Cookie cravings and carrot-onion hash cakes

Woah. Remember that time I started a blog? And then I didn’t blog? That was fun. Well, here I am again 3 months later, and life is good. I’m living in Fremont, and I’m employed as a writer (yay) for an awesome agency (double yay) that has a dog-friendly office (triple yay) and wine on tap (all the yays). I have an income and a WA driver’s license and a bus pass and I’m not partially living out of my car. I’m moving up in the world, you guys.

On another note, my relationship with my stomach has been a little strained lately. And by strained, I mean my stomach hates me. I’ve been having pretty consistently ambiguous stomach pain for a while now. If that sounds confusing, that’s because it is. And it’s really annoying. So I decided to get to the bottom of it.

I started an elimination diet to try to figure out what the heck is going on by cutting out a whole bunch of food groups and reintroducing them one at a time. It’s hard. I did it wrong, and then started over, and long story short it’s been 6 weeks without cheese.

For those of you that haven’t heard me babbling on about this whole process already, here’s what the elimination diet eliminates. Warning – this list may make you very sad: gluten, grains, dairy, eggs, corn, red meat, shellfish, pork, sugar and artificial sweeteners, alcohol, chocolate, caffeine, nightshade vegetables, nuts, citrus, vinegars (other than coconut and apple cider), soy, sesame, oils (other than coconut and olive), and additives like artificial flavors and colors.

But yes, I do get to eat more than chicken and kale. I was going strong. And then today, I ate three cookies. Three whole gluten and dairy-filled cookies.

How do I feel? A little sick. A little ashamed. And also, a little hungry for another cookie.

I confess this to you in the spirit of full disclosure, and also because, as my wise friend Sanni likes to say, self-control is a limited resource. I am not perfect. I am human. Sometimes, the allure of a good cookie just can’t be denied. And in my defense, these were really good cookies.

So I’m not really sure where to go from here. The plan is a work in progress.

But all in all, the elimination diet has been super interesting and educational. Sometimes I feel better, sometimes I don’t, but it's forced me to cook a whole lot more. 

For instance, this morning, (pre-cookies) my roommate made pancakes, which made me want hash browns. Not sure why, that’s just what happened. I did not have potatoes, nor could I eat potatoes, and all I had in my fridge was a couple of carrots and an onion, so I improvised – and this was the delicious result.

Carrot-Onion Hash Cakes (Elimination Diet Friendly)

Ingredients: 2 carrots (I used one purple and one orange because purple carrots make me happy) ¼ red onion Pinch of brown rice flour Olive oil Salt and pepper

Directions

1. Use a zester to grate one of the carrots, and a vegetable peeler to shave the other carrot into little slivers. Throw that all into a bowl. (If your kitchen is luxurious and you have a food processor then I guess you could use that…the zesting is key though - it keeps the hash together and mimics the texture of a potato)

2. Slice the red onion super thin and add that to the bowl.

3. Add a tablespoon or so of olive oil and a pinch of brown rice flour. Squish it all together with your hands. You could even add some dried herbs if you’re feeling fancy.

4. Heat more olive oil in a pan over medium heat. Form your hash mixture into three or four balls and carefully place them in the hot oil. Smash them down with a spatula and sprinkle some salt and pepper on those bad boys.

5. Cook for a couple minutes until the underside is golden brown, then flip. If you flip the cakes successfully without breaking them into a million pieces, you officially win adulthood. If you don’t, well, it’s still technically hash and nobody really gives a shit.

6. Cook till the other side is golden brown, too. Then serve!

Chef tip: flavor is best when served after dieting long enough to forget what a french fry tastes like.

Chef tip: flavor is best when served after dieting long enough to forget what a french fry tastes like.