If your weight or health is causing you problems, wellness chef Charles Chen believes in turning toward, not away from, food. “Food actually saved my life,” says Chen. “I transformed my life through food.”
Nuking a bowl of processed oatmeal or grabbing a sugary-packed yogurt as you leave the house might be quick and easy, but Chen has a breakfast alternative that will nourish your mind and body for a better start to your day: his unique spin on avocado toast.
Chen is a chef, entrepreneur, and vivacious host of the online cooking show Kitchen Hustle, where “hustlers learn how to fuel their passions.” Throughout his childhood, Chen struggled with his health. As a teenager, he was prediabetic and a self-proclaimed couch potato who had no energy or motivation to make healthier choices. After hitting what he calls his “rock bottom moment,” he reclaimed his health, lost more than 100 pounds, and now helps others fuel their “bodies, mind, and spirit starting in the kitchen.”
Why avocado toast? This trendy food has become popular thanks to its ease, simplicity, and versatility. You can top it with any veggie, herb, spice, or condiment, and you can eat it for almost any meal of the day.
And avocado toast is also oh-so-good for you. Avocado is rich in those healthy monounsaturated fats doctors are always recommending, and whole-wheat toast has hearty fiber to keep you full for longer. (That means you’ll be less tempted to reach into the candy jar at work when that 10:30 a.m. energy dip comes around.)
Chen puts a twist on his avocado toast that gives it an added protein boost: chickpeas. By mashing some hummus into the avocado mixture, you’ll boost your energy and stave off those yawns (at least until the afternoon). You can use your favorite store-bought variety, or you can make your own hummus.
To play off the Mediterranean flavors of the hummus, Chen tops the avocado toast with cherry tomatoes and fresh strips of basil. (Here’s how to slice cherry tomatoes quickly and chiffonade basil into thin ribbons.) Other easy topping options include crushed red pepper flakes, sliced radishes, roasted chickpeas, sunflower seeds, sliced cucumbers, alfalfa sprouts, or arugula.