Issue 1 – Summer

Step-by-Step: Make and Transform Rainbow Crunch Salad

Step 1 Make Recipe in a blue circle

Prep time: 20 minutes
Yield: 6 cups
Serving size: 4

Rainbow Crunch Salad for vegan food styling

Rainbow Crunch Salad with Almond Butter Dressing

Ingredients for the Salad:

  • 1 bunch curly kale, destemmed
  • 1 red bell pepper, thinly sliced
  • 1 large carrot, shredded
  • 1 cup purple cabbage, thinly sliced
  • 1/2 cup edamame, shelled
  • 1 small English cucumber, cut into half moons

Toppings and Garnish:

  • Crushed almonds or peanuts
  • fried shallot
  • fresh cilantro
  • lime wedges

Ingredients for the Dressing:

  • 1/2 cup, plus 2 tablespoons almond butter
  • 1/4 cup tamari or soy sauce
  • 1 teaspoon fresh grated ginger
  • 1 clove minced garlic
  • 1/4 cup lemon juice
  • 1 tablespoon maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup water
  • pinch black pepper
  • pinch cayenne pepper (optional)


  1. Mix all the ingredients for the salad in a large bowl.
  2. Make the dressing by placing all the ingredients into a high speed blender and blending on high until the dressing is smooth.
  3. Mix the desired amount of dressing into your salad.
  4. Top salad and go to Step Two to add the additional toppings to create a show stopping salad that will wow any guest!

(Continue on next page)

Photo of Lauren Montelbano with tomatoes.

Vegan Focus: What is your perspective on the role of visual appeal in food?

Chef Montelbano: I am of the belief that you eat with your eyes first. As a chef, I am very focused on the flavors and textures of a dish. However, color diversity and garnishes are always a factor in every meal I prepare.

Vegan Focus: As a chef, what aspects do you prioritize when creating a dish?

Chef Montelbano: I always aim to strike an emotion with my food and whether that is achieved through visual presentation, flavors or scent, it’s impossible to not feel joy and excitement when looking at a beautiful plate of food.