A healthy attempt at the Sweet Potato Toast Trend

We were at home. He was sitting across from me looking at my plate. "That's dinner?" he asked, as my husband took a bite of his Costco hot dog smothered in relish and mustard.  I looked down. "Yeah, it's the newest trend. Avocado on sweet potato toast. I think it probably looks worse than it tastes." I tried lifting the slice to take a bite but it was too floppy to eat with my hands. So, I went with the traditional knife and fork approach and took a bite. He looked at me expectantly. "Well?" "Well," I said. "It tastes like mashed avocado on a slightly charred, chewy but soft piece of sweet potato." It wasn't the worse thing I have ever tasted but it  also wasn't a meal that I would want every night. I did, however, feel virtuous. I felt like the goodness in the avocado and sweet potato were flooding my body with nutrients and that I liked.

I am on a quest to get healthy, to lose weight, to get strong and like who I am. I am happiest when I my clothes fit well and I can walk/run three miles easily. Right now, I need work in this area so lately, I have been wading through healthy lifestyle websites and browsing through cookbooks. Sweet potato toast with avocado is a recipe trend that I keep coming across. As a vegetarian (*with a slight love for bacon) this seemed like a healthy meal bursting with nutrients.  Sweet potatoes are an excellent source of Vitamin A, Vitamin C, manganese, copper and fiber as well as anti-inflammatory properties. Avocados are also good for you, containing healthy mono-unsaturated fat.  I decided to try one of the recipes. I used this one from epicurious.com.

It's a simple recipe. To make Sweet Potato Toast with Avocado, cut a sweet potato into 1/4 inch slices, pop them into your toaster (you may need to do this three or four times on 'dark'). Then top with sliced or mashed avocado. It seemed easy enough.

We have a toaster oven instead of a traditional toaster so I tried it in that. After 10 minutes on the bagel setting, the sweet potato slices were still hard. Fifteen minutes and they were charred and dry but still semi-hard. At 20 minutes, the outside was shriveled and slightly burned. I took them out of the oven and they didn't resemble the crisp looking slices on the epicurious site. My guess is that the sweet potato slices would have cooked more evenly and crisply in a traditional toaster with the heating elements close on both sides of the sweet potato. Of course, avocado can make anything great. So, I mashed an avocado with some fresh lime juice and topped the cooked sweet potato slices with it. It was good, in a way that you like something when you know it's really good for you.

As I was eating the "toast" L, looked at me and laughed. "You look confused as you're eating that," he said, as he took a bite of a potato chip. "Yeah," I said. "It's like a warm Thanksgiving side dish topped with a cool Mexican appetizer. It's not bad. It's just really---soft." Did I finish it? Yes, because I was so hungry. One of the benefits of this meal is that it's super high in fiber so I was full until the following morning. Would I make it again? Probably not, but the next time I find myself in a hipster vegan restaurant, I would order this. I think prepared in a different way, it could be a slice of heaven.

happy food: avocado lime baja tacos

In the winter, I crave comfort food like mac & cheese and mashed potatoes but when the days turn sunny and warm, I can't get enough of beach-style food like salads, watermelon, chips & guacamole and tacos. On lovely summer days, I could have Baja Fish Tacos every day and be as happy as a toddler in a wading pool with a popsicle.

Other than the fact that these tacos are adaptable for most food preferences (switch out pulled pork or chicken for the fish or omit the corn tortilla altogether), the preparation is quick, especially if you pick up some prepared items at the market. With some simple prep and 20 minutes, you'll feel like you just stopped by your favorite taco truck by the beach. (This Avocado Lime Crema is also delicious as a salad dressing or a dip for fresh vegetables.)

For a perfect summer experience, prepare these, wrap them in aluminum foil and enjoy these outside with a margarita.

print recipe

Avocado Lime Baja Tacos
Easy summer tacos that rival that beachside taco truck
  • 4 pieces cooked fish (I used Trader Joe's breaded cod filets.)
  • 1 cup finely shredded white cabbage
  • 1/2 cup fresh chopped pineapple
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • (to taste) Cotija or shredded Cheddar cheese
  • 2 medium peeled and pitted ripe avocados
  • 1/2 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • Juice of two limes
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 1/2 cup Greek yogurt
  • 1 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 tablespoons water
  • (to taste) sea salt
Add all Avocado Lime Crema ingredients (avocados, cilantro, lime juice, sour cream, Greek yogurt, garlic powder, water and salt) to blender and mix on medium for 45 seconds or until blended. Set aside.If you have a grill or gas stove, place each corn tortilla directly on grill or burner for ten seconds on each side to char. Otherwise. wrap tortillas in a damp paper towel and microwave for 20 seconds to soften tortillas. Assemble each taco with a layer of shredded cabbage atop the tortilla followed by the fish, crema, pineapple and cheeseEnjoy!Notes: These can also be made with shredded pork, chicken or simply vegetables.

Most markets have cabbage and pineapple already shredded and cubed.
Prep time: Cook time: Total time: Yield: Dinner for two

the saddest post i've ever written

Every little girl should have a dog.
In heaven, there is a little baby girl, our daughter named Grayson and tonight she gets her wish.
Our sweet, funny, kind, loving Emerson, our dog, our girl, tonight left this earthly plane. She had a great heart, unfortunately too big, too enlarged. We would have done everything to save her, I would have run into a burning building to rescue her. Larry would have battled great white sharks and bopped them on the nose. I would have fought anyone who tried to harm this innocent sweet soul who just wanted to love, who would lay under my desk during the day with her face draped over the top of my feet. At night she slept on my pillow and I often woke up with her eyes carefully studying my face.
She has been my best friend, my constant north star for the past 16 years. Today, she was suffering. She was gasping to breathe, she batted my hand away but still I loved her. So, I cuddled with her laying against my chest peacefully (while Larry held us) our breaths in tune with each other. The first drug came and she closed her eyes to sleep, hearing my heart beat against hers. The second drug lifted her away. I closed my eyes, kissed her head and told her “Run to Grayson, Emma, run as fast as your little legs can carry you. You will recognize each other. She has been waiting so long for you. I love you I love you I love you. It was heaven here with you. We will see you again.” Then it was over.
I look forward to seeing those fast little Westie legs running towards me someday when I leave and I will say “Emma, I will lift you up, bury my face in your neck and love you for all eternity.”