Cricket Tacos

Cricket Tacos
Cricket Tacos

I guess I have a thing for crickets. I’ve already written about how my favorite protein bar is cricket based protein. I’ve also experimented with cricket flour in this chia flax pudding recipe. Next up in my obsession is cricket tacos.

Cricket Tacos

I first read this story on The Verge of Next Millennium Farms (Now Entomo Farms), the supplier for Exo, and how there was a Mexican joint next to the factory that sells cricket tacos. When I read that article I knew I had to try it! Well I can’t drive there, since they’re in Canada, so I decided to try to make my own. I contacted Entomo Farms and asked if they could send some crickets my way so I could take a stab at these tacos and they were more than willing.

Tortilla recipe
I used the tortilla recipe on the back of Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour package from Fork & Beans

Now the main issue with creating a Primal/Paleo taco is creating a good tortilla. Flour tortillas are a no go. Non-GMO corn tortillas aren’t the worst thing for you but corn isn’t Paleo. Lettuce shells just sound gross with crickets. I contemplated these cauliflower tortillas which I’ve made before and they were great. But then I started seeing people using cassava flour all over Instagram and I saw this recipe for cassava flour tortillas and I was in love! They looked so real and tasty. So I was set – cassava flour tortillas it was. Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour you say? Check out the FAQ from their site:

Cassava (also known as Yuca) is a root vegetable grown in over 90 countries. Cassava is a staple food for half a billion people across Africa, Asia, and Latin America. It is the perfect alternative to wheat flour when dried and ground using our proprietary method. It is totally unique from the traditionally milled cassava flours on the market.

Cassava Flour

Cricket tacos aren’t a new idea necessarily. In Oaxaca, Mexico chapuline (grasshopper) tacos are a thing and eaten all the time. So this whole idea isn’t something too foreign or weird necessarily. It’s actually a really good protein alternative for tacos. There’s almost twice as much protein in crickets than ground beef and crickets are packed with omega 3s. I’m surprised cricket tacos aren’t touted in every Paleo blog out there!

Close up

What I wanted to do with this recipe was make a super simple taco: Tortilla, protein, diced onions, avocado, cilantro and cheese if you do dairy.

Cassava Flour
Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour

Flour
Flour before kneaded

Dough
Tortilla dough ready to be pressed

Press it flat
Pressed flat (I didn’t use a tortilla press)

Cook until bubbling
Cook until bubbling (1 minute)

Continue cooking
Flip and continue cooking

Whole roasted crickets
Whole roasted crickets

Close up
Ready to eat straight from the package

Assemble your ingredients
Get all your ingredients ready to go

Enjoy
Enjoy!

Cricket Tacos
Print
Ingredients
  1. Tortilla:
  2. 3/4 c. (90g) Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour
  3. 1/4 tsp. Sea salt
  4. 2 Tbsp. Olive oil
  5. 1/3 c. (80g) warm water
  6. Fillings:
  7. Crickets
  8. Diced white onion
  9. Avocado
  10. Cilantro
  11. Queso Fresco or Monterrey Jack (optional)
  12. Chipotle Tabasco (optional)
Instructions
  1. I used the tortilla instructions printed on the back of Otto’s Naturals Cassava flour package. The recipe is from Fork & Beans

  2. To make the tortilla, whisk together the flour and salt. Then add the oil and warm water and knead dough until it’s smooth. Then roll into 6 balls.

  3. To make the tortilla flat use a tortilla press or press between two pieces of parchment paper. Try to get as thin as possible. Then heat a non-stick skillet over medium heat. Once the skillet is warm, place the tortilla on the skillet and warm for about 1 minute until bubbles form then flip and cook for another minute. Now you’re tortillas are ready to go.

  4. Once the tortillas are ready to go, now all you have to do is dice the onion and cilantro. Cut the avocado and bust out the queso fresco or Monterey Jack.

  5. To prepare the crickets you can use them straight out of the Entomo Farm bag or lightly warm them on a skillet. They’re already roasted technically. I suggest trying them without seasoning first. Then next time you can experiment with a dusting of traditional taco style seasoning. I like The Domestic Man’s taco seasoning recipe here.

  6. Now assemble your tacos and enjoy!

That's So Primal http://www.thatssoprimal.com/

Cricket Noatmeal

Cricket Noatmeal

I’ve already hinted at this Cricket Noatmeal recipe on my post about quick on the go primal breakfast ideas. This recipe was inspired by the chia flax pudding by Kelly from Be Well by Kelly and was something I first saw on Mark’s Daily Apple. Since I first saw this recipe my wife and I have been making it constantly.

Ingredients

It’s a great quick go to meal that is full of fat and protein. But most of all it’s a really easy way to get our daughter to eat more protein. Protein in the form of whey that’s mixed into the pudding. As we’ve been feeding this to her and sending frozen batches of it with her when she stays with the grandparents, we’ve just been referring to it as no-oatmeal, hence the post title Noatmeal. It’s just easier for people to understand instead of saying well I know it kinda looks like oatmeal but we don’t really eat oatmeal, and this pudding is more nutritious than oatmeal and has a much much lower glycemic load than oatmeal… you see the dilemma. It’s easier to just say this is Noatmeal, our daughter loves it, she’ll ask for more. Now since this chia flax pudding is so loved by our daughter, we’ll be feeding it to her until she moves onto something else. But for myself I decided to see if we could switch up the recipe a little bit by playing with the protein source. Like say… Crickets.

Cricket Flour

I have nothing against whey. It works, tastes fine and has many additional benefits. So to change up the protein used in this recipe was basically just for fun. So I reached out to the people who provide the cricket flour to Exo for their protein bars and they were very generous and sent me a bunch of cricket flour and whole roasted crickets to experiment with. (More on the whole roasted crickets in a couple months). So all I had to do was replace the whey in the original recipe with the cricket flour and coconut sugar for sweetener. The only problem is if you try to match the amount of protein from the whey serving (20g) you’ll have to use about 5T of cricket flour. That’s almost too much cricket flour for the portion size so we ended up just using one serving of cricket flour (2T) which is about 8g of protein. Not bad for a quick breakfast that uses a protein that’s highly bio available, sustainable and high in omega 3s.

Close Up

So if you’re feeling adventurous head over to Entomo Farms and whip up a batch for yourself. It’ll definitely give you something to talk about with family around the Christmas dinner table.

Cricket Noatmeal
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1T coconut oil
  2. 1 cup coconut milk
  3. 3T chia seeds
  4. 3T ground flax seed
  5. 2T cricket flour
  6. 1T coconut palm sugar
  7. 1/4t cinnamon
  8. Dash of tumeric
Toppings
  1. Paleonola
  2. Hemp Seeds
  3. Honey if you need it sweeter
Instructions
  1. Heat the coconut oil, coconut milk, chia seeds and ground flax seed in a pan. Continue stirring on medium/high for about 3 minutes until the texture becomes like oatmeal.
  2. Once the noatmeal is done, turn off the heat. Stir in the cricket flour, coconut palm sugar, cinnamon and numeric.
  3. Then put it all into a bowl and add your toppings and extra coconut milk to your preference. Enjoy!
Adapted from Chia Flax Hot Pudding
That's So Primal http://www.thatssoprimal.com/

Silkworm Spaghetti Sauce with Spaghetti Squash

This is my entry for Marx Foods Edible Insects Recipe Challenge

Please VOTE for my recipe here!

Silkworm Spaghetti Sauce with Spaghetti Squash
Silkworm Spaghetti Sauce with Spaghetti Squash

If you think that recipe title is a mouthful, just wait until you taste this recipe. If you didn’t realize already, crickets are the new kale. Well, in this case, silkworms are the new kale. Really the future of food may very well be insects. Ok I know that’s a pretty bold statement and I’m not suggesting they replace a nice pastured pork chop or grass fed ribeye, but they do have their place in our diet and we should consider adding more insects to our plate. You already know I’m a fan of Exo bars made from cricket flour. But I’m also open to different insects that we can consume. If I ever were to go to Thailand that is one thing I definitely look forward to checking out.

Awhile back I remember reading this post and was very much intrigued by the idea of adding more insects to our diet. I stepped in that direction with Exo bars but how can I step more in the direction of entomophagy? Well that’s where this recipe comes in because I got in touch with the nice people at Marx Foods to enter their edible insects contest. So I wanted to do a recipe that wasn’t an energy bar or snack or something. I wanted to look at a practical way of how I could incorporate insects into a meal our family would eat. So I contemplated all the meals we make regularly, one of which is a Paleo form of spaghetti. I prefer spaghetti squash as a wheat pasta replacement whereas my wife prefers zucchini noodles. Either would be fine for this recipe but I’m going to make this with spaghetti squash.

As for the sauce, that’s where the insects come in. Normally, when we make sauce, I either make a simple marinara from scratch or, if I’m pressed for time, I find a jar of sauce with no sugar and extra virgin olive oil (not industrial seed oil like canola oil). Then we usually add in some grass fed ground beef and ground pork sausage. But for this recipe I decided to replace the protein with insect protein – silkworms. Why silkworms? Well I just didn’t think crickets would be that good in spaghetti sauce. They would be a little too crunchy, but not the silkworms – they would be perfect. So let’s get on to the recipe!

Spaghetti Squash before oven
Spaghetti Squash before oven.

Spaghetti Squash after oven
Spaghetti Squash after oven.

Spaghetti Squash after shredding
Spaghetti Squash after shredding.

Silkworm
Silkworms.

Silkworm closeup
Silkworm closeup.

Fresh herbs
I like using fresh herbs from our garden. I encourage you to do the same if you have them.

Onion, garlic and silkworms
Onions, garlic and silkworms right before the tomatoes are added.

Sauce before stew time
All the ingredients before simmering for 1 hour.

Sauce after 1 hour
After 1 hour.

Ready to eat
Looks just like a regular plate of spaghetti…except it has bugs.

Yes, I ate it
Yes, I ate it.

I tried to get my wife to eat it…
I tried to get my wife to eat it…

She didn't, so I ate the rest
She didn’t, so I ate the rest.

Silkworm Spaghetti Sauce with Spaghetti Squash
Print
Ingredients
  1. 1 spaghetti squash
  2. 15g of silkworms (1 packet)
  3. 1T olive oil
  4. 2T butter
  5. 1/2 onion diced
  6. 2 cloves garlic diced
  7. 1 8oz can tomato sauce
  8. 1 14.5oz can diced tomatoes drained
  9. 1/2 6oz can tomato paste
  10. 1T fresh basil
  11. 1/2T fresh oregano
  12. 1/2T fresh thyme
  13. 1t garlic powder
  14. 1t onion powder
  15. 1/2T Italian seasoning
  16. 1t kosher salt
  17. Parmesan Cheese
  18. Pepper to taste
Instructions
  1. Spaghetti squash
  2. I like to bake the spaghetti squash based on the way Melissa Joulwan outlines in Well Fed because it comes out perfect every time. Turn the oven to 375° and place the squash, cut in half and seeds scooped out, face down on a parchment lined baking tray. Add 3 tablespoons of water to the tray and bake for 35 minutes.
  3. Once done baking let the squash cool. Then use a fork to scrape the flesh of the spaghetti squash into noodle like strands.
  4. Silkworm Spaghetti Sauce
  5. In a large skillet over medium heat warm the olive oil. Then toss in the garlic until fragrant. Then toss in the onion and cook until translucent, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle in garlic powder, onion powder, salt and Italian seasoning. Then toss in the silkworms and cook slightly until they start to brown, 1 minute.
  6. Add tomato sauce, paste, drained tomatoes and butter. Stir everything together, not too aggressively as we want to keep the silkworms in tact.
  7. Add in fresh basil, thyme and oregano. Stir everything together.
  8. Now cover and turn heat to low so that the sauce can simmer for 1 hour.
  9. After simmering is done all you have to do is plate some of your spaghetti squash and pour as much sauce as desired on the squash. I like to add a few extra silkworms on top for visual impact. This step isn't necessary, so if you (or your spouse) are squeamish, skip this step. Then top with fresh basil and freshly grated Parmesan cheese.
  10. Don't be scared, Enjoy!
That's So Primal http://www.thatssoprimal.com/