Would You Eat Insects?

As agriculture and livestock demands of the food industry increase with global population, alternatives are being explored.   Actually, the issue of an entomophagous diet, or that of eating insects, is only an issue in western cultures; most other countries in the world have at length served up crispy critters, from Mexico to Thailand.  It is mainly the repulsion at the idea of eating an insect that must be overcome for it to become a viable, mainstream protein alternative in the West.

I’ve eaten insects, shark, kangaroo, alligator, dog, horse, rattlesnake, and ostrich, aside from the more typical meats here in the West; I can say that the only meat I would not repeat was dog – its meat has a dusty taste.  Don’t worry – it was no one’s pet (I will just add that they are bred for meat in some places; if that’s repulsive to you, apply that same repulsion to chicken and cows…)!  It is a dish often served in the Philippines, and I’m sure several other Asian countries as well.  Innovative restaurants are beginning to make headway against the prejudices toward eating bugs, and are introducing insects into haute cuisine.  For an interesting article on up-and-coming restaurants, click on the image below.

Ento Foods

Credit: JOHN TANN/FLICKR

For a short video of fascinating insights into the advantages of eating insects, please click on the image below.

Ento Foods 2

Credit: Unknown

Advertisements

Nutty Salad Topper

It’s summer time, which means it’s salad time – at least in this household!  Recently at a street market, I came across a Persian stand and bought, among other things, a mixture to put on salads.  It’s delicious, and highly self-make-able!  I won’t give amounts, as only you can say how much you want to make up ahead of time, how much of each ingredient you prefer, and whether you want all or something else – so it’s simply a guideline:

???????????????????????????????

Nutty Salad Topper

1 part sunflower seeds

1 part pumpkin seeds

1 part pine nuts

1 part coarsely chopped almonds

1 part coarsely chopped pistachio nuts

For a Persian flare:  1 part dried (organic – not sprayed with pesticides!) rose petals

If you want a different taste, add 1 part dried chive blossoms (chive flower heads, rinsed and shaken dry, pinched apart, the individual flowers spread out on baking paper and dried in an oven at low temperatures for a few minutes, until the flowers are dried)

Be creative and toss is other items – dried chives, dried onions, puffed grains, etc.

Mix it all together, store in an air-tight container, and sprinkle on your salads, soups, or eat as-is as a healthy snack!

En Guete!

 

Easy Bacon & Cheddar-Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

This recipe was originally from Betty Crocker; I’ve adapted it for actual ingredients (none of this plastic, toxic cheese whiz, thank you!) and tweaked it to the present recipe.  The next time you have guests to impress but don’t have a huge time budget, whip these babies up!  En Guete! (Swiss German for “Have a good one”, or… Enjoy!)

Easy Bacon & Cheddar-Stuffed Cherry Tomatoes

EASY BACON CHEDDAR-STUFFED CHERRY TOMATOES

Image: Betty Crocker

12 cherry tomatoes, cut in half crosswise & de-seeded
1/2 Cup grated Cheddar cheese
1/2 Cup soft cream cheese (e.g. Mascarpone, Ricotta)
bacon, cooked and crumbled – either mix into the cheese or sprinkle it atop each tomato half
1 tablespoon chopped fresh chives

Take a small spoon and scoop out the tomato halves to remove juice and seeds.
Blend the grated Cheddar and the soft cream cheese together until it’s fluffy; adjust amounts to get a good consistency for piping (if your cheeses are cold they will pipe at a different consistency than if they are room temperature).
Pipe* cheese spread on top of each tomato half. Sprinkle each with chives. Arrange on serving platter.

*To pipe the cheese, use either a piping tool that you have, or the following if you don’t have anything fancy:  Fill the cheese into a zip-lock or sandwich plastic bag, and squeeze it down into one corner; nip the corner off just a small bit with scissors; fill it into the cherry tomato halves; if you want it a bit more decorative, run the tines of a fork in a pattern across the cheese.