Updated: Mar 10
Over the last few years, breakfast has become one of my favourite meals of the day. Nine times out of ten, I'll come downstairs make myself a decadent bowl of oatmeal, topped with chia and hemps seeds and heaps of fruit and nut butters. But every once in a while, on a lazy weekend when I have time to kill and I'm craving something savoury, I like to get a little more creative.
Last week I discovered that my local grocery story carries V + GF everything bagels. I hadn't had bagels in eons and was thrilled to discover that this particular brand carried a range of flavours. Bagels with cream cheese are bomb, but bagels with cream cheese, lox and tons of sweet toppings are way better. So I decided to try replicating and veganizing this classic brunch recipe. Spoiler: I cracked the code on this one - get excited!
When properly seasoned and cooked, some plant foods can be used to help mimic the smells and textures of meat. I'd seen people use carrots to mimic salmon in the past and I decided to try it out myself. It's important to note here that many people don't go vegan because they don't like the taste of meat. That's why some people, myself included, sometimes like to buy or try replicating it!
I started by peeling and slicing carrots and putting together a 3 ingredient marinade with soy sauce to give it a salty taste, liquid smoke to add some smoke and crushed Nori paper to give the carrots slight seaweed-like kick.
Note:You can find all these ingredients in most grocery stores! Liquid smoke comes in a small bottle and is normally sold in the sauce section of the store for $2-3. Nori papers are normally in the Asian section and with the rest of the package you can try making recipes like sushi.
Once marinaded and cooked, the carrots came out of the oven with a texture and slight smell of salmon. I was thrilled with how the carrots tasted alone, but combining it with the bagel, the delicious Sundried Tomato and Basil Cashew Cheese from Faumagerie Zengarry and other flavourful toppings, this carrot lox was a game changer. The crunch of the bagel and cream cheese combined with the cooked carrots was perfect and the taste was super tangy and satisfying. Although this recipe took more time than my usual breakfast prep, it was worth every one of those 30 minutes!
Carrot Lox and Cream Cheese Bagel Sandwich Recipe
Serves: 2 - 4 people
Time: 30 minutes
- 4 large carrots
- 1 Tbsp. soy sauce or tamari
- 1 tsp crushed Nori paper
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- 2-4 vegan bagels (I use O'Dough's V + GF everything flavoured bagels)
- 1 package Faumagerie Zengarry Sundried Tomato and Basil Cashew Cheese
- 2 tomatoes, thinly sliced
- 1 small package arugula or spinach
- 1/2 red onion, sliced
- 1 Tbsp. capers (optional)
1) Preheat your oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit.
2) Start by preparing the carrots. Use a peeler and scrap off the outside skin, then use the peeler or a knife to slice the carrots lengthwise into very thin strips, only 2-3mm thick. Try to keep them as consistent as possible, this will help them cook properly. Once all the carrots are sliced, set aside in a medium sized bowl.
3) Add 1 Tbsp. soy sauce, 1 tsp finely crushed Nori paper and 1 tsp of liquid smoke into the bowl of carrot strips. Mix until all the pieces are coated in the marinade. Allow the mixture to sit for five minutes to absorb the flavours.
4) On two large baking sheets, lay the carrot lox strips flat alongside each other. Do your best to prevent overlap and pour any remaining marinade evenly overtop.
5) Cover the sheets in aluminum foil and put the carrots in the oven for 10 minutes. Once this is done, flip the carrot strips over and allow them to cook for another 2-3 minutes. You want the carrots to be softened, not crispy. Add the strips to a bowl and drizzle some olive oil to keep them from drying up. Set aside.
6) Now it's time to assemble your open faced sandwich. Toast your bagels, add cashew cream cheese (I use Faumagerie Zengarry Sundried Tomato and Basil Cashew Cheese) and arugula, then add the cooked carrots. Finally, top with red onion and sprinkle with capers or fresh herbs. Serve immediately and enjoy!
This recipe is on the fancier side and perfect for special occasions with a friend, partner or family. This will make enough for two people, but you could easily double or triple it if you were to bring it to brunch. This recipe is sure to impress your vegan and non-vegan friends alike. Feel free to make this your own by removing, adding or switching up the toppings!