This month has begun with a series of “firsts” for me. The first time I’ve contributed to the Virtual Vegan Potluck, and the first time I’ve boycotted the Melbourne Cup. For those of you playing along outside of Australia, the Melbourne Cup is known as the “race that stops a nation”. On the first Tuesday of November at 3pm each year, horses aged 3 years and over are lined up in the gates and whipped into a gallop over 3,200 meters, in a cruel bid to be the first to cross the finish line.
Like most Australians, I grew up fascinated by the “glamour” of horse racing, from the gorgeous frocks and fascinators, to the stunning strength and vitality of the horses. I’ve been a horse lover for as long as I can remember, so I was happy to cheer on these powerful animals, in their element. What I didn’t realise until recently is the stress, cruelty, torture and death that surround this, and many other animal ‘sports’.
So for the first time in my life, I boycotted the Cup. My workplace goes crazy for the Cup, so each year an extravagant day is planned; of dressing up, drinking, enjoying a three course meal, and betting. Usually I would go along and join in the festivities, maybe buy a sweep and watch the race on TV. But this year, I couldn’t bare it. It would have been easy for me to stay home on Tuesday, feign illness or simply “work from home”, but then what would that have achieved?
Instead, when my colleagues began to file out of the office at 12.30pm, with their party shoes on and their betting tickets in hand, I sat proudly at my computer, working away. Sure, I’m only one person, and my actions of that day won’t “stop the nation” from contributing to such cruelty, but what I did do was start a conversation among my colleagues. When they asked me why I wasn’t going I simply said, “I don’t agree with it.” While most people were intrigued and supportive, I know some people turned a blind eye and scoffed at my indignation.
So what does this have to do with my recipe for the VVP? Not much, except that it’s another step in the direction of speaking out and being proud of my stance on veganism. For a long time, when people asked me why I didn’t eat meat or dairy, I would mumble some vague, timid response about healthy eating and loving animals. Those days are gone. It’s time to stand out, be bold and be proud, much like this ruby red Beetroot Curd Tart. Sure, you could disguise this tart as a berry creation, but why shun the humble beetroot? It’s the real hero of this dessert, and I’m damn proud of that.
To start the potluck from the beginning, click here. You can also continue through the previous and next dishes by clicking the images below. Enjoy!
Beet curd tart
- 3/4 cups water
- 3/4 cups freshly juiced beetroot
- juice of half a lemon
- 2/3 cups raw organic sugar
- 3 tablespoons raw virgin coconut oil
- 4 tablespoons arrowroot flour
- 400g organic coconut milk (scoop the separated cream from the top of the liquid))
- 1 tart base
|In a saucepan over medium heat, simmer the water, beet juice, lemon juice, sugar and coconut oil until the sugar dissolves.|
|Adding a tablespoon at a time, whisk in the arrowroot flour. The mixture should start to thicken considerably. Turn off the heat and whisk until smooth. If lumps remain, push the “curd” through a strainer. Stir through the coconut milk-cream.|
|Pour the curd into a tart base and leave in the fridge to set overnight (at least 8 hours). Serve chilled.|