These vegan asparagus spirals are super simple to put together,
but they look like super fancy appetizers :)
Impress your friends and family with very little effort =P
After months of adjusting to some significant life changes, I’ve finally been making more of an effort to maintain friendships again now that I’m less occupied by packing/unpacking and overall adjusting. There have been some friendships that I have neglected and some that just sort of faded away, which I suppose is just a part of adult life. I find myself having to schedule friendship weeks and months in advance, and the old ways of spontaneous hangouts and flexibility of cancelling and just hanging out another time are not really possible in this way of life anymore.
At first I mourned the end of that life: it’s fun just texting your go-to pal and having them over for Mario Kart or Settlers of Catan. It’s kind of exciting to drop everything and head out the door for vegan ice cream. But having people over spontaneously meant that I ended up staying up later than I intended, resulting in a less productive and thus a longer work day the next day. Dropping everything for a spur-of-the-moment ice cream trip meant that the project I probably should have done instead ended up being pushed to later, not to mention the indulgence of $7 ice cream + gas that I should have just saved.
Honestly, I had to take a hard look at my priorities and I was prioritizing personal relationships over responsibilities and it was adversely affecting my success in both my work life and my own personal goals. While yes, personal relationships are important, but so is paying the bills and saving money for future goals. I guess this is a pretty cold way of analyzing the neglect of some friendships, but most of them understood and were going through the same thing so I guess it all worked out in the end.
Now I have friendship and life scheduled about a month out and it’s been working so far. This is not the profound coming of age story that I used to read, it’s not the Hollywood-baked life we see in 4k. This is just life, it’s not exciting every single minute, but it’s my life and I’m pretty happy with it. Sorry if this makes for some dry-toast blog post, but hey, most of you guys just come for the recipes anyway.
Speaking of recipes: this one is yet another ultra-simple recipe that relies on pre-made flaky vegan puff pastry and the last of this season’s tender asparagus. I had a potluck with the Toronto Vegetarian Association’s Resource Centre volunteer crew (with whom I volunteer about 2x a month) today, and I was scrambling to figure out what to bring to the potluck because I had totally forgotten to plan ahead of time and figure out what to make.
I had just bought some asparagus from visiting my local market and I knew I could probably make some sort of grain salad from that, but I knew the crew and I knew a couple would have brought salads. Funny enough, there were two giant salads so I’m glad I scrapped that idea. Luckily, I had just bought some more puff pastry for a rainy day (like today) and recalled seeing similar spiral appetizers like these ones before. I figured it was the best thing I could do in the 2 hours I had to prepare before the potluck, and I even had about 30 minutes to spare by the time these were cooling on the rack.
Puff pastry makes anything seem fancier, and a simple soy milk wash with some cracked salt and pepper makes these quick, vegan asparagus spirals seem a lot more elegant than they actually are. They were perfect for the potluck, and I imagine they’d be fantastic at any sort of party you’d be throwing where you need easy finger food to wash down with wine.
Everyone at the potluck seemed to enjoy them and they do make for a pretty nice picture. I didn’t think I’d be posting it on the blog, so I didn’t grab any process pictures like I normally do, but I’m glad I snapped a couple of the final product before they disappeared today at lunch.
Vegan Asparagus Spirals
- 1 package of vegan puff pastry
- 1 bunch of asparagus (about 20-30 spears depending on the thickness*)
- 3 tbsp soy milk
- salt and pepper to taste
- Preheat oven to 350F.
- Wash and dry your asparagus spears well before wrapping in puff pastry. The pastry won't stick to the spears if they're wet.
- Snap off the woody ends and set aside.
- Thaw your puff pastry overnight (I think there's an option to thaw it within an hour on the counter but double check your package).
- Roll the pastry to about 1/4 inch thickness and cut into 1/2 inch strips. Depending on how long your asparagus, you may need a 10-14 inch long strip. Worse case scenario just trim any excess.
- Wrap each asparagus spear with the puff pastry strip, leaving kind of a "peekaboo" between each spiral, otherwise your asparagus will kind of just steam inside the pastry while baking. Set on a lined baking sheet at least an inch apart. Repeat with remaining spears, you'll end up with about 2 trays of these.
- Use a pastry brush to lightly coat the pastry in soy milk, and sprinkle salt and pepper on top for extra flavour (and decoration).
- Bake for about 20 minutes, either rotating the pan halfway or turning the spears over half way. I was lazy any only rotated the pan. Remove from oven once the edges are nice and golden. Let cool slightly on a wire rack and then serve while still hot!
Thicker asparagus spears work better for this recipe, but I used medium ones and they worked just fine.
OMG, scheduling friendship. So frustrating. You want to spend time with these people, but it can be so hard to find a time, depending on what’s going on in everyone’s lives. And scheduling for more than two? Yikes. I have a good friend who I’d been friends with for almost a full year before our respective significant others managed to cross paths. We would hang out, and one or the other of our men would be able to make it, but it took forever to get all four of us coordinated. And it’s still only happened once so far…
Also, I’m totally going to have to try this recipe with green beans or something, because they look delicious, but I don’t like asparagus.
Lisa Le says
Oh my goodness, having Eddie’s social schedule to align with both mine and my friends and their SO’s is next to impossible. I don’t know how couple friends work anymore, everyone’s too busy! This with green beans would be interesting! I think it’d be pretty good with broccolini if you like that?
Kate A says
Oh my gosh, you really got me with the relationships talk. That is some real talk. I have been having the same issue, although I’m still attempting to “carve out” opportunities for spontaneous hang outs (but mostly with a neighbor who is also vegan and awesome, so it’s very easy for us to get together). I guess I need to get on planning my Toronto trip ASAP!! :D
Lisa Le says
You have a vegan neighbour!? Jealous! That would definitely make my social life easier haha. Excited to see you here soon :)
Caitlin Galer-Unti says
Those look great! :) Re: scheduling friendship, it definitely happened to me after graduating from uni, I suddenly had to schedule things months in advance to see any of my friends because we were all so busy. One thing that helped was setting up regular times to meet, like weekly or monthly drinks or brunch at same time each month. But recently I seem to have gone back to a more spontaneous way of doing things, partly because living in Barcelona did that to me (it’s very much the sort of place where people do things spontaneously and there’s no point planning things a month out because people will just cancel) and partly because my friends in London seem to be more spontaneous than they used to.
Lisa Le says
I wish my friends’ schedules were routine enough to do weekly stuff like that! Wait are you in London, UK?! I’m going there next week! Would love to meet up with you sometime at one of the many vegan spots I want to check out there :)
Nicole @ Unsettled Down says
Puff pasty makes everything golden! Yum!
Love this recipe so much Lisa! Thank you!
Mariam B says
Yumm, they also look so pretty! Ps. come back with your recipes already!
Lisa Le says
Haha I know I know I’ve been seriously slacking in the recipe posting. I just have been cooking the same things over and over, but I do have a couple recipes in the bank I just haven’t posted them yet cause I’m trash XD
I love these fancy appetizers. Never thought it could be this easy to make. It sure did impress my guests last night. Thank you for sharing this wonderful recipe.
Samantha Dickens says
Hello, can this recipe be frozen and then prepared at a later date?
Thanks for sharing the awesome recipe!
Lisa Le says
I’m not sure asparagus does very well frozen :( You are welcome to try but the texture might be a little mushy once cooked through.
My sister made these for book club yesterday and I loved them so much I’m making for dinner tonight. Thank you for sharing.