I am originally from NYC, which in case you didn’t know is the bagel capital of the free world, and IMO, a lightly toasted everything bagel with scallion cream cheese is like, everything. But, I will admit to you that after doing just a little research, I have discovered that the bagel with cream cheese combo — that we believe is so authentically our taste buds directing our choices — was just another American breakfast conspiracy orchestrated and spurred on by Joseph Kraft’s advertising blitz for Philadelphia Cream Cheese in the 1950s.
Even so, I love cream cheese, but in case you are one of those people on earth who don’t actually like it (seriously, who are these people) here are my favorite things you can put on your bagel that are tasty AF.
1. Roasted Red Pepper Spread
This is one of my favorite things to eat in life period. It’s delicious on pizza and especially on bagels. You can make your own by covering red peppers with a bit of oil then roasting them in a 400-degree oven for 35 minutes. Then peel them and blend in a food processor with salt and pepper and you are done. If you are short on time, just grab a jar at Trader Joe’s.
2. Lemon Curd and Whipped Cream
Lemon Curd is ridiculously delicious. You can whip up your own, but it does take a little time and finesse to get the texture just right. If you don’t fancy yourself the Martha Stewart type, grab a jar from Trader Joe’s. It is just as good as homemade and lasts in the fridge for a long time. But who are we kidding? You’ll eat it all in one sitting.
3. Roasted Garlic
Another one of my favorites that is absolutely delicious and stupid easy to make. Not sure how to peel garlic? We got you covered.
4. Pesto Chicken and Cheese
A little pesto (or a lot in my case), a little mozzarella cheese and a few strips of grilled chicken and voila. Make your pesto with kale instead of basil for a more vitamin-packed twist.
5. Any kind of hummus
From Mediterranean, to cilantro jalapeño, to even Sriracha, there are so many variations of hummus you can make or buy. Seriously, you can eat a different one every day and never get bored. My current favorite is smoked paprika with crispy chickpeas.
6. Bacon Avocado and Sriracha Egg Salad
Avocado, Sriracha, and bacon — what is not to love?
7. Bacon Jam
And last but certainly not least – Bacon Jam. You can make your own or cave to what I believe is Trader Joe’s newest attempt to woo me into a food coma. So good. Can’t even freakin’ believe it.