Insomnia has plagued me for years. I often struggle to fall asleep (and have tried every solution you could possibly suggest, trust me). There are phases of morning insomnia where I wake up at 4:30am and ultimately get out of bed, knowing it’s a lost cause as my brain races with random, disconnected thoughts. Some nights I never truly fall asleep, and am doomed to an endless stretch of on-again/off-again dozing. Other times, I’ll wake up from a deep slumber to my subconscious playing the stupidest songs at top volume, or sharing an unpleasant memory from my past. My subconscious can be extremely rude. She’ll wake me up in the middle of the night to yell about obnoxious things. “YOU ALWAYS LEAVE THE CLOSET DOOR OPEN. WHY DON’T YOU EVER CLOSE THE CLOSET?” Errrrr… sorry, brain.
This isn’t all the time. Sometimes I sleep very deeply through the entire night. Then there are dreams. I have the most colorful, vivid dreams. Nighttime is an alternate universe, where I can recall places and experiences from past dreams to help me navigate my way through new scenarios. I can’t remember details when I wake up aside from quick déjà vu flashes if something sparks my memory. I’ll get more specific visions of my dream world as my head hits the pillow before bed, but I’m too lazy at that point to write anything down. Does anyone else experience this? Do I sound completely insane?
Every now and then, the nightmare loops happen. Thankfully these are rare, because they’re the worst. Something will startle me while I’m dreaming, usually a loud noise, and I’ll wake up with chills down my spine. In my bed, in my room. Only I’m not actually awake. And then something else will startle me (possibly the realization that I’m still dreaming) and I’ll wake up again. Suddenly, it will happen again, over and over again, until I’m frozen. It’s like a scene out of a movie. When I finally wake up for real, I usually have to get out of bed for awhile. I don’t want to chance falling back into that cycle of hell again.
Over the years, a few people have suggested that I look into sleep studies. I’m inclined to think that I simply have an overactive brain which is, um, enriched due to some medicine I’ve been on for a long time. I have no plans to change my medication, so this is how things are. Nighttime remains an eventful experience.
Seriously though, I wasn’t planning on sharing any of that; it just spilled out. Originally, my plan was to write what I love about this simple recipe. I’m tacking that on at the end without bothering to find a connection. I don’t think there is one, unless my subconscious is messing with me again. Maybe the connection is that simple food is comfort food, and comfort food calms my troubled soul? I’m kidding. Bottom line – I struggle to find easy lunches in the middle of busy workdays, and this fits the bill. It comes together quickly, and it’s full of healthy fats and what not.
- 4 slices bread, toasted (see notes)
- 2 avocados
- Juice from 1 lime
- ½ teaspoon kosher salt, plus more as needed
- ½-1 cup canned white beans
- 16-20 asparagus spears (less if they’re thick)
- Optional: crushed red pepper
- Slice the avocados in half, discarding the pits. Scoop the flesh into a medium sized bowl and mash along with the lime juice and salt, adjusting the seasoning level according to personal preference.
- Divide the mashed avocado between the 4 slices of bread. (Alternately, you can serve up 1 portion at a time. Simply cover the bowl with plastic film; it will keep in the refrigerator for several days).
- Top each slice with white beans.
- Remove and discard the tough ends from the asparagus. Wrap in 2 layers of damp paper towels and place on a microwave-safe dish. Microwave for 3-4 minutes, or until the asparagus is crisp-tender. Top each slice of avocado toast with 4-5 slices of steamed asparagus.
- Sprinkle each toast lightly with some additional salt and, if using, a bit of crushed red pepper to taste.
Also, these quantities are a bit open to interpretation. This avocado toast is easier to eat with a fork and knife because of the asparagus, so feel free to load up with more beans and veggies, or less avocado if you’re trying to cut the calories.