The Whole Bowl – Tali Sauce Recipe – Vegetarian & GF

The Whole bowl tali sauce recipe

A month ago my husband and I went on a trip to Portland & Seattle (click here or here for pics) where we had so much good food! In Portland, there are entire city blocks with Food Trucks lined around them, and on one of these blocks, we came across a Food Cart that was called and served only one dish, called The Whole Bowl. Here is a picture of the food truck (note the pretty picture), and then us holding the whole bowl itself (so good!)

The Whole Bowl Food Truck

The Whole Bowl Portland

The bowl itself is said from their website to be “like eating a hug” and is “a comforting and healthy medley of brown rice, red and black beans, fresh avocado, salsa, black olives, sour cream, cheddar, cilantro, Tali Sauce and trace amounts of attitude.” With the Tali Sauce being the secret ingredient and is referred to many as “crack-sauce” and I can see why!

When we got home, I immediately set out making this dish, and came pretty close with my adaptation of a recipe of ‘Oh So Close Tali Sauce’ I found from Zeste blog which I adapted to form the recipe below. Surprisingly, one of the key ingredients is Nutitional Yeast (it can be found in the spice bins at natural foods stores or can be purchased online here).

Below is the recipe – I’ve gotten such great feedback that I did another post on this Tali sauce with some more pictures here!

After making this sauce numerous times, I have found that it is best when made in a food processor – like this one (<–is the one I use).

The Whole Bowl - Tali Sauce Recipe - Vegetarian & Gluten Free
Prep time
Cook time
Total time
Recipe type: Dinner, Vegetarian
Serves: 4
  • For the Tali Sauce:
  • ¼ cup extra virgin olive oil
  • ¼ cup water
  • ¼ cup nutritional yeast (found in bins at health food stores)
  • Juice of 1 lemon
  • 3 garlic cloves
  • ⅓ cup chickpeas (I used canned Garbanzo beans), drained
  • ½ tsp mustard powder
  • ¼ tsp each of: cumin, curry powder, turmeric powder, salt, garlic salt, onion salt
  • ⅛ tsp cayenne pepper
  • Bowl Ingredients:
  • 4 cups cooked brown rice (1 cup per bowl)
  • 1 can (15 oz.) black beans (1/4 can per bowl)
  • ½ cup salsa or pico de gallo (about 2 tablespoons per bowl)
  • ¼ cup black olives, roughly chopped (1 Tbs per bowl)
  • 1 avocado, sliced (1/4 avocado per bowl)
  • ½-1 cup sharp cheddar, shredded (2 Tbs per bowl)
  • ¼ cup sour cream (1 Tbs per bowl)
  • ¼ cup cilantro, fresh, chopped (1 generous pinch per bowl.)
  • Tali Sauce (1/4 cup per bowl)
  1. For the sauce: measure out all ingredients and put in a food processor or blender and blend until silky smooth. If you want yours to be more liquidy, add additional tablespoon by tablespoon of water until desired consistency is reached. The sauce makes enough for 4 bowls, so store in the fridge in an airtight container for up to a week if not using all immediately (I've also frozen it and let it thaw before serving, it is also good microwaved and served warm.)
  2. Bowl Assembly: In the bottom of a bowl place brown rice and beans, then salsa, then ½ the amount of Tali Sauce, then the the cheddar, olives, and on the sides the sour cream and remaining Tali Sauce, and top of with cilantro...yum!
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If you make this recipe, I’d love to know! Leave a comment below or take a photo and tag me on Instagram orFacebook with #sweetphiblog or email me at, I always love featuring your pictures on my Reader Recreations page!

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Showing 46 comments
  • Katey Bisso

    Did anyone else notice that the sauce tastes way different on its own compared to in the bowl? I was super disappointed when I first finished it and tasted it straight out of the food processor but with rice and beans it tastes JUST like at the whole bowl! I’m so confused and pleasantly surprised

    • Sweetphi

      Hi Katey,
      I have noticed that the sauce definitely tastes better on the bowl vs. by itself lol, so glad you were pleasantly surprised 🙂

  • Marian Jones

    I haven’t used your recipe for quite some time. I decided to make it today, but noticed a difference. Didn’t you use to put 1/4 cup of almonds in it? I may be wrong, but that’s what I have written down from your site along time ago.
    Thanks Marian

    • Sweetphi

      Hi Marian, thank you for the comment. You are absolutely right, I did used to have 1/4 cup almonds in the recipe. Someone wrote me that there were no nuts in the recipe, so I retested the recipe again with and without, it didn’t make all that much of a difference flavor wise, so I just omitted them. Feel free to include them though 🙂

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