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
 
Author:
Recipe type: Dinner, Vegetarian
Serves: 4
Ingredients
  • 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)
Instructions
  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 sweetphiblog@gmail.com, I always love featuring your pictures on my Reader Recreations page!

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Showing 42 comments
  • 503kim
    Reply

    OMG!!!! I was so excited when my friend Pinned your recipe. I love, love, LOVE the “secret Tali” sauce. I cannot wait to try your recipe. Thank you!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you for the comment!! I absolutely fell in love with the Whole Bowl when we visited Portland, and I was so excited when I came home and recreated it, that secret sauce is sooooo good! Thanks for stopping by the blog 🙂

      • Michael
        Reply

        The Whole Bowl is awesome!!! I live in Portland 🙂 and fortunately get to eat there often…so inexpensive for all the good you get!

        • Sweetphi
          Reply

          I’m so jealous you get to have this all the time 🙂 But hey, if you ever leave and need to make it, you now have a recipe 🙂 Thanks for commenting!

  • Foody
    Reply

    There are actually no nuts in their sauce. I asked.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you for your comment, I always appreciate hearing feedback! This recipe for Tali Sauce is my take on it, and does include nuts (they give it a great texture) but feel free to eliminate the nuts 🙂
      I’d suggest using something in the place of nuts however – like garbanzo beans or a white bean with little-to-no flavor…it’s really the texture component you’re looking for, otherwise it would be very liquidy.
      Did they happen to share their recipe too when you asked? lol..it was SOOO good!

  • kathryn
    Reply

    I was sooo excited when I saw your recipe on Pinterest! We were out in Portland last summer and ate at Whole Bowl almost every day. Just made this- it was delicious. Looking forward to having it for lunch again tomorrow. Thank you for sharing!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Awe, thank you so much for your comment, it totally made my day! As I was reading it, I was thinking that I need to make this again ASAP! Glad you enjoyed it 🙂

  • Diana
    Reply

    I just moved from Portland to Phoenix and was craving The Whole Bowl today. I ate a bowl at least once a week. I made your recipe for dinner tonight and my boyfriend said he could eat this twice a week! Stellar version of the Tali sauce! It made feel at home back in PDX.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you for that super sweet comment Diana…it truly made my day! After reading your comment I was talking with my husband and he said he definitely wants me to make this more frequently! And even though I haven’t lived in Portland (just had the most wonderful vacation ever there) eating this delicious bowl of goodness brings up so many happy memories! Glad that you feel the same way 🙂

  • molomatic
    Reply

    I’m excited to try this recipe! I eat there once/week!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Yay, so excited you’re going to try the recipe! Hope it all comes out for you because it is sooo yummy!

  • eric
    Reply

    Thank you! I just chowed down my first bowl of your recipe and it was delicious! I do not live close to portland and therefore cannot do a side by side comparison, but I will have to say that your recipe tastes pretty damn close to what the whole bowl serves. The only thing I can think of that would improve the dish is to make the sauce a little less viscous so that I can more easily remove it from the blender. A little extra water might do the trick and I am sure to experiment with this.

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Why THANK YOU for the awesome feedback! Truly made my day! And yes, if it is a little too thick, I would definitely suggest adding a little big of water, but only a teaspoon at a time! Thanks again 🙂

  • Maddie
    Reply

    I’m not sure if I missed this, but how many servings does your recipe for the sauce make? Thanks!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Not a problem, it makes about a cup of sauce which is good for about 8-10 servings

  • ArndtYouErin
    Reply

    Made this last night for dinner and it was a huge hit with the mature palates! Haven’t been to the Whole Bowl yet, but will be interesting to compare. This is officially in our dinner rotation!

    • ArndtYouErin
      Reply

      Forgot to mention I put the Tali sauce on my DKB toast with eggs sandwich this morning and enjoyed that too 🙂

      • Sweetphi
        Reply

        Oh my goodness…I never even thought to put it on a breakfast sandwich…but I’m pretty sure that is absolutely GENIUS! Thanks for sharing!!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you so much for that wonderful comment, totally made my day, and so glad you like it as much as we do!!

  • Lauren L. Dillard
    Reply

    I recently moved to NYC from Portland and I’ve been missing Whole Bowl like crazy. Made this recipe for dinner last night! Everyone (including those not familiar with the bowl) loved it! Thanks!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      That is so awesome to hear! Thank you for the lovely comment, totally made my day to hear that 🙂

  • Marisa
    Reply

    Thank you for this! I love The Whole Bowl but my company recently moved and I can’t walk to the cart anymore. I just made this for lunch and it came out great!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Thank you so much for your lovely comment Marisa, it totally made my day! Isn’t the whole bowl the best? I swear I could eat this every day lol!

  • Marian
    Reply

    Thank you for your recipe. My grandson who is 7 would it at whole bowl once a week after his guitar lesson. That was our special time together. I’ve since moved from Oregon. I’ve been making it a lot since I found your recipe. Thank you so much.

  • Sanja
    Reply

    I was in Portland on business for two days only and tasted it the first day, and had to have the bowl the very next day. I raved to my husband about it the second I walked through the door.

    what do you think about adding some cornichons or pickles instead of almonds…? my first thought was that pickles were actually in the sauce…

    • Sanja
      Reply

      i did just that: added perhaps 5-6 small cornichons and a few pearl onions from the jar, and the taste is identical! no almonds! yaaaay, i’m a happy girl!

      • Sweetphi
        Reply

        Thank you so much for the feedback! That is so interesting about the cornichons and pear onions, I would never have thought of that, but if it worked and you loved it, YAY! I actually got to go back to Portland a few months ago and headed straight for the Whole Bowl to see if what I had been making in my Milwaukee, WI based kitchen was similar, and sure enough, I was shocked at how much it tasted like my recipe!! I always love hearing different peoples’ variations, so thank you for stopping by and letting me know 🙂

  • Bill
    Reply

    Just made it and it was spot on! Well done

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      YAY! Thank you so much for coming back and commenting, I always love hearing positive feedback like this!!

  • Marti
    Reply

    This is really close to the Whole Bowl sauce, and the similar Yumm sauce from Cafe Yumm. Delicious, thank you!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      You’re so welcome, and thank you for stopping by and commenting, now I’m craving this Whole Bowl Tali Sauce and am totally going to make it again for dinner this week 🙂

  • Heather
    Reply

    Oh wow! I so love this. I moved away from Portland about 5 years ago, and I used to grab a Whole Bowl on my lunches during beauty school. This tastes just like I remember, and also brings back those good old days!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Awe yay, so glad you like the recipe!! It’s one of my all time favorites, I’ve been back to Portland a few times (just to have The Whole Bowl lol 😉 )

  • Diana
    Reply

    How long do you think this sauce will last in the fridge?

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      I’ve had the sauce in the fridge for two weeks but always end up finishing it before then. I think it would still be good for probably up to 3-4 weeks?

  • Mary
    Reply

    Perfect! I eat at Whole Bowl often and still love making this to have at home. I triple the recipe so I use a whole can of garbanzos and stash the sauce in the freezer. Delicious meal (and I’m not a vegetarian).

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      I’m not a vegetarian and I love this meal too 🙂 so glad you like it!

  • Kylie
    Reply

    Hi! I have used your recipe lots of times and I love it! Have the almonds been removed from the recipe? Thanks!

    • Sweetphi
      Reply

      Hi Kylie, I did remove the almonds, but if you like them in there, you can totally add them 🙂

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