Two girlfriends are coming over for a late dinner before we go to the midnight showing of The Hunger Games. After seeing an article on line about food inspired by the movie, I thought it would be fun to incorporate some of the foods mentioned in the book into our dinner.
The morning of reaping day, Katness wakes to find a goat cheese wrapped in basil leaves, from her sister Prim (made from the milk of her sisters goat). I have always loved goat cheese on bread. And speaking of bread, there are many references to bread in the book. Bread certainly serves as salvation in many different circumstances. Dating back through ancient history, bread has been a significant staple in society’s survival and day-to-day life; I find it interesting that a story set in the future would echo this same theme. I decided to serve the goat cheese on a wonderful store bought Naan (leavened, oven-baked flatbread found in Middle Eastern cooking).
Our main course doesn’t have much to do with the book, but I wanted to make something light, flavorful and healthy. I also wanted to introduce my friends to quinoa (but both of them already knew quinoa well), so we had a salad of sorts with toasted almond slivers, fresh orange slices, mandarin wedges, roasted shredded chicken and quinoa tossed with a lime & chili vinaigrette. Even though one can guess that quinoa was probably not on the ration list for the districts of The Hunger Games, it does have several attributes that would make it appealing to the people of Panem. Quinoa has been around for ages, since the Mayan culture, so it could presumably survive into the future. It is a fairly good value, more than doubling in size when cooked and not that expensive (easily traded for some greens or fresh berries). It’s extremely versatile and can be eaten for breakfast, lunch or dinner; depending on what you put with it, quinoa absorbs the flavors of whatever it’s with. It’s very healthy with high levels of protein, iron, and dietary fiber. Quinoa is also gluten-free and considered easy to digest.
For dessert I decided to honor the different references to apples by making Ina’s French Apple Tart. Perhaps if I were trapped in District 12, I too would venture beyond the forbidden wall. Finding the first of the fall apples, to make this simple tart with only a few other basic components. Even though the crust is very easy, in a pinch, one can also use a sheet of thawed puffed pastry. However, I doubt they’d have puff pastry in any district besides the Capitol.
Bon Appétit! And may the odds ever be in your favor!