Recipe Rip-Off: Yumm Sauce (à la Jen)

There is a great restaurant chain in Oregon called Cafe Yumm! If have the opportunity to visit my lovely home state, definitely check it out. I don’t want to take away from their business in any way by posting a knock-off recipe, but I can’t live without the sauce and I’m 2,500 miles away! You can find copycat recipes all over online, but none of them has been quite right (and a couple are downright WRONG), so I’ve made some tweaks that I think get it pretty close to what I remember of the original. Even if it’s not exact, it’s still dang good—for a rice/bean/veggie bowl, on a salad, as a veggie dip, whatever.

This recipe makes a lot of sauce. I find it easier to just whir up a big batch and either share with friends or freeze half of it. I know some people shun soy altogether. I try to avoid it, but for this recipe, it’s such a small amount per serving that I’m willing to include it. Also, it’s highly critical that you use nutritional yeast, not brewer’s yeast, which is what some of the ripoff recipes online list. They are two very different things. It must be nutritional yeast (which I promise will find its way into other areas of your cooking, like on popcorn). Okay, enough nagging. Let’s get Yumm-ing!

Yumm Sauce


  • 1/2 cup organic canola oil (preferably cold pressed) OR sunflower oil {see this chart if you’re interested in info on oils}
  • 1/2 cup raw almonds (for a creamier sauce, use almond meal/flour)
  • 1/2 cup cooked chickpeas, drained and rinsed (freeze the rest or make hummus)
  • 1/2 package+ silken tofu (add more or use the rest in smoothies; I use about 3/4 of the package)
  • 1/2 cup+ filtered water (important for flavor)
  • 1/2 cup lemon juice (fresh is best)
  • 1-2 garlic cloves (small to medium)
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • fresh-ground black pepper to taste
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried cilantro {something I never thought I’d purchase}
  • 1/2 cup nutritional yeast (available at Whole Foods in the supplement area or online)
  • 1/8-1/4 teaspoon citric acid (optional; helps preserve the color and adds an acidic kick)
  1. In a food processor or blender, blend almonds, beans, tofu, and oil until smooth. In my new Vitamix (wheeee!), the sauce comes out much smoother than in the food processor.
  2. Add all other ingredients, and puree until creamy smooth. Add more water and/or lemon juice until it reaches the consistency you desire.
  3. Cover and let stand in the refrigerator for one hour.

This will keep in the fridge, tightly covered, for 7-10 days. I’ve also frozen the sauce, and it has thawed fine. However, we usually end up scarfing it up before we ever have a chance to freeze it.

Yumm Bowl. Here’s what you want to do. Layer a bowl with the following:

  • brown rice or quinoa or this sprouted rice/quinoa blend I’ve been loving lately
  • beans or the protein of your choice
  • a generous layer of Yumm-ish sauce
  • veggies: tomato, black olives, shredded carrots, scallions, avocado, peppers, etc.
  • shredded sharp cheddar (if you’re doing dairy)
  • sour cream (again, if you’re doing dairy)
  • fresh cilantro


Put it on a burrito. Dip your crudites in it. Dress a salad. Eat a spoonful of it in front of the open fridge door at midnight. Oh, wait. That’s just me. It’s vegan, gluten-free, and sugar-free, high in protein, and SO, so flavorful. Really, the sky’s the limit. Let me know what you think and what other ways you find to use this delicious sauce!