Sept 6: Homemade Yumm Bowls

We lucky Oregonians are fortunate enough to have Café Yumm as a local, regional restaurant chain. The menu’s main feature are bowls that start with rice and bean base, but are customizable. Their signature Yumm sauce is what puts the “yumm” into the name. We support them whenever we are traveling in one of their many locations, or happen to be getting lunch out in downtown Portland.

However, we also started making this a party dish at home with friends and family. It started as a way to make something that our family members who are not vegetarian would enjoy since the customizing part is quite fun. It also is easy to make. Steam a bunch or rice (we prefer brown), place this on the table with smaller bowls of individual bowls of toppings: chopped avocado and tomato, sliced black olives, beans, vegetables (steamed broccoli). You can optionally have faux meat, tempeh or tofu on the side.

We made this for my daughter’s birthday, and in addition to the delicious yumm sauce, I tried making little blocks of tempeh. They turned out really well! A bit more work, but very delicious. My kids LOVE tempeh, in fact even my dad liked tempeh. When prepared well, it has a bacon-like texture and savory umami flavor.

I ended up cutting the blocks of tempeh into 1/2 inch pieces and ended up with at least 32 pieces since I wanted as many as possible and marination to be better. The only other thing the recipe doesn’t mention, but is important, is to steam the tempeh first. I just stuck it in the steamer basket of the rice cooker for awhile (maybe 10 minutes). It allows the marinade to be better absorbed.

My mom made the Yumm sauce in advance, it works great in a vitamix. You can use it as a topping on other options like quinoa, or even a sandwich spread.

Yumm-style sauce


  • 12 cup canola oil
  • 12 cup almonds
  • 13 cup nutritional yeast
  • 12 cup chickpeas or 12 cup garbanzo beans, cooked
  • 14 cup tofu
  • 12 cup water
  • 12 cup lemon juice
  • 1 -2 garlic cloves
  • 12 teaspoon salt
  • 1 12 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano


  1. In a blender or food processor blend almonds, tofu, chickpeas and oil.
  2. Add all other ingredients and puree until creamy smooth.
  3. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator for one hour.

I used just the tempeh portion of the recipe from here.