Cooking With Friends: Raw Italian Feast

I have said it before, but I’ll say it again.  When used in positive ways, the internet can be such a wonderful place to bring people together from all over the world!  I was fortunate to meet a lovely lady, Jenna of Live Pure Blog, last week.  We were united because of our love for healthy, fresh fruits and vegetables! Fruits and vegetables not only create harmony in our bodies, but they create harmony in the world!


Jenna and I at the Beatles Love Show in the Mirage! (Yes I am wearing a brunette wig!)

Jenna and I had such a fun time together!  I am all about some girl time!  Spending time with my girlfriends ranks high on my list.  It’s so fun to laugh together, dream, and talk about goals and exchange funny stories.  I don’t know about you but I always become extremely motivated and inspired after spending time with my friends.  Surround yourself with positive people and you will absorb that energy!  A healthy life is not only what you eat, it is about what you feed and nurture yourself with mentally.  Experiences we have and friendships we make along the way are the food to our soul.

In the midst of all this girl time, she and I decided to create a raw feast with an Italian theme.  I am a total sucker for themed parties.  This was totally up my alley, and I absolutely ADORE designing tablescapes (foreshadowing of future blog entries! 🙂 )



This meal was organic, fresh, and bursting with flavor.  Traditional raw vegan meals can contain high amounts of fat (from nuts).  We worked together to create a meal that is not only raw, but low in fat, oil-free, gluten-free, and refined sugar-free.  This meal serves 4-6 guests. 



– Relax with this crimson “Raw Wine!”  It is perfect for anytime of the day, and it’s bursting with heart healthy phenols and antioxidants!
4 & 1/2 Cups Red Grapes
1/2 Cup Frozen Cranberries
1 & 1/2 Cups Raspberries
1.  Place all ingredients in a Vitamix or high powered blender.  Puree until smooth.  Serve in gorgeous wine glasses and top with fresh raspberries.  This beverage could also be made into a juice by placing all ingredients through a fruit and vegetable juicer instead of a blender.

Red Pepper Amuse Bouche

– An Amuse Bouche is a single, bite sized hors d’oeuvres served before a meal.  It is often a greeting from the Chef and a tantalizing taste of what is to come.


 2 Red Peppers
5 Medium Carrots
1 Tablespoon Chopped Shallot
1 Whole Green Onion
1 Celery Stalk
1 Tablespoon Fresh Parsley
Splash of Water
1.  Place all ingredients in a Vitamix or high powered blender.  Puree until smooth.  Serve in appetizer cups and garnish with a sprig of fresh parsley.
– We made a fresh raw Kale salad, that was filled with cauliflower, peppers, broccoli, red onion, and carrots.  Squeeze a little fresh lemon juice over the kale to soften or macerate the leaves before eating.  This can be eaten simply with fresh lemon juice, or for another option, this kale salad would be delicious with my Pineapple Parsley Dressing.
Spiralized Noodles with a Trio of Sauces
– A raw spin on three classic Italian sauces.  We used a Vegetable Slicer to spiralize Zucchini and Cucumber into “Noodles.”
Pistachio Pesto Ingredients
1/2 Cup Raw Pistachos, unsalted, soaked
1&1/2 Cups Romanesco Cauliflower, chopped
2 Cups packed Fresh Basil Leaves
1 Clove Garlic
Splash of water 
1.  Place all ingredients in a Vitamix or high powered blender and puree until smooth.

Alfredo Ingredients

2 Cups Chopped Cauliflower
1/4 Cup Raw Cashews, unsalted, soaked
1 Garlic Clove
3 Tablespoons Nutritional Yeast
1.  Place all ingredients in a Vitamix or high powered blender and puree until smooth.
Marinara Ingredients
4 Medium Tomatoes
1 Medium Carrot
1 Teaspoon Chopped Shallot
1 Clove Garlic
1/2 Teaspoon Fresh Rosemary
5 Large Basil Leaves
1 Green Onion
1 Cup Cherry Tomatoes
1.  Place all ingredients, except cherry tomatoes, in a Vitamix or high powered blender and puree until smooth. Dice by hand or place the cherry tomatoes into the blender on low to coarsely chop.
Mango Mint Sorbet Palate Cleanser 
– A palate cleanser is used to clear our taste between foods.  Instead of serving traditional sorbet that is filled with refined sugar, we created a refreshing fruit option!  This Mango sorbet is light and refreshing with the addition of citrus and mint.
3-4 Cups Frozen Mangoes
Squeeze of Fresh Lemon
Squeeze Fresh Lime
Mint Leaves to taste
1.  Puree the mangoes along with the citrus juices in a Vitamix, food processor, or high powered blender.  Mix in finely chopped mint leaves.
Ice Cream Tart
– This dessert is a scrumptious low fat treat! It is amazing how wonderful something so simple can taste! (Actually this could be delicious for a breakfast treat too! Why not have dessert at breakfast?!)
1 Cup Medjool Dates
1/2 Cup Dried White Mulberries
3 Tablespoons Shredded Coconut
Splash of Water
– 4 Frozen Bananas
– Sprinkle of cinnamon 
1.  Place all crust ingredients in a food processor and puree until a dough ball forms.
2.  Press mixture into mini tart pans.  
3.  Puree the frozen bananas in a Vitamix or high powered blender.  
4.  Place the banana mixture into the mini tart pans.  This can be eaten immediately or stored in the freezer until time for dessert!

Our last night together!! (Another wig another day!) We had much fun! Love my J!




  1. Pinkeepiglet says:


  2. Talented duo!!! This looks incredible Ashley, especially the “wine” – how fun!!!

  3. Cindi McDaniel Ray says:

    Ashley, that is the most beautiful presentation of food! It looks absolutely delicious.

  4. another WOW! You did it again!!!!!

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