Monday, November 01, 2010

VeganMoFo: Shaved Asparagus Disaster

It's that time of year again! The time when just about every single vegan blogger (except me) participates in the very tantalizing, very delicious, very hard-core, Vegan Month of Food (aka VeganMoFo).

In case you haven't heard, the idea of VeganMoFo is to "write as much as you can all month, about vegan food. The blog entries can be about anything food related - your love of tongs, your top secret tofu pressing techniques, the first time your mom cooked vegan for you, vegan options in Timbuktu..."

Basically, the goal of this campaign, as it were, is to spread as much vegan goodness across the "Internets" during a 1 month period as possible. (See VeganMoFo Headquarters for more info.)

Although I've always enjoyed VeganMoFo as more of a spectator sport (sort of in the same way that I enjoy basketball), this year I've decided to give participation the old college try.

Unfortunately, however, I've already run into a few snafus - all things google-related (gmail, chrome, blogger, etc.) decided to stop working on my computer several days ago, my computer had to be completely reformatted, my DSL went kaput, and my TiVo stopped working! Of course all of this happened right before Vegan MoFo was set to begin. Bad News Bears on the technology front, right? Thank God I don't believe in signs...

So, in keeping with the "snafu" theme that seems to have taken over my life lately, I wanted to share a recipe that sounded good, but went completely haywire when I tried to veganize it. Thus, I present to you, Mario Batali's Shaved Asparagus with Parmigiano-Reggiano.

After seeing Mario make this amazing-looking recipe on the Today Show months and months ago, I decided to give it a try. I mean, what result could possibly come from veganizing a dish that relies heavily upon cheese as the main flavor-component, other than complete deliciousness? And why in the world would this self-proclaimed asparagus-hater dislike a dish made solely of asparagus? Moreover, why would someone who hates cooked asparagus not like eating it raw?

Yea, that was my attitude. So I went down to Whole Foods, bought some gorgeous organic asparagus, pulled out the old mandolin slicer and got to work. Things seemed to be coming together beautifully - the asparagus looked lovely sliced up long and thin, and the nutritional yeast and olive oil mixture seemed like a go - but something about all of the ingredients mixed together did not work. At all.

I didn't like it, CH didn't like it, and Mario Batali surely wouldn't have liked it. In fact, I think he'd be offend to even be mentioned along with my vegainzed version of his recipe, which is why I've completely avoided sharing it here.

Anyway, the long of the short of it is this: even though the recipe didn't work out, I'm so glad I gave it a try. Not all veganized recipes (or non-veganized recipes, for that matter) are gonna be good - but life's about the journey, not the destination, right?

And who cares if this journey led to a pile of inedible asparagus? At least I got to play with my mandolin.


  1. That's funny, I usually sit it out as well but this year I decided to get in on the action. Its about time! And I've had the same problem with veganizing before... sometimes things just really don't work. All the better for next time when it does!

  2. Oh bummer! I can't imagine a recipe where asparagus didn't taste good, but you seem to have achieved it. Have you ever tried it roasted?

  3. Good post! I had a bit of a dinner disaster myself tonight, so it's nice to know I'm not alone!

  4. Ha, I love that you tried this recipe anyway, even though you wouldn't like the components.

    Was it hard to shave the asparagus? I'm not all that smooth with the mandolin, and I can't imagine getting asparagus that thin with it (and without shaving off oe of my fingers)!


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