Rice Bowls with Spicy Curry Sauce
Today’s recipe is inspired by Portland’s own Whole Bowl food cart. These rice bowls are packed with fresh ingredients and a spicy sauce. According to the official Whole Bowl site, “It’s like eating a hug.”
Portland is food cart territory; several Whole Bowl locations in Portland. You will probably notice the long line of people before you spot the tiny cart. They are waiting to get their hands on a Whole Bowl, “A comforting and healthy medley of brown rice, red and black beans, fresh avocado, salsa, black olives, sour cream, Tillamook cheddar, cilantro, Tali Sauce and trace amounts of attitude.” Yum.
UPDATE: There are several locations of Whole Bowl that are closed right now, but a few are open! Check the link above for availability.
The original top-secret recipe features spicy Tali Sauce (named after the owner and creator) and is every bit as addicting as it is unusual. One bite and you’ll see why.
The sauce recipe I am sharing with you comes from a common version passed around the Internet by fellow fans/addicts. It combines lemon juice, garbanzo beans, olive oil, almonds, mustard, garlic, curry, and cayenne for a spicy kick that explodes with flavor. It’s similar to punched-up hummus, a hug and a kick in the pants all rolled into one. Feel free to tone down the spices to suit your own tastes.
The most unusual ingredient, for those who don’t run in vegan or vegetarian circles, is the large flake nutritional yeast. This yeast has been deactivated (in contrast to active yeast which causes bread to rise) dried, and crumbled into flakes or powder. You can often find it in the bulk section (when your stores open the bulk section again); don’t let the price tag (around $7/lb.) fool you. Because it is incredibly lightweight, the amount used for this recipe will cost less than $1.
Despite the truly unfortunate name, nutritional yeast is a delicious addition, with a nutty, cheesy flavor. Vegans commonly use it as a cheese substitute, stirring it into soup or sprinkling it on popcorn. I’ve read many comments of people who buy it in bulk and eat it by the spoonful. Nutritional yeast is gluten-free, rich in vitamins, packed with protein, and contains essential amino acids.
Spicy Curry Sauce
1/2 c. almonds
1/2 c. lemon juice
1/2 c. olive oil
1/2 c. water (more if needed)
1 c. garbanzo beans (How to Cook Dried Garbanzo Beans)
4-6 garlic cloves
1/2 c. large flake nutritional yeast
2 T. whole grain Dijon mustard
2 t. each of curry powder, onion powder, turmeric, chili powder, and cayenne
- Blend all the ingredients in a food processor or blender until smooth. Add more water, if needed, to achieve the desired consistency.
- Serve the sauce over rice bowls, steamed vegetables, scrambled eggs, or anything else your heart desires. Leftovers may be refrigerated or frozen.
Rice Bowls with Spicy Curry Sauce
Inspired by The Whole Bowl
black or red beans (How to Soak and Cook Dried Beans)
shredded cheddar cheese
sour cream or plain yogurt
Spicy Curry Sauce (recipe above)
- To assemble, fill a bowl with rice and beans. Top with shredded cheese, sliced olives, sliced avocado, and cilantro.
- Add dollops of salsa, sour cream or plain yogurt, and Spicy Curry Sauce. Serve warm or at room temperature.
Looking for an easy way to make perfect rice every time?
Amazon has the Hamilton Beach Digital Rice Cooker and Food Steamer for under $30 with FREE shipping. This cooker makes up to 8 cups of cooked rice and it also steams meat and vegetables while the rice is cooking!
If you have an Instant Pot, it makes excellent rice as well. Super hands off!
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