Sometimes really terrific things happen through not so wonderful circumstances. The recipe for these Vegan NY Style Bagels with Tomato Lox and Cashew Cream Cheese came about through a very happy accident. Last weekend, my husband Pasha and I woke up and started our daily routine which includes coffee made with a french press. He was cleaning out the french press in the sink when it broke. Was it my fault for crowding the sink with dishes or his fault for actually breaking it? Probably a bit of both. One minor argument later and we headed off to try a vegan friendly brunch spot in Highland Park called Kitchen Mouse.
Let me tell you, that french press breaking is one of my favorite things that has happened lately! We had the most delicious breakfast at Kitchen Mouse, which included a bagel with cashew cream cheese topped with radishes and capers and all sorts of yumminess. After one bite, I knew I had to recreate the cashew cream cheese, only I wanted to top it with vegan lox as well.
Boiled and peeled tomatoes make the absolute perfect vegan tomato lox ever. The color, the consistency, it’s all so right. Liquid smoke, tamari, and kelp powder give it the traditional lox flavor. Liquid smoke is typically found near the spice section of most grocery stores. The tamari may be substituted for regular soy sauce or liquid aminos. Most Asian markets should sell kelp powder. We get ours from the bulk spice section of Sprouts, a local LA health food store. If you have trouble finding it, try ordering it on Amazon. It is a wonderful spice to have in the pantry. It adds a delicious umami flavor as well as a variety of sea minerals. We also use kelp powder in our superfood Green Goddess Parsley Hummus!
You know what goes perfectly with vegan tomato lox? Cashew cream cheese! Our waitress from Kitchen Mouse was kind enough to tell us a bit about the preparation. Turns out, it’s quite easy to make. Ten minutes of active cook time followed by several hours on the kitchen counter and you’ve got yourself whipped, tangy vegan cashew cream cheese. We adapted this recipe from Miyoko’s Kitchen, aka the Queen of Vegan Cheese.
One of my favorite things about being a vegan is the creativity it inspires when it comes to food. Fresh produce is the BEST. The incredibly colorful, healthy, and flavorful meals that can be made with fruits and vegetables blow my mind every single day. The best part? Most vegan food won’t leave you feeling heavy or weighed down. So munch away, my vegan tomato lox lovers!
Another major bonus of this vegan tomato lox and cashew cream cheese? No fish or cows were harmed in the making of it. Aside from the fact that fish can feel pain (contrary to popular belief) most salmon sold in the US is farmed, which is not healthy at all. Wild caught salmon is not much better as scientists predict current levels of commercial fishing will deplete our oceans by the year 2048. Factory farmed dairy cows are kept in horribly brutal conditions and milk products aren’t healthy for humans either, despite what we’ve been told about needing calcium for strong bones.
In short? Stick to this vegan tomato lox and cashew cream cheese! It’s better for you, better for the animals, and better for the environment. That, my friends, is a win/win/win situation!
Vegan NY Style Bagels with Tomato Lox and Cashew Cream Cheese
Satisfy your savory breakfast cravings with Vegan NY Style Bagels. Topped with marinated tomato "lox" and homemade cashew cheese.
- 5 bagels
- 6 large roma tomatoes
- 3 tbsp tamari or soy sauce
- 2 tsp olive oil
- 1 tsp water
- 1 tsp kelp powder
- 1 tsp liquid smoke
- red onion
Cashew Cream Cheese
- 2 cups raw cashews
- 4 tbsp soy yogurt
- pinch sea salt
Bring a saucepan of water to a boil. Pierce the skin of the roma tomatoes with a small slice and drop them into the water for 30 seconds to 1 minute until the skin begins to peel off. Remove the tomatoes from heat and place them in a large bowl of ice water to stop them from cooking further.
Combine the tamari, olive oil, liquid smoke, water, and kelp powder in a small bowl. Whisk until even. Peel the skins from the tomatoes. Cut them in half then carefully trim away the seeds and firm inside layer. Place the soft tomato pieces in a bowl and drizzle with the tamari marinade. Mix with your hands to ensure the tomato lox is evenly coated with the marinate. Cover and place in the refrigerator for 30 minutes.
Toast your bagels, then spread with a generous layer of Cashew Cream Cheese. Finish with layers of tomato lox and your toppings of choice. We used radishes, capers, chives, red onion, and black sesame seeds. Tomato lox will keep in a covered container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
Cashew Cream Cheese
Soak your cashews for 8 hours or overnight. I like to keep soaked cashews in the freezer to have on hand. You can also boil them for 10 minutes if you are short on time.
Combine the soaked cashews with the soy yogurt and sea salt in a food processor or high powered blender. Process for 5 minutes or until smooth, stopping often to scrape down the sides.
Transfer the cashew mixture to a clean glass container. The container must not contain any soap residue or this will affect the fermentation process. I like to rinse the inside of the container with a bit of vinegar to make sure it's perfectly clean then dry. Cover the container and leave sitting at room temperature for 12-48 hours.
Use a clean utensil to taste of cashew cream cheese every 12 hours or so. As soon as it gets tangy like cream cheese, place it in the fridge. The cashew cream cheese will keep in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 2 weeks or in the freezer for up to 4 months. Makes 2 cups.
Did you try this NY Style Bagels with Tomato Lox recipe? Leave us a comment and tell us about it! Or post a photo on Instagram with the tag #carrotsandflowers so we can admire your tomato lox for ourselves!
If you want to save the recipe for later, pin the photo below! If you love tomato lox and all things vegan breakfast related, check out our Soyrizo Breakfast Burritos and our Vegan Breakfast Sandwiches. 🙂
Is there anything liquid smoke can’t do?!?! Love this recipe! Thanks for sharing!
Carrots and Flowers says
Right? I’m pretty sure liquid smoke is god’s gift to the vegan community along with tapioca flour and aquafaba!
Thank you for your stimulating recipes, I have only just found you & now enjoy reading your emails soooo much & love the way your Vegan recipes stimulate my already for centuries Vegan brain to new and exciting flavors. Being in Australia some times I may ask crazy questions about ingredients, please bear with me in advance. hehe.
Look forward to your next exciting flavor adventure.
do you think I can use spirulina instead of kelp powder for this recipe?
Carrots and Flowers says
I don’t recommend using spirulina as the flavor will not be the same. If you can find dulse flakes in an Asian market or section of a grocery store, that would be a better substitution.
John Watson says
Can’t wait to try this! I’m not vegan but often am out of lox when I need it and have always made faux-lox; sliced beef steak tomatoes with sea salt & olive oil.
I give them a little cure time and I’m good to go but always room to improve brought me to yours and I can’t wait. PS: WARNING if you haven’t heard about toxic Norwegian farmed salmon, google it or watch doc on you tube.
Liz Goode says
Hello, Megan! Will coconut yogurt work as well as soy yogurt for the cream cheese recipe?
Carrots and Flowers says
It shouldn’t affect the flavor of the cream cheese, as long as it’s unsweetened yogurt!
Hi, can I make the tomato lox a day in advance? Or will it become the watery?
I make the tomato lox in batches and keep it in the fridge for 3-5 days, if I don’t eat it all in one sitting, that is!
Andy Luttrell says
I may try this with smoked salt. A longtime favorite summer snack is sliced super fresh tomato sprinkled with applewood smoked salt and sometimes a little olive oil. My wife and I call it tomato bacon. I’ll bet a similar concept could work as a lox substitute!
I live in a fairly small town and can’t find kelp powder. My husband found some kelp capsules in the pharmacy section and bought them. Would they work or is it a different product inside the capsules?
Wonderful recipe, and your vegan sushi changed my life!
“..not healthy at all”????? Seriously… Do some nutrition research before you post nonsense like that.
Linus Hollis says
Is there bean-free cashew cream cheese?
Murielle Banackissa says
This recipe is absolutely fantastic!! I had mine in some vegan eggs benedict and every slice added so much flavour and delicious smokiness. I mention this recipe on my blog in an egg benedict recipe I uploaded today: https://www.muriellebanackissa.com/blog/vegan-eggs-benedict-plus-silky-nut-free-hollandaise!
Thank you so much for sharing this recipe, it is amazing!
Hi Megan. Thanks for a great recipe. I can’t wait to serve this at my vegan brunch this weekend. I just have one question. I used the kelp powder as per your recipe but it didn’t dissolve into the marinade. Do you wipe or rinse the marinade off before serving? How did you get yours so clean looking?
I loved it! I did need to boil the tomatoes on both sides though as one side did not allow it to peel all the way off. Maybe update the recipe? Or did I do something wrong?
I made this today, it’s delicious! Makes for a nice flavorful addition to a bagel and cream cheeze. Thank you! 🙂
Heidi L Eakin Pullara says
Made this for my monthly vegan potluck – had a brunch today. It was amazing – everyone loved it! And easy to make as well!