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Cooking Through Fiction: Levi's Carrot-Apple Hash

One of my favorite parts of having a favorite book (or series) is finding someone else who shares the same love and devotion to the literary work, finding someone who talks about the same characters with as much excitement, irritation, and admiration as I do. This is what makes fandoms so amazing.

Fandoms connect people all across the globe so they can share their mutual love of fictional worlds. For fandoms, even after the original authors have finished the novels, even after the TV series have ended, the stories never stop. Fanfiction continues on and on as long as there are fans to read it.

Years ago, I stumbled into the world of Harry Potter fanfiction, and I’m still thankful for the happy accident. I met wonderful writers (many who are still close friends of mine), hilarious characters, and interesting people who shared my love of all things Harry Potter. Many of us still laugh about stories we read, characters who went crazy, and moral moray eels.

My love of Harry Potter fanfiction is why I adored Fangirl, the story of Cath, who is an awkward, but loveable, fanfiction writer. In the novel, Cath meets Levi, who becomes someone she can depend on no matter what happens (and a lot happens). Late one night, Levi takes Cath to a diner to cheer her up. He orders a corned beef hash, so today I’m whipping up a much healthier (and stranger) version.

“The waitress came back, and Levi lit up for her. Predictably. He ordered corned beef hash. Cath stuck with coffee. ‘She’ll grow out of it,’ he said when the waitress walked away from their booth. ‘Reagan’s right. It’s a freshman thing.’ ‘I’m a freshman. I’m not out getting wasted.’ Levi laughed. ‘Right. Because you’re too busy throwing dance parties. What was the emergency anyway?’” (Rowell, Rainbow. Fangirl [New York: St. Martin’s Griffin, 2013], 121.)

Levi's Carrot-Apple Hash

Serves: 8

Difficulty Level: As easy as eating an apple


4 bacon slices, cut into 1-inch pieces

6 carrots, peeled (2 cups shredded)

1 granny smith apple, peeled and shredded

1 pound ground beef (turkey, chicken, or sausage can be used)

1-2 tbsp Italian Spice Blend (see below)

sea salt and pepper to taste

How to Make

  1. In a large sauté pan over medium heat, cook the bacon until crispy.

  2. While bacon cooks, shred carrots and apple.

  3. Once bacon is cooked, add ground meat to pan. Add Italian Spice Blend, and break up the meat to distribute spices. Cook until browned. Taste and add more spices if needed.

  4. Reduce heat to medium-low and add carrots and apple. Stir to combine. Cook until carrots are tender, approximately 5 minutes.

  5. Serve hot.

Italian Spice Blend

Yields: 5 tbsp


1 tsp sea salt

1 tbsp fennel seeds

1 tbsp ground sage

1 tbsp granulated garlic

1 tbsp onion powder

¼ tsp white pepper (or 1 tsp black pepper)

2 tsp dried parsley

How to Make

Combine all spices in a bowl, and store in a small container.

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