Carol’s Happy Bowl

Carol » August 30, 2010 » In Recipes » 7 Comments

Carol's Happy Bowl

We are so fortunate to have the wonderful restaurant, Cafe Yumm!, in our town. I love having the opportunity to call in an order and not have to cook! We do it often enough that the staff knows us  by name. They are famous for their Yumm! sauce that goes with their Yumm! bowls (beans and rice and much, much more). You can read how the owner’s original intent was to create a sauce that would “coax her 2 year old daughter to eat vegetables and grains”. She ended up with a “creamy, heavenly sauce” that is unforgettable once you’ve experienced the taste!  Read more about their story and food offerings at

Tom read an article in our local newspaper by Jan Roberts-Dominguez. She googled “Yumm! sauce” and came up with a heavenly recipe  that is “a noble stand-in” for the sauce. I, too, have made several variations. You will probably make your own tweaks, aiming for the ideal. When we have this sauce in the fridge (whether it’s Cafe Yumm!’s, or a homemade version) we know we’ll have a great meal! It’s delicious with potatoes, whole grains, vegetables, beans, confetti salads, etc. It makes everything taste great! (It would probably make gravel taste good!)  You will want to have this on hand.  Trust me!


  • 1/2 c. canola oil  (see oil-free version below–use unsweetened soy milk or unsweetened nut milk instead)
  • 1/2 c. raw or toasted almonds (or raw or toasted hazelnuts)
  • 1/3 c. garbanzo beans, cooked
  • 1/4 c. soybeans, cooked (use  garbanzos if you don’t have soybeans)
  • 4 cloves garlic (I use roasted)
  • 1/2 c. water
  • 1/2 c. lemon juice, fresh squeezed
  • 1/3 c. nutritional yeast (not bread yeast)
  • 2 tsp. soy sauce (omit for low or no sodium)
  • 1/2 tsp. salt  (omit for low or no sodium, or substitute Benson’s Table Tasty)
  • 1/2 tsp dried basil
  • 1/4 tsp. curry powder
  • 1/4 tsp. cumin powder
  • 1/8th tsp. ascorbic acid (I can find at local organic co-op)
  • Optional,  smoky paprika, 1/4-1/2 tsp.


  • Combine oil, almonds, beans and garlic in food processor and blend to a rough puree.
  • Add remaining ingredients and puree until smooth.

Click to enlarge:


  • Keep for up to 2 weeks in refrigerator.
  • For those who prefer to not use oil, it’s possible to make a version without. Substitute a nut-milk or soy milk for the oil.  Use within a week.

Brown Rice With Black-Eyed Peas

My favorite vegan bowl would be: brown rice, black beans, chopped avocado and fresh tomatoes, shredded carrots and red cabbage, cilantro and sliced black olives. Homemade salsa  is an added plus!  I think I’ll call mine a “Happy Bowl”!

And last, a new fan: “…just made lunch with an heirloom tomato, sliced avocado, leftover garbanzos, cilantro and Yumm sauce!  mopped it all up with wonderful italian bread……DElicious!!!”  -Debbie

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7 Comments on "Carol’s Happy Bowl"

  1. admin
    31/08/2010 at 7:41 pm Permalink

    This sauce is delicious! Great with carrot and celery sticks as well as the Happy bowl dinner! And…. very easy to make….Thank you Carol….and Tom!

  2. admin
    31/08/2010 at 8:24 pm Permalink

    Thank you, Debbie! We’re glad you like it! Me and my helper, Tom.

  3. admin
    02/09/2010 at 7:18 am Permalink

    I like that it keeps for 2 weeks. Having something on hand to dress up a meal is what I have been missing eating vegan.

  4. admin
    02/09/2010 at 7:20 am Permalink

    After looking at the cafe yumm site I wish they would open in Canada! Perfect meals for eating healthy : )

  5. admin
    02/09/2010 at 1:39 pm Permalink

    I made this today. It appears that I have been so low sodium that this tasted way tooooo salty for me : ) I ended up adding more almonds, chickpeas, lemon juice and water to increase the volume and lessen the salt. My personal tweaks would be no salt, only 1 tsp of soy sauce. Oh, and no canned soybeans so all chickpeas in the recipe for me.

    I had a bowl of Carol’s confetti salad with a dollop of this sauce. Lovely!

  6. admin
    02/09/2010 at 4:04 pm Permalink

    Hi Soda! Canned beans usually have added salt, so look for no-salt added. (I like to use home-cooked beans, no salt.) And nutritional yeast is salty, too. So taste-as-you-go on this recipe, especially if you have been low-sodium. Like you said, first leave out the soy sauce and salt and see what you think. You can always add more, if needed. (Plus, people who want more salt can always use a salt-shaker.)

    That’s great that you’ve trained your tastebuds away from salt! I’m working on it, too. Benson’s Table Tasty (ground dried veggies and nutritional yeast) is finally tasting more salty to me! Good stuff.


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