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Sick of Thanksgiving recipes? Try this zombie apocalypse alternative dinner

Sick of Thanksgiving recipes? Try this zombie apocalypse alternative dinner
"Wild Boar Chops With Juniper, Apples and Sage;" detail from "The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide." (Insight Editions)

After a long day, it’s never easy deciding what to serve for dinner — especially if that day entailed surviving the zombie apocalypse with limited resources and trembling, bare hands.

Luckily for the amateur survivalist, “The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide” answers that age-old conundrum: What to cook … when zombies are on the loose?

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“Whether planning for a natural disaster or the end of the world as we know it,” the cookbook advises, “it always helps to have a plan.” With Thanksgiving right around the corner, “The Walking Dead” cookbook offers the chance to add something a little different to the holiday spread: tracker and hunter Daryl Dixon’s “Dixon Deer Stew,” for example, which relies on simple secondary ingredients easily grown in a prison garden.

"The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide"
"The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide" (Insight Editions)
Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs) tend the prison garden as zombies look on in Season 4 of "The Walking Dead."
Rick Grimes (Andrew Lincoln) and son Carl (Chandler Riggs) tend the prison garden as zombies look on in Season 4 of "The Walking Dead." (Frank Ockenfels /3/AMC)

“In nonapocalyptic settings,” the cookbook suggests, “feel free to add more ‘exotic’ ingredients like button mushrooms or parsnips.” Venison scarce at the local butcher? Try beef.

Part recipe guide, part survivalist primer, the book covers post-apocalypse basics like foraging, how to detect undrinkable water and a “quick-and-dirty growing guide,” as well as over 60 recipes for breakfast, lunch, dinner and dessert using pantry staples.

A detail of "Dixon Deer Stew" from "The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide."
A detail of "Dixon Deer Stew" from "The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide." (Insight Editions)

Once readers master fishing basics and the architecture of a successful backwoods fire — survival skills are broken down into simple steps with accompanying illustrations — “Amy and Andrea’s Fireside Fish-Fry” should be a snap. Packed with omega-3s, fish are known to be excellent brain food. That is, if you can manage to hang on to your brains.

Survivalist skills in "The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide."
Survivalist skills in "The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide." (Insight Editions)

Fans of the show will find plenty to satisfy their appetite for “The Walking Dead” trivia as well as a number of recipes based on characters and subplots. Tara, who survived largely on Gorbelli Turkey Chili after the zombie apocalypse struck, revamps that staple for the home. “Tara’s Turkey Chili” is “savory and filling, perfect for when you need an extra boost of energy to flee or fight.”

"The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide" illustrates fishing basics.
"The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide" illustrates fishing basics. (Insight Editions)

“Carl’s Chocolate Pudding” (the recipe is from scratch) recalls a memorable scene after a prison showdown: “Carl discovered that sometimes the best solution to what life throws at you is retreating to the rooftop and drowning his sorrows in an industrial-size can of chocolate pudding.” It’s the perfect thing to spoon-feed oneself this holiday season, dead-eyed, in the wake of visiting family.

"Carl's Chocolate Pudding" from "The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide."
"Carl's Chocolate Pudding" from "The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide." (Insight Editions)

Along with walkie-talkies, local maps and a hand-crank radio, “The Walking Dead: The Official Cookbook and Survival Guide” is a savvy addition to any survival cache.

And there’s no need to skimp on the gravy, stuffing and pie this Thanksgiving: “The average active survivor on ‘The Walking Dead’ — whether running around evading walkers, shoring up defenses on the wall, or farming vegetables — would likely need about three thousand calories per day.”

In case Uncle Joe turns out to be a walker, you’ll need your strength.

These walkers in "The Walking Dead" season 7 are very, very hungry.
These walkers in "The Walking Dead" season 7 are very, very hungry. (Gene Page / AMC)
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