When deciding what Star Wars treats to make, it's actually a pretty hard call. Sure, you can make Star Wars themed food pretty easily. There's Wookie Cookies, Han Burgers, and even a Death Star cake (if you're feeling extra ambitious). But what of actual food from the Star Wars universe?
Some food is mentioned in passing in the series, but never with enough real detail to know what the characters are actually eating. The Star Wars video games feature a wider variety of food, but they're less well-known, so you really miss hitting the greatest number of fans.
But there are at least two foods mentioned in the movies that have built up some pretty good lore around them: Yoda's root-leaf stew and bantha milk .
This hearty, swampy stew makes it's first appearance in Episode V The Empire Strikes Back. When Luke first encounters Yoda on Dagobah, Yoda is preparing the stew, "throwing roots and swamp weed" into a large pot. Luke is impatient and the smell reminds him of a garbage dump on Tatooine, so he's not super happy about having to stop for lunch.
So, you can always make that recipe, but it's not like it's actually canon. And I take some issue with it, personally. There are a lot of people on the internet who believe Yoda is a vegan, and really, who am I to argue with people on the internet? But even if he's not, his stew is called root-leaf stew. It's not called lamb stew--or even bantha stew for that matter. I'm inclined to believe the name represents the stew, which to me says root vegetables and leafy greens.
To really play up the root and greens aspect of the stew, my recipe is basically a mix of a Moroccan stew and an Italian stew, which I know sounds weird, but it hits all the right ingredient notes. Also, I had most of the ingredients in my pantry already, which is always an important aspect of planning a meal. I encourage you to make substitutions and additions with ingredients you already have--I'm pretty sure it's what Yoda would do too.
While the couscous was happening, I added some lentils and chopped plum tomatoes to my stew broth and let it boil away for about twenty minutes. After that, I added my root vegetables and acorn squash, letting it cook for another twenty minutes.
While that was cooking, I sauteed my zucchini with a little bit of oil and salt. Zucchini has a real nasty habit of totally falling apart when you put it in soups or stews, which I wanted to avoid in order to get that real nice pop of green color in what was mostly an orange soup. Sauteing it first and adding it at the end helped.
- 1 onion, chopped
- t teaspoon red pepper flakes (I used one envelope from Papa John's cause I'm classy)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil (I used grape seed oil because it's what I had)
- 2 teaspoons ground cinnamon
- 2 teaspoons ground cumin
- 2 teaspoons ground coriander
- 1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper
- 1/2 teaspoon ground allspice
- 4 cups of vegetable broth
- 1/4 cup of lentils
- 1/4 cup of couscous
- 1/2 can of peeled whole tomatoes, chopped (I also cut up about 8 small yellow tomatoes and added them for color)
- 1 small butternut squash, peeled and cubed (even better if you can find the pre-peeled and chopped bag)
- 2 medium potatoes
- 1/2 bag of baby carrots, chopped
- 1 zucchini, chopped
- 8 ounces of mushrooms (any variety), chopped
- 1/2 bag of frozen spinach
- In a large Dutch oven, saute onion and red pepper flakes in oil until onion is tender. Add spices, and continue to cook for 1 minute longer, stirring often. Add vegetable broth.
- Before bringing the broth up to a boil, remove a 1/2 cup of liquid and transfer it to a new small pot. Use the liquid to make the couscous according to package directions with 1/4 cup of couscous.
- Meanwhile, bring the broth up to a boil, and add lentils and chopped tomatoes. Cook for twenty to twenty five minutes, covered.
- Once lentils have been on the stove for at least twenty minutes, add the butternut squash, potatoes, and carrots. (You can chop them while you wait for that twenty minute timer to go off--tis what I did). Cook for another twenty minutes, covered.
- Meanwhile, saute your chopped zucchini in a separate pan.
- When the second twenty minute period is over, add the sauteed zucchini, mushrooms, frozen spinach, and cooked couscous to the pot. Cook for five to eight minutes.
- Serve. And if you f something up along the way, I promise it'll be okay.
I will say that this stew is pretty spicy. You could cut back on some of the spices... OR you could wash it down with some good ol' fashioned bantha milk.
Alright, on to our second, arguably more exciting, Star Wars dish: bantha milk. Bantha milk is the naturally blue milk product produced by female banthas. It makes its first appearance in New Hope. In a deleted scene, Beru Lars can be seen pouring the blue milk into a jug. While a later book refers to the milk as Blue milk, it's not referred to as bantha milk until Star Wars Rebels: Spark of Rebellion.
But the blue milk of the bantha female is well-accepted canon, so obviously I wanted to figure out how to recreate it. The easiest option is blue food coloring in milk. But where's the fun in that? Other options include blue cocktails or blue milkshakes. But I wanted actual blue milk.
Which, after 5 grueling hours, I achieved. Here's the upshot: I used the blue fruit loops in a giant box of fruit loops to slowly dye my milk blue and impart some of that delicious fruit loop flavor. Would I recommend it? No. Am I going to tell you how I did it anyways? Yes.
I started by soaking my blue fruit loops in milk for two hours. (You can probably use any blue cereal you like, but I choose fruit loops because they are bigger and thus easier to pick out by color than fruity pebbles.) But, that didn't really achieve much more than a blu-ish tinged milk. So I stirred and soaked them more.
Two hours later, I still had only slightly blue milk. Not at all anything to celebrate or write home about. Thus came the next step. I strained that shit. Then I mushed and stirred.
- 1 cup of blue fruit loops
- 1 cup of milk
- Soak fruit loops in cup of milk for an hour.
- Strain milk into bowl over a fine mesh strainer, really mushing the cereal to release all the milk.
- Pour mush mixture back into the cup of milk. Soak for another hour.
- Strain milk again, again mushing and stirring. This time, most of the mush mixture should fall through into the milk.
- Use a second, smaller strainer directly over a glass. Pour blue milk over it, slowly letting the milk drip into the cup. Do not mush the cereal through the strainer.
- Look at the beautiful cup of blue milk you made, and then pour it straight down the drain. You're welcome.