfish farming with kelp farming—so you should be able to find some good commercial stands, particularly of sugar kelp. Commercial producers tend to grow on submerged ropes (or “long lines”), so look for those. These plants are attached to the ropes by grafting on spores that are spawned in labs; unfortunately, this method cannot be replicated during the zpoc, but there might be a nice crop to harvest from pre-zpoc commercial efforts before you have to hunt down your own.

Kelp isn’t the only edible seaweed you’re likely to find in Maine. You should also be able to hunt down sea lettuce (Ulva sp.), graceful red weed (Gracilaria vermiculophylla and Gracilaria tikvahiae), dulse (Palmaria palmata), and bladder wrack (Fucus sp.). Use the images here to help identify them, or apply the Universal Edibility Test (in full book) for any species you can’t definitively identify.

Finding & Harvesting Seaweed
When hunting down natural strands of seaweed, you should know that the wave energy and available substrate (surfaces) for growth will determine what seaweeds will grow where, and so you will need to get to know where the local species like to grow. In general, however, look for rocks—they’re what seaweeds attach to. They do not grow roots and therefore you will not find them in the seabed.

To harvest, bring a serrated knife or a pair of scissors and a bag or other container to carry the foraged seaweed and head out at low tide. A good practice is to wrap your harvesting knife in an old piece of wetsuit— it will make it easy to handle when wet and it should also give it some buoyancy. Cut off the tops of the longest fronds, leaving the lower part of the plant intact to re-grow and spawn. Be careful of overharvesting— don’t harvest from all the plants in one area and do not remove entire plants from the rock bases. Stay away from dead kelp that you find washed up on the beach, and rinse everything gently before eating.

Eating Seaweed
Different seaweeds require vastly different approaches—some can be eaten raw, while others require long cooking to make the texture palatable. Below is a breakdown for the most common of Maine’s seaweed:

Bladder Wrack (Fucus sp.): Should be blanched before eating or can be added into cooked dishes in the last few minutes of cooking.

Dulse (Palmaria palmata): Most palatable when dried (excellent smoked!), with a great crunchy texture and slight spicy kick. Slightly rubbery texture when raw and cooked, but crisps up nicely when panfried. Can be treated much like cabbage and makes a good addition to soups and seafood chowders.

Graceful Red Weed (Gracilaria vermiculophylla and Gracilaria tikvahiae): Can be eaten raw. It has great thickening qualities when cooked used in soups and sauces.

Oarweed (Laminaria digitata): Another variety of kelp best when cooked in soups. Can be used much like Japanese kombu to make dashi.

Sea Lettuce (Ulva sp.): Good raw in salads or dried and crushed and added to bread, dressings, or omelettes.

Sugar Kelp (Saccharina latissima): Good raw in salads or simmered. Can also be used like kombu in soups and stews.

Winged Kelp (Alaria esculenta): Should be gently simmered for 20–40 minutes to make it tender, and can be used in the same ways as Japanese wakame in soups and with grains.

Recommended Reading: For more on aquatic foraging, check out the Edible Seashore: River Cottage Handbook No. 5 by John Wright and Underwater Foraging: Freediving for Food by Ian Donald.

Eating Out of Your Cupboard
Alas, it’s been days since the initial outbreak started, and those damn zombies are still picking at what’s left of the living hors d’oeuvre platter beyond the four walls of your safe and well-fortified domicile. Plus, the power has been out for a while now—all the fresh food is long gone save for some onion, garlic, and a couple of sad potatoes.

Welcome to carb country. Unless you have a locavore’s personal stash of preserved or canned summer bounty, chances are you’re going to be surviving on a lot of starchy fare until it’s safe to go outside again.

As you will see in the following pages, there is quite a lot that can be done with the common North American pantry staples like flour, dried pastas, rice, canned proteins, beans, vegetables, and fruits. These recipes are simple and easy to prepare (some of them ludicrously so), and focus on very simple ingredients that most people keep kicking around in the cupboard—meaning there is lots of room to add or amend based on your own pantry stash.

No-Knead to Panic Bread
1 x 1 ½ -lb. loaf, or enough for 2–3 Hungry Survivors

It’s another day of being completely consumed by the rise of the undead, so why not soothe your troubled soul with the rise of a dead easy and absolutely delicious bread?

Bless Jim Lahey’s hopefully-still-living soul for developing this recipe. You may know Lahey, owner of New York’s Sullivan Street Bakery, for the no-knead bread revolution he kicked off via food journalist and author Mark Bittman in the early aughts— it took the home-cooking scene by storm and spread almost as quickly as an undead plague. His approach makes use of a long rising time and a very wet dough where gluten molecules are mobile and free to align themselves naturally (rather than relying on kneading). Translation: it takes a while, but requires no bread-making skill or specialized knowledge and virtually zero work.

The versatility of bread goes without saying. It makes a mean companion to Mental Fruit Lentil Soup (page 86), but can be schmeared, topped, dipped, or sandwichized in any number of ways—raid your cupboard and experiment.

This recipe is adapted from “No-Knead Bread” in Jim Lahey’s My Bread: The Revolutionary No-Work, No-Knead Method, an excellent book to have on hand for a variety of zpoc-friendly no-knead breads.

1 small bowl
1 large mixing bowl
1 mixing spoon
Plastic wrap
2 clean cotton kitchen towels or other clean breathable cloths
1 large, heavy pot or other oven-proof vessel, with lid

Heat Source:
Indirect, Ammo Can Oven or other Oven Hack (page 44)

5 minutes prep
14–20 hours mostly unattended rising time
45 minutes baking time
30 minutes cooling time

¼ tsp. active dry yeast
1 ¾ c. plus 2 tbsp. warm water
Pinch of sugar
3 c. all-purpose or bread flour, more for dusting
1 ¼ tsp. salt

1. Proof the yeast by mixing it with 2 tablespoons of warm water (not hot!) and a pinch of sugar in a small bowl—it is ready to use when the top is foamy, about 5 minutes.
2. Mix together the dry ingredients in a large mixing bowl until blended. Add water and any wet flavorings (like honey) and mix until well combined. Your dough will be wet and sticky.
3. Cover the bowl with plastic wrap if available (you can write the time down on the plastic with a marker), and one of the kitchen towels and pop it in a now nearly useless microwave or other dark spot to rest at least 12 hours, preferably 18 hours. The dough is ready for the next stage when the surface is bubbly.
4. Lightly sprinkle a work surface with flour and fold your dough out onto it. If using any add-ins (see Variations), sprinkle them on top of the dough now. Sprinkle the dough with a small amount of flour, then fold it over on itself two times. Loosely cover with plastic wrap and let it sit for 15 minutes.
5. Cover a kitchen towel with a generous amount of flour. Dust your hands with flour, and sprinkle just enough flour on the dough to prevent it from sticking to you, then shape it quickly into a ball. An imperfect zombies-are-breaking-down-my-defenses ball is just fine.
6. Place your ball seam side down onto the prepared cloth and generously dust the top with more flour. Cover the ball with a second towel and let rest for 2 hours.
7. Half an hour before the 2-hour mark of the second rise, set up your Ammo Can Oven for 450°F (see Judging Temperature, page 47), then place the oven-proof dish with the lid inside to preheat.
8. After the two-hour rise is complete, carefully remove the hot pot or other vessel from the Ammo Can Oven and, after removing the lid, plop your ball of dough into it, seam side up.
9. Bake, with the lid on, for 30 minutes. Remove the lid carefully, then bake another 15–30 minutes until nicely browned. Let cool for about 30 minutes before eating.

• 2 tbsp. honey (added at beginning with water), 1 tbsp. of fennel seeds, ½ c. of raisins, and cornmeal for dusting
• 1 small potato (peeled, diced, sautéed until browned), ½ small onion (minced and sautéed until soft), and ½ tsp. dried dill
• ½ c. olives, preferably jarred but canned work too
• 1 medium apple (peeled and diced), 1 tsp. cinnamon combined with 1 tbsp. sugar

Bugging In or Nouveau Home Cuisine
Huh? There was a news report of some guy whacked out on bath salts eating some other dude’s face off in the street today? Hurmmmm, there was a piece in the paper about a lady being mauled to death by an unidentified wild animal in a nearby park? Welcome to the zpoc!

Society is going to the undead dogs, and you are tasked with making it through this hellmare alive (and I don’t mean re-alive). Either it is too late to bug out, you have decided you have a better chance at surviving by holing up, or, perhaps, you just refuse to give up your turf to those bloody monsters out there. Being the levelheaded and culinary-minded survivor you are, your first thoughts drift to menu planning—at this stage of the game, power will be going out anytime now . . . But, if you are bugging in, the undead won’t be the only ones trying to get in at you: malevolent raiders and frantic stragglers will undoubtedly be trying to break in as well.

So, dear survivor, turn your precious energy and attentions to fortifying your home (think an arsenal of brain-bashing weapons, Molotov cocktails, trip wires, nails protruding from the welcome mat, and boarding up those windows with any damn wood you can find), and let this helpful section provide the game plan for the food.

The recipes here are quick, simple, calorie rich, and, perhaps most importantly, comforting. Yes, that’s right, they’re the zpoc equivalent of the post-financial-crisis comfort food trend. So get ready for warm, indulgent, and satisfying meals that can be fixed in a jiffy and/or need minimal attendance. These recipes are geared to the first days of the outbreak—when the power is either still running or has just gone out—and so, will focus on perishable ingredients that most people would have on hand in their refrigerators and freezers

Overnight of the Living Dead French Toast
Yields: 4 Hungry Survivor servings, 6 Regular Joe servings

Welcome to the zombie apocalypse! Tomorrow is a big day: you will be losing your head (hopefully not literally) trying to fend off the newly infected. On top of that, those pesky little weak spots in your fortress will surely present themselves, leaving you overwhelmed with survival and physical defense–focused activities.

Before you go to sleep tonight (if it even seems safe to do so), why not plan ahead for breakfast? Not only will it help use up some of your perishables (milk, eggs, butter, bread), it will also give you a calorie-rich jumpstart to your undead-filled day.

If the power has already gone out, reduce the amount of time you soak the bread to a couple of hours and use an Oven Hack (page 6) to cook this bad boy.

Chef’s or survival knife and cutting board
1 bread knife
1 small mixing bowl
1 mixing spoon
1 fireproof baking dish (preferably 7" x 11")
1 large bowl
1 whisk (or fork)
Piece of foil, to cover baking dish

Heat Source:
Indirect, conventional oven or other Oven Hack (page 6)

10 minutes prep
4-8 hours inactive soaking time
35 minutes unattended cooking time

¼ c. (4 tbsp.) butter, melted
½ c. brown sugar
12 oz. bread (challah, raisin, French baguette, Wonder—whatever you got, preferably a mix of several different kinds), sliced into strips 2–3 fingers wide
½ c. dried cranberries or raisins
6 eggs
2 tbsp. granulated sugar
1 ½ c. milk, cream, or combination
1 tbsp. vanilla extract
1 tsp. ground cinnamon
½ tsp. ground nutmeg
½ tsp. ground ginger
Pinch of salt
3 tbsp. rum, orange liqueur, or brandy (optional)
1 c. nuts (walnuts, pecans, or almonds), roughly chopped and preferably toasted
Maple syrup, to taste

1. Mix together the melted butter and brown sugar in a small mixing bowl. Spread the mixture along the bottom of the baking dish.
2. Put down a layer of bread fingers, overlapping and filling gaps where needed. Sprinkle with dried fruit. Repeat with remaining bread and fruit.
3. In a large mixing bowl, whisk eggs and granulated sugar together until the sugar has dissolved, about 1 minute. Add the milk/cream, vanilla, cinnamon, nutmeg, ginger, pinch of salt, and liquor/liqueur (if using). Whisk until incorporated.
4. Pour the custard over the bread and dried fruit, sweeping back and forth to moisten the whole top layer, filling any nooks and crannies. Cover with foil and let sit for 2 hours (no refrigeration) or at least 4 hours to overnight (in the fridge).
5. Preheat oven (for perhaps the last time!) to 375°F or set up an Oven Hack (see Judging Temperature, page 7).
6. Remove foil from the baking dish and sprinkle with the toasted nuts (if using). Drizzle lightly with maple syrup.
7. Bake uncovered for 30 minutes, then cover and bake for another 15 minutes to avoid overbrowning. Check after 20 minutes or so—cooking time will vary widely depending on your setup.
8. The French toast is ready when the custard at the center feels set (i.e., not jiggly, squishy, or raw). Let stand for 5–10 minutes, then drizzle liberally with more maple syrup before tucking in.

  • Derek Anderson
    About the Author - Derek Anderson

    Raised on a steady diet of R.L. Stine’s Goosebumps books and Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Derek has been fascinated with fear since he first saw ForeverWare being used on an episode of Eerie, Indiana.

    When he’s not writing about horror as the Senior News Reporter for Daily Dead, Derek can be found daydreaming about the Santa Carla Boardwalk from The Lost Boys or reading Stephen King and Brian Keene novels.