For those swept up in the romance and thrilling plot of ‘The Hunger Games,’ it’s a well known fact that leading lady Katniss Everdeen and her fellow citizens were living a life far from luxury in District 12.
Starvation was a daily reality for most everyone confined within the city walls, but Katniss’s time spent in the Capitol training for the Hunger Games pitched a different tone – and menu. Delicacies like lamb stew, foie gras, and chicken in rich, creamy sauces were in well supply, tempting her taste buds and nourishing her body through the rigorous training she endured for her battles in the arena.
To give you a taste of the two vastly different words Katniss experienced – both of living in plenty at the Capitol, and living in want in District 12 – here is a list of 5 healthy recipes to help set the tone and table for all of your Hunger Games festivities.
Girl on Fire Spicy Pad Thai. Katniss wasn’t named “the girl on fire” for nothing. Her fiery attitude and will to survive were surpassed by none in the arena, and the spice in this Thai dish reflects that. Simply add an additional 1/4 teaspoon of red pepper flake to the recipe, serve alongside this spicy peanut sauce, and top it all off with a healthy dose of sriracha. It will send your heat level through the roof – girl on fire style.
Goat Cheese-Wrapped Basil from Fictional Food. Katniss’s little sister, Prim, whom she saved from the reaping, owned a small goat that provided the family milk and cheese. This dish is reminiscent of the basil-wrapped goat cheese that Prim left for Katniss on reaping day.
Traditional Sugar Cookies. Peeta’s family owned a bakery in District 12 and his father offered Katniss a bag of cookies just before she left for the games. This kind gesture went nearly unnoticed as Katniss quickly threw the bag out the window on the way to the Capitol as a way to separate herself from the mind games of the competition. This only makes these sugary confections all-the-more symbolic of the emotional torment Katniss suffered not only in the arena, but also in her relationship with Peeta.
Beet Orange and Green Salad. Katniss is first a hunter, and second a forager. While playing survivalist in the arena and in her day-to-day life back in District 12, she foraged often for edible plants and berries to sustain the life of her and her family. This colorful salad is representative of something she may have carefully gathered and prepared as a meal.
Cranberry and Nut Bread. In one of her most desperate times of hunger, Peeta snuck Katniss a loaf of fruit and nut bread from his bakery for her to take home and share with her family. It may not’ve seemed like much especially since the loaf was partially burnt, but it was a much-celebrated treat in Katniss’s meager District 12 home.
Photo by Dana Shultz