Carrot Lox is an Elegant “Faux”
As you probably know, I wrote a book about making plant based meats. Plant-Based Meats: Hearty, High-Protein Recipes for Vegans, Flexitarians, and Curious Carnivores is all about meats, though. My editor thought we should leave faux fish for another book. It was just as well, because I had so many sausages and meatloaves and, well, meats to explore. But Carrot “Lox” would have been a great addition to the book. I promise you, this is one of those vegetable recipes that omnivores will love.
The brilliance of carrot “lox” is that it uses the natural color of the carrot and a few simple ingredients to make a silky, smoky bagel topper that really does make you think of lox. The cashew cream cheese helps to support the allusion, giving you that combination of creamy, rich cheesiness under the lox-flavored carrots. It’s really a stunning combination. The capers, red onions and cucumbers also serve to reinforce the feeling that you are really eating a lox and cream cheese bagel at a deli, in the most delightful way.
It’s also really appealing even if you’ve never had one bite of a bagel with lox, like my husband. I served these to him, and once assured that no fish was involved, he loved the combo and gave it two thumbs up. That’s big, in part because he is one of those vegetarians who doesn’t like the latest in super convincing fake meats. After 45 years of vegetarianism, he doesn’t miss meat and is creeped out by anything that comes too close. Carrot “lox” is just an easily identifiable carrot, made soft and smoky.
Cashew “Cream Cheese” is a Meal Prep Star
Cashews are the other secret to the success of this dish. Even if you don’t make the lox, make some cashew cream cheese. I always recommend it to people who want to eat less dairy. Once you have a batch of creamy, spreadable cashew cheese in the refrigerator, you won’t be tempted by either dairy or industrial non-dairy cheese. Whole, nutrient dense cashews are a superior base ingredient for making a cheesy spread, unlike many of the versions made with tapioca starch and other not so nutritious ingredients.
Pick Your Bagel
Once you have your lox and cream cheese, it’s up to you to find the appropriate bagel. I used whole wheat, but you can always go with gluten free, plain, sesame, or other bagel. An everything bagel would really bring some authentic flavors to the plate. In our area, there are some great artisanal bagels, too. You may have some really amazing bagels in your area, made with love at a local bakery, and it’s worth it to seek out those gems.
Save a fish, make smoky salmon “lox” and cashew cream cheese bagels today!
Smoky Carrot Lox and Cashew Cream Cheese Bagels
- 3 jumbo carrots
- 2 tablespoons avocado oil
- 1/2 teaspoon liquid smoke
- 2 teaspoons fresh lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon smoked salt
Cashew Cream Cheese
- 1 cup raw cashews soaked
- 1/4 cup water
- 2 tablespoons refined coconut oil
- 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast
- 1 teaspoon lemon juice
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 6 slices good whole grain bread toasted
- cashew cheese
- sliced cucumbers
- sliced red onions
- fresh dill weed
- Set up a steamer. Preheat the oven to 200 F. Use a peeler to peel the carrots, discarding the peels, then keep peeling to make long, thin shreds of carrot. Keep peeling until you just have a skinny carrot core, which you now get to eat. Continue with all the carrots, and place the shreds in the steamer.
- Steam the carrots for 10 minutes, until very tender. Transfer to a kitchen towel and blot dry, then transfer to a baking dish. Drizzle with avocado oil, liquid smoke, lemon juice and smoked salt, and toss thoroughly to coat.
- Bake for 20 minutes, until the liquids are almost absorbed. Take out and cool.
- Drain the cashews and place them in a strong blender. Add the water and oil. Secure the lid and use the tamper, if you have one, and blend on high speed, tamping and scraping down often. When very smooth, add the lemon, nutritional yeast and salt and blend to mix well. Transfer to a small bowl and chill.
- Split and toast bagels, then spread with cashew cheese, top with carrot lox, cucumber slices, red onion, capers and dill. Serve immediately.