When I was growing up I read a lot of The Babysitters Club. My sister and I would devour them. I think we must have owned… well… probably all of them. And all their spin-offs. The first 300 page book I ever read was a Babysitters Club Mystery, and was I ever proud of that!
If you know about the Babysitters Club, you know that one of the babysitters is fashion-forward, supremely cool Stacey McGill from New York. In one of the books, Stacey waxes rhapsodic about New York City Bagels. They have lox for breakfast every morning: smooth cream cheese topped with fresh Atlantic Salmon over a perfectly chewy New York Bagel. Lox for breakfast was just about the most sophisticated thing I could think of.
Needless to say, 20 years later, bagels were at the top of my New York City Bucket List. It has been officially CROSSED OFF. 10-year-old Cristina would be so proud of me.
(Here is where I put in a patriotic plug that Montreal Bagels are the best and always will be the best, especially fresh from the oven in a paper bag on the bench outside the bagel shop. Fairmont bagels 4 lyfe.)
When I discovered that the bakery down the street from us makes a pretty mean bagel, it was settled. I had to use them as a base for a BLC sandwich.
I mean, look at them.
All golden brown, smothered in poppy seeds… unnnnggg carrrrbs.
First step: MAYO. Now, mayo tends to be one of those things that is always laced with paprika (darn you Miracle Whip!). I tend to go with three options depending on where I’m living at the time. I occasionally make my own (recipe coming soon!). If I’m in America, or a place like the Caribbean that imports American brand food, Hellman’s Original mayonnaise is Nightshade Free. Sadly, it is not so in Canada, so my go-to is Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise. It’s vegan and yes it is DELICIOUS.
Spread some of that on the bagel.
Now, a simple BLC would be delicious enough, but I like to really pack my sandwich with flavour. Green onions go next.
Sliced cucumber of course, the ‘C’ in our ‘BLC’.
Then bacon, cooked until crispy. This part is important. There is nothing worse than having soggy bacon on a BLC. NOTHING.
Then lettuce, giant crispy leaves of it.
And because I always take it three steps too far, avocado!
And some Lemon Garlic Marinated Chicken because you can never go wrong with some extra lean protein. I usually make a bunch and then freeze it or put it in the fridge to use for occasions just such as this! You can, of course, leave this out if you like.
And voila! Our precarious, delicious bagel sandwich.
The cucumber provides a more than suitable replacement for sweet juicy tomatoes, and while it is not the same, it is still a fantastic sandwich! They also add a little more crunch, which I like better anyway.
Packed completely full of explosive flavour and crunch with every bite.
It might not be Lox, but I think Stacey would be proud.
Clearly she was wrong, because this is the best darn sandwich I have ever made.
It travels surprisingly well, and has made an appearance in several of Mr. Nomato’s lunches. Toothpicks are needed to keep the chaos at bay, however.
- 1 bagel (flavour of your choice, I used poppy seed here)
- 1 tbsp mayonnaise (homemade – recipe coming soon, Americans use Hellman’s Original Mayo, Canadians use Follow Your Heart Original Vegenaise for nightshade free)
- 2 inches of green onion , or to taste, sliced
- 6-12 slices cucumber , to taste
- 3 strips cooked , crispy bacon (Americans, Oscar-Meyer Hardwood Smoked are NSF.)
- 2 large leaves lettuce , washed and dried (especially if transporting)
- ½ avocado , thinly sliced
- OPTIONAL: ½ Lemon Garlic marinade Chicken breast , thinly sliced
Cut bagel in half, and toast if you prefer.
Spread mayonnaise across both halves of the bagel
Layer chopped green onions, sliced cucumber, crispy bacon, lettuce, avocado and chicken breast on the bottom half of the bagel.
Cover with the other half of the bagel! Secure with toothpicks if necessary.
For slightly healthier option, use a thin bagel, or toasted sandwich bread.
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