Easy vegan summer tostadas

Summer is here all right. In the furniture shipment for the house, a leather lounge was included. Of course, in the excitement to complete the puzzle of furnishing a unique living and lounge situation, I forgot that skin sticks to leather on 30 degree (Celsius) days. But hey, at least it looks good.

We’re up to the part of the year which I call the worst. Driving anywhere is not by any means pleasant and you can forget trying to get a car park at a shopping centre – unless you’re prepared to do three laps of the lot. Work is a nightmare. We close for two weeks and I’ll be taking an extra week off in January. Can’t wait. That’s if I make it to the 22nd. I need to do about six weeks’ worth of work in three. Thankfully a colleague has spared my ears the trauma of listing to the Christmas playlist she has enjoyed playing in the office for the last two Christmas seasons.

The one thing I like about this time of year? Summer fruit. There are mangoes everywhere, and I’ve been wanting to make these easy tostadas for the longest time. There’s no cooking time involved – only a short amount of prep-time. That’s what you want in summer.

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Easy vegan summer tostadas
Serves 3

4 limes, juiced
1/4 cup + 1 tbsp orange juice
1/4 cup coriander, finely chopped
1 tbsp olive oil
Pinch of salt
1 mango, finely diced
200g grape tomatoes, quartered
2 green spring onions, finely sliced
½ red onion, finely diced
1 red capsicum, finely diced
1 avocado, halved and sliced
Tostadas (crispy tortilla chips), as many as you want to eat

In a medium-sized mixing bowl, add lime and orange juice, coriander, olive oil and salt. Stir to combine and adjust flavourings to your preference.

Add mango, tomatoes, onions, and capsicum and mix to ensure ingredients are coated well. Refrigerate for at least two hours.

Lay a couple of tostadas on a plate and top with marinated mixture. Add a slice of avocado and enjoy!

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Raw lemon and raspberry cheesecake

Changing your diet to be one that is gluten-free, vegan and mostly refined sugar free when you have one helluva sweet tooth is one crazy thing to do. I didn’t know how to reward myself for what felt like the longest time (OK, turns out it wasn’t that long).

But one day, I discovered raw desserts and boy, am I glad I did.

Yes, it’s a raw cheesecake as in uncooked, but stay with me ’cause this is not like the cheesecake you know, it’s SO much better (as well as being SO much better for you than regular cheesecake). I usually turn up to family gatherings with this bad boy in tow and let me tell you, this gluten-free vegan raw raspberry cheesecake is a crowd pleaser.

If you’re familiar with raw desserts and cringe at the thought of the long list of ingredients that usually accompanies them, don’t fret, I have you covered. This one won’t have you traipsing all over town to find a long list of unfamiliar ingredients. In fact, you’ll be able to get everything from your local supermarket. I’m good like that.

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Raw lemon and raspberry cheesecake
Serves 12

1 cup raw walnuts
1/2 cup raw hazelnuts
5 medjool dates, soaked for 5 mins
2 1/2 cups raw cashews, soaked for 4-8 hours
1 1/2 cup water
1/2 cup coconut water or 1/2 cup filtered water with 1 tbsp coconut water powder
1/3 cup maple syrup
2 tbsp lemon juice
2 tbsp coconut oil
1/2 tsp vanilla extract
1 cup frozen raspberries
Grated dark chocolate (optional)
Grated lemon zest (optional)
Shredded fresh mint (optional)

To start, blend walnuts and hazelnuts with the dates in a food processor until nuts are small pieces and binded together by the dates.

Press the mixture into the base of a cake tin or mould that you would like the cake to set in. Try to make it as even as possible, then pop it in the freezer while you make the filling.

Add cashews, water, coconut water, maple syrup, lemon juice, coconut oil and vanilla to a high-powered blender and blend until completely smooth. Pour into a bowl and gently fold in the raspberries.

Remove base from freezer and pour cashew filling on top, spreading it out evenly.

Pop the cheesecake in the freezer for 4-6 hours. Refrigerate for one hour before garnishing with chocolate, lemon zest and mint, then serve.