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The avocado toast that saved my fourth year

This year is anything but basic, and the same can be said for this extra special toast

As a self-identified foodie with an acquired taste, I can say avocado toast should not be basic because it just might save your year.
As a self-identified foodie with an acquired taste, I can say avocado toast should not be basic because it just might save your year.

Avocado toast has become infamous for being a “basic” breakfast or lunch. What once was innovative back in the 2010s has now simply become an overused brunch item — in the same boat with oat milk lattes, acai bowls and kale salads.

Yes, avocado toast can be basic, but it doesn’t have to be. 

My revamped avocado toast is now something I actually look forward to each morning. Whenever I am in the kitchen before noon, my roommates will just give me a smirk and ask, “Avocado toast?” to which I always cheerfully respond with either “Avocado toast!” or “You know it.” It has become a staple that has honestly helped me through an extraordinarily tough fourth year.

Other than my coffee, avocado toast is practically the only thing that gets me out of bed in the morning. Toast is so easy — there are minimal worries with grocery shopping and cooking when I know I have this go-to meal. I also never have to splurge at Corner Juice again when I get that avocado craving. It is sufficient enough to keep me satisfied through all of my morning and mid-afternoon classes. It quite literally fuels my day, and thus my fourth year. The only days I skip my toast now are when I am hauling over to Bodo’s Bagels on the weekends. I haven’t gotten tired of it yet because there are a multitude of ways to switch it up based on your mood.

I actually forgot about making avocado toast for a while because I was one of the many who just overdid it years ago. I got tired of the combination of bread, avocado and salt and pepper with maybe a sprinkle of olive oil. It wasn’t until my January Term this year that I rediscovered the wonder and potential for both opportunity and creativity with avocado toast. For those who aren’t familiar, most J-term classes last five to six hours every day for two weeks. When I first saw that schedule, my mouth widened and my stomach rumbled with just the thought of the hunger I would have to withstand in that time. How could I sit through a class that long without really eating? What is something I could make in the short lunch break that would hold me over for the rest of the school day? I knew I needed fats and carbs — and of course flavor — to satisfy my stomach for this duration. The answer? Avocado toast. And not your “basic” avo toast. No, this would be “Maddie’s avo toast,” and I am anything but basic, despite my addiction to oat milk lattes. 

I am the type of person who gets excited for my meals, and that’s because I make them exciting. I prepared not just a simple avocado mash on bread, but rather something more extraordinary. I pondered my favorite sandwich toppings, and decided to incorporate those into my toast. It is honestly more of an open-faced sandwich rather than your average toast. My go-to combination is cucumbers, tomatoes, sprouts, goat cheese, pesto and hummus. 

I also always add some fun sauces to quite literally spice things up. My favorites are sriracha, balsamic glaze, honey and Trader Joe’s green dragon hot sauce. The other key here is seasonings. I am a firm believer in seasoning quite literally everything, even my kale salads. My favorite seasonings for avocado toast are salt, cracked pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes, paprika occasionally, maybe some lemon pepper, himalayan pink sea salt if you’re feeling fancy and always Trader Joe’s Everything But The Bagel seasoning, of course. 

As I always say, my meals are super mood-oriented. There aren’t really any foods I dislike, but I like certain things more depending on my mood. The same goes for toppings and seasonings, so feel free to just choose yours as you feel. That being said, I have found what I consider the elite combination. I typically have two slices of bread and do a different flavor profile on each one to allow for maximum opportunities. 

The first elite combination is quite simple, but it is not basic. Spread some avocado on your bread, then season generously with salt and cracked black pepper. Next, add some red pepper flakes for a kick. Then — hear me out on this — add honey. I know avocado and honey sounds weird, but seriously trust me. I saw some Instagram food bloggers doing it once, so I just had to try it out of curiosity, and, for some reason, it works. After that, add just the tiniest sprinkle of Everything But The Bagel seasoning, some pink sea salt and a dash of sriracha to contrast the sweetness of the honey. Not basic, but elite.

For the next elite combination I always use whatever is left of the avocado from the first piece of toast, and if there is not enough, I mix it with either pesto or garlic hummus to fill the space on the bread. Next, I add halved cherry tomatoes and mini cucumber slices on top, which I then season with the classic salt and pepper, garlic powder, red pepper flakes and Italian seasoning. If I am feeling extra fancy, I add some goat cheese or any soft cheese on hand. 

The key that ties this altogether is a balsamic glaze, and just measure with your heart, because the more of this is truly the merrier. After that I will add sprouts if I have them on hand, but I have only been able to find them at Whole Foods, so those are more of a luxury item for me. Finally, of course, is the Everything But The Bagel seasoning with some green dragon hot sauce for extra spice and flavor, but you can omit this if it sounds too crazy for your taste buds.

As a fourth-year, I have evidently aged — and so has my food palette. I am past the blandness of the dining halls, along with the basic assumptions of plain avocado toast. As a kid, if I did not like what was for dinner, my dad would always tell me I could have toast, and now I see why. Toast, when done right, is life-saving. As a self-identified foodie with an acquired taste, I can say avocado toast should not be basic because it just might save your year. 

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