Avocados...Beyond Toast

It's really not rocket science to grasp the fact that I (and the rest of this food-crazed world) love us some avocado. We'll find any excuse to make it a part of our breakfast, lunch and dinner. And for people like me, that's any every day kind of habit. Smashed and slathered on toast, drizzled in a little olive oil and sprinkled with sea salt, blended to make some magical guacamole, drenched to the nines in sriracha....

Yeah. You won't hear me saying that avocados have "overstayed their welcome" in my lifetime. 

Once the roles started to reverse and nutritionists were declaring that the fats in foods like avocados are the good kind of fats, well, we all went nuts. And then once restaurants like Café Gitane in NYC started popularizing avocado toast and making it a staple on their menus, we all got a little nuttier. All it took was a visit to this little Nolita gem by the likes of Miss Olivia Wilde and Gwyneth Paltrow (who of course took to Instagram to share their fascination) to spark a revolution. Man Repeller is even declaring it a summer of avocado toast vs. (yes way) rosé

Hype aside, avocados truly do deserve a big stamp of approval because of their nutrition density. They contain nearly 20 vitamins and minerals that most notably include magnesium, potassium and fiber - leaving the sodium and cholesterol behind. Because of their high (healthy) fat content, they are excellent substitutes for other (unhealthy) fats.

A nice perk about this obsession is that we're able to experiment and find ways to enjoy avocados beyond the typical morning toast. Over the past couple of months, I've found a few ways to incorporate avocados into various simple, crowd-pleasing summer meals. 

One easy peasy way to round out a summer meal with avocado is in the company of a very light, very green salad. I created this simple salad by combining fresh, local lettuce with Tuscan kale, micro-greens, cilantro, hemp seeds and olive oil. Nothing too fancy here - you can either enjoy the avocado as a solo side dish or spoon the halves right out of the skin and enjoy them with each bite of your salad. 

And speaking of salads...

Since we all love to toss everything on the grill in the summer, why not add an avocado or two on there? It would be an awesome addition to veggie kebabs with a nice aioli to drizzle on top. In this case, I didn't have a grill to work with, so I just used my large skillet pan. Peek the full recipe here (in addition to a mouthwatering recipe for almond butter cups...you guys, so good). 

This avocado cilantro "salsa" was a hit during my recent family vacation, enjoying it multiple nights with multiple meals. It was simple enough to add right on top of yet another kale salad alongside grilled salmon. And on another night, it served as a side dish to steamed shrimp, corn on the cob and remnants of an amazing bruschetta that my sister made. Since I enjoy mixing various textures and flavors when it comes to food, I created a mini fiesta bowl by cutting the corn off the cob and mixing with both the avocado cilantro salsa and bruschetta. If only we had some corn tortilla chips to make some festive nachos....that would have been golden. 

Rolling sliced avocado around in hemp seeds? Why not! I was inspired to make collard wraps a few weeks ago and thought that aside from the nutritional boost provided by the hemp seeds, it would add a nice crunch. I also spied the ladies of Sakara Life posting about it, so thought that I would give it a whirl on my own terms. (What you don't see here is the beautiful mess of tempeh and other random fixings that made it into these wraps as well, because I inhaled it.)

And now, one of my favorite experiments with avocados as of late. This delicious take on avocado caprese that's generously been drizzled in a very simple basil oil. And by simple, I mean that all you have to do is toss fresh basil leaves into a food processor or blender with a little olive oil and voila! Sprinkle with sea salt if you fancy and you have yourself just a small bit of summer on your plate. The basil oil also doubles as a light salad dressing or could also be tossed with pasta noodles.

For someone who typically complicates recipes with a tad too many ingredients, I've been very pleased with how simple all of these creations are and it took just a few minutes to drum them all up. By no means do I want to downplay the beauty that is avocado toast, but sometimes it's nice to enjoy it on something other than a piece of bread. 

Have you experimented with avocados in any fun recipes lately? Share in the comments below!

And P.S., get your hands on those awesome "From The Deep Side" Octopus plates (above) here. Surprise, surprise. Anthropologie strikes again. 

Be well,