So I’ve kinda got a thing for bagels in a big way. I blame my dad for getting me onto them at a young age, growing up in Hamilton when we’d stop by Bagel King at Jackson Square on weekend market trips. Then there were the amazing Jewish deli bagels from my great Aunt Regina’s place that would show up at family occasions with salt baked into the bottom. Seriously good.
In university my roommates and I would hit up the only spot downtown Guelph for big fluffy ones, piled high with cream cheese. After university, I spent the better part of the year in Whistler while Mark and I began dating long distance. He learned at some point of this carb obsession and went so far as FedEx’ing me a box of fresh bagels with a sweet little love note. The following year we moved to Vancouver together, and weekend mornings were spent wandering down to Solly’s on Broadway for their fresh baked circles of goodness. When we hit Ottawa a couple years back, the first stop at Byword Market was for a baker’s dozen.
You get the idea… I’m a tad bit obsessed.
We’re in a bit of an authentic Jewish style bagel desert here in Sudbury, but I’ll take what I can get… And what I can get are generic “fresh” (not really cause I’m positive they come frozen and already baked) bagels from the grocery store. HOWEVER, what I can do is pile them high with rich and creamy, homemade deli-style vegan cream cheese and be happy as can be.
This cream cheese was inspired by one I was served on our recent babymoon to Boston (the trip I’ve been meaning to get around to writing about for 2 months now!) at a little coffee shop in our neighbourhood. It was thick and whipped, full of minced veggies and it was the bomb. This recipe is great because it’s:
Rich and creamy
Easy as can be
Full of protein
As great as dip for veggies as it is for spreading on toast
Adaptable to suit the flavours of your dreams
If plain is your game, you can omit the veggie add ins (although I think they’re just wonderful). I’ve also made an herb & garlic flavour by adding in an extra 1/4 tsp of garlic granules and 1/2 tsp each of dried basil, thyme & oregano.
- 1 240g package firm silken tofu (from the refrigerated section)
- 1 tbsp white wine vinegar
- 1 tbsp ume plum vinegar
- 1 tsp fine sea salt
- ½ tsp garlic granules or garlic powder
- 2 tbsp minced white onion
- 2 tbsp minced or grated carrot
- 2 tbsp seeded and minced red bell pepper
- 2 tbsp seeded and minced cucumber
- Open and drain the tofu from it's water. Wrap gently in paper towels and lightly press out some of the liquid by hand.
- Combine tofu, vinegars, salt and garlic in a high speed blender or food processor and blend until completely smooth, stopping periodically to scrape down the sides. If more liquid is needed, taste the mixture - if you're happy with it's "tang" add a bit of water, if you'd like a little more bite, add a splash more of white wine vinegar.
- Once smooth and whipped, empty contents into a bowl and fold in the vegetables.
- Use as a spread or a dip. Store leftovers in a tightly sealed container in the fridge for up to one week.
For herb & garlic cream cheese, omit the vegetables and add in ½ teaspoon each of dried oregano, thyme and basil, and an additional ¼ tsp dried garlic granules.
What flavours do you think you’ll dream up? When you try it out, I hope you’ll tag me on Instagram (@jessicalaurennadel) and your creations with #cupcakesandkale so I can live out my bagel & cream cheese obsession vicariously!