fantasy friday: orange tempeh from the capitol

"He presses a button on the side of the table. The top splits and from
below rises a second tabletop that holds our lunch. Chicken and chunks
of oranges cooked in a creamy sauce laid on a bed of pearly white
grain, tiny green peas and onions, rolls shaped like flowers, and for
dessert, a pudding the color of honey."

from The Hunger Games by Suzanne Collins

Now that I'm looking at that quote a second time, I realize that the peas and onions could be a side dish all their own...or they could be part of the chicken dish. How did you read it?

In any case, this recipe is admittedly a diversion from the original anyway. Instead of using chicken, I used tempeh to keep things vegan. But I think you could also use chopped chicken breast or firm tofu just as easily.

We are lucky to have easy access to oranges, aren't we? Katniss juxtaposes her life in District 12 to her experiences in the Capitol, noting that to even get her hands on one orange in District 12, she'd have to trade a whole turkey. It reminded me of the girls in Little House on the Prairie receiving oranges for Christmas presents. It's good to remember the many ways we sometimes take things for granted.

You'll only need one orange for this recipe though, so just set aside a turkey and you should be okay.

Orange Tempeh over Barley and Peas


For the barley...
     1 tbsp oil
     1 medium sweet onion
     2 1/4 cups barley
     1 1/2 cup frozen petite peas
     2 tbsp soy sauce
     1/4 tsp garlic powder

For the tempeh...
     1 block tempeh
     3 tbsp orange marmalade
     1 tbsp soy sauce
     1 tbsp freshly grated ginger
     1 tbsp rice vinegar
     1 tbsp oil
     1/4 tsp garlic powder
     1 heaping tsp cornstarch
     1 orange

1. Begin to prepare the barley. First, chop the onion, heat the oil over medium heat, and saute the onion until translucent. Add 6 3/4 cups water and the barley. Bring to a boil, cover, then reduce heat and simmer for approximately one hour, until water is absorbed. When done, stir in the peas, soy sauce, and garlic powder.

2. Set the barley aside and cube the block of tempeh. Mix the marmalade, soy sauce, ginger, rice vinegar, oil, and garlic powder in a bowl. Pour into a frying pan and heat on medium heat until just boiling. Stir in the tempeh cubes and cook for 3-5 minutes, until the sauce has begun to reduce. Stir often.

3. Mix the cornstarch with 2 tbsp water. Stir until smooth, then add to the tempeh and sauce. Continue to cook, stirring often, until sauce is thick.

4. Peel the orange and split into wedges. Use a serrated knife to cut each wedge into 2-3 pieces. Stir into the tempeh. Serve the tempeh over the barley.


  1. This is a wonderfully healthy and filling recipe and I really enjoy this series where you take food from books and make the dish

  2. I love how you have been making recipes inspired by foods mentioned in books! It is such a unique idea! I loved the Hunger Games and I think food was emphasized quite a bit so thanks for bringing those dishes to life!

  3. wow that looks delicious!!

  4. That's interesting how you added tempeh, i have yet to try it, but i really want to!

    1. It's a funny ingredient! It's a little bitter, but has a great texture. I love it, but I don't eat it very often.

  5. HOW COOL! That looks tasty. I found it funny in the movie how they didn't spend much time on the food, but in the books, it was all about the "HUNGER" games, and the food and how they ate with their hands at first. Right? Anywway, I look forward to more Hunger Games recipes!

    1. Ugghh! I still haven't seen it yet! So excited...I have a feeling I'll love it, but you're right...the role of food in the book is just such an essential part of it all.

  6. OOoh this looks so tasty! Always looking for new things to do with tempeh and love the orange idea. Will definitely get around to trying this Clair, thanks!


Thanks for making me smile. =)