The Avocado Toast Challenge

Avocado toast is one of those trendy little menu items I often find at local brunch spots that I always know I will like, especially when topped with a poached egg — it’s like a lightened up Eggs Benedict (another favorite of mine). Even the most basic version is made up of ingredients that I already know I like (I can hear Joey Tribbiani from “FRIENDS” saying, “What’s not to like? Bread? Good… Avocado? Good…”). Oddly enough, I rarely ever order it these days. I guess figure I could always just try my hand at making it at home instead… anyone else?

#throwback to a time when I could dine-in at Drift Coffee | Wilmington, NC

For those of us who like finding new recipes online but do not like having to scroll through the “blah, blah, blah” of a blog before getting to the recipe, then you’re in luck! For your convenience, I have listed the recipes here below and the rest of the anecdote(s) to follow [you’re welcome]. But by all means, please feel free to read the rest at your leisure! 

PART 1: Avocado Toast 5 Ways

You’ll need a few basic ingredients that all of the recipes below will build upon. We’ve been pretty dependent on Instacart and Shipt in recent days to comply with the Stay-at-Home order that is in effect, so if you haven’t tried them yet, those links will help get you started! #flattenthecurve

Here’s what you’ll need to start out:

  • 1 Slice Sprouted Grain Bread, toasted to your liking
  • 1/2 Hass Avocado Sliced or Diced, spread evenly onto toast
  • Freshly Ground Salt & Pepper, seasoned atop the avocado to your liking

1.) Basic Bagel-ish:

  • 3 Basics (above)
  • Everything But The Bagel Seasoning, sprinkled directly onto avocado, and again on the egg
  • 1 Poached or Fried Egg
  • Optional: Add some diced tomato for extra flavor

2.) Cantina Bonita:

3.) Mediterranean Bagel-ish:

  • 3 Basics 
  • 1 Small Tomato Diced (Campari, or 1/2 of a medium size tomato, diced)
  • Crumbled Feta Cheese
  • Poached or Fried Egg
  • Optional: Add your favorite flavor of Hummus for extra protein
  • Optional: Add a few Kalamata Olives for an extra pop of flavor

4.) Bravo Italiano:

  • 3 Basics
  • 1 Small Tomato, Diced (I used 1/2 of a Roma tomato here)
  • Basil Pesto
  • Shaved or Shredded Parmesan Cheese
  • Poached or Fried Egg
  • Optional: 1 Slice Fresh Mozzarella for more of a Caprese take on it

5.) Bougie Bagel-ish

  • 3 Basics
  • Everything But The Bagel Seasoning, sprinkled directly onto avocado
  • Smoked Salmon Slices, layered atop the seasoned avocado
  • Lemon Wedge (squeeze a little juice over the avocado, top with Salmon, then squeeze the rest)
  • 1 Small Tomato Diced (I used a Campari tomato, or 1/2 of a medium size tomato, diced)
  • Optional: Fresh Chopped Rosemary (DO IT! It is SO good!)

PART 2: I Eat ‘Fear of Failure’ for Breakfast

Poached eggs aside, it seems like it would take more work to mess up avocado toast than it would to get it right, am I right? I’ll see it on the menu, then think to myself, “Katy, don’t order this! You could totally make it at home, spend the same amount of the money on the ingredients and have it for breakfast all week long.” I’ll then order something else I know I would never attempt to make myself, then inevitably neglect to make the avocado toast at home later on, thus completely missing out on it altogether, all for fear of possibly messing it up and wasting oh-so-valuable time and resources [cue dramatic eye-roll].

Yep, the fear of failure is strong with this one. It took me more than a year to quit putting off starting this blog, and its recent launch was actually 3 whole months later than it was supposed to be. I wanted it to be perfect, but thoughts of it not being well received, or not interesting enough, or possibly attracting more eye-rolls than Likes were impeding my path to the starting line. Eventually, I realized that my focus on perfection was really just thinly veiled procrastination as a result of an irrational fear of failure.

Those paralyzing, anxious thoughts of self-doubt and inadequacy can creep in on even the most unassuming and trivial of endeavors — like making avocado toast or poaching an egg. When it comes down to it, those debilitating notions are all LIES that can become self-fulfilling prophecies if we don’t take care to recognize the untruth at the root of it and eradicate it from our minds altogether. Some of my friends with diagnosed anxiety disorders can attest to being riddled with literally hundreds of thoughts like these daily and, admittedly, my own personal fear of failure is a comparatively weak glimpse into a struggle like theirs. If you are faced with that kind of unrelenting psychological warfare daily, my heart goes out to you and I pray that Peace, beyond all understanding, will overcome every. single. one. of those anxious thoughts, in Jesus’ name

“For we were not given a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

1 Timothy 1:7

Since making the move to Wilmington, NC in recent months, I’ve had a little more time on my hands during the day when the house is empty. So one day, I finally asked the question: Why on earth am I OK with spending the time and money to play “menu-roulette” at a restaurant, but then give myself absolutely ZERO grace before even attempting a recipe that, for all intents and purposes, should be a fairly safe bet? I decided then that it was time to accept the avocado toast challenge that I had previously extended to myself and maybe, just maybe try my hand at poaching an egg too!

My Actual First Attempt

As you can see from the image above, I chickened out on the poached egg (pun intended). The avocado toast itself was a total breeze and so delicious, but I knew it lacked the protein I needed to stay full. So, I decided to just double up the ingredients and scarf it all down as-is. Again — delicious, but somehow left something to be desired. Funny… Isn’t that the same thing those mind-bullying lies do to us? Convince us that we can never fully accomplish what we set out to do and tell us that more of the same “okayness” will be good enough, when deep down, we know we need more to be truly satisfied? Upon recognizing the err of my way, I then did what any Millennial in my position would do and took to social media. I shared the picture of my short-lived half-victory, asked for tips on how to make it better next time and, ultimately, how to tackle poaching an egg. 

The response was more than I could have asked for. There were nearly a hundred comments back and forth with countless ideas for dressing up the recipe AND tips for poaching eggs! Better yet, I reconnected with friends from all chapters of my life — people that I hadn’t seen in years, some more than a decade [or two] ago. I didn’t realize just how much I really needed that at the time. Had I believed the lie that good enough was good enough and not asked for help, I would have completely robbed myself of that joy, trivial as it all may seem.

This last bit needs some mood music. If you’re reading this from a computer or laptop, press the ‘play’ button and read on, otherwise swing back and take a listen on your mobile device!

Friend, it is hard starting over in your [early] 30’s (much less while social distancing during a global pandemic); however, I also recognize that a fresh start can be a rare gift that is hard to come by. Extra time on one’s hands is an even rarer gift. It’s what we choose to do in those moments that make the difference in our journey — a lesson I don’t think anyone is ever too far along in life to learn. So, the very next day, I seized the fresh start mentality, thew my hair back into a high ponytail, strapped on a cute headband and FINALLY tried my hand at the poaching an egg for my avocado toast. Call it beginner’s luck, but I poached that dadgum egg and I did it perfectly! [self high-five]

Over the weeks that followed, I have made LOTS of poached eggs with my avocado toast and incorporated all kinds of new ingredients — some from the suggestions I received from my post, and others that I stumbled upon just by having fun with it. The above recipes are actually a combination of both methods! And I have learned firsthand that even when I do mess up poaching the egg, it’s really just extra protein that God only knew I needed for the day — either that, or a quick lesson in humility! 

Hey, it was bound to happen eventually.

In any event, I hope you are motivated to tackle something new during this unique time we live in, whether it be a recipe or just something new for you in general. I am always looking for a fresh spin on this dish and would LOVE to know what your favorites are too. Oh, and if you try any of the recipes above, let me know what you think in the comments!

Follow:

2 Comments

  1. Heather Bishop
    April 4, 2020 / 12:43 am

    What a great reminder, Katy! Thank you! Oh, the Mediterranean bagel-ish and Bravo Italiano sounds delish!

    • April 6, 2020 / 5:50 pm

      Thank you so much, Heather! 🙂 Let me know how it turns out — they are both so yummy!!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.