Café Yumm: Baby-Friendly, Budget-Friendly, Earth-Friendly Fast Food

It’s winter, it’s cold and let’s face it—grease and salt is mighty appealing.  But fast food is loaded with packaging, unhealthy ingredients, and expense.  So how can we avoid it despite our cravings?  Enjoy a hearty bowl of brown rice and beans with a signature sauce from Cafe Yumm.

Brown rice and beans, you say?  How can that possibly be marketed to my family?  Here’s the truth: My husband loves beef, pizza, potatoes fried in a variety of ways, and everything else that passes as fast food, but he loves Café Yumm even more.   My son breaks down crying (often!) begging for “beans and rice please!” 

So what is their magical formula?  It’s their sauce! (Which you can buy or even make at home.  Keep reading for more details!)  At Café Yumm they spoon steaming heaps of brown rice into bowls, layer them with black beans, salsa, cheese, avocados, olives and the most amazing sauce I have ever tasted.  It was actually developed by a mom who was trying to get her two-year-old to embrace healthy food.  After years of experimenting and serving her bowls to the general public, she ended up with a very successful chain of restaurants.   You can read more about her story here.

The Yumm Bowl is vegetarian and provides a complete protein since it includes beans and rice along with plenty of whole grains.  There are several varieties of sauces and combinations of ingredients on their menu, but you can bet that every one of them will be healthy and nourishing for your child. 

Not only do we visit Café Yumm, we also buy their bottles of Yumm Sauce to prepare these delicious meatless meals at home.  The sauce is a bit spendy at twelve bucks a bottle, but since the rest of the ingredients are so overwhelmingly cheap, it’s worth it.  One bottle provides us with 20-25 individual bowls, which ends up being a great value. 

If you’re looking for a Café Yumm in your area, check their website. They have restaurants in Beaverton, Bend, Corvallis, Eugene, and Springfield. (All in Oregon.)   Stay tuned next week for a recipe which attempts to imitate the brilliance of real Yumm Sauce! 

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  1. Sounds delicious! Do you know if they ship outside of Oregon? What kind of sauces do they offer? It looks so easy to reproduce at home, but I’ve love to know what kind of sauce to use! Great idea!

  2. Oh how great! Thanks for sharing. I wish there was one in TX.

  3. At this point Cafe Yumm is just in Oregon, but stay tuned for a copycat yumm sauce recipe that you can make at home! It’ll be posted soon and you’ll be able to whip up these delightful, healthy and cheap meals anytime wherever you live.

  4. Oh you are making me hungry!! 🙂 I will look forward to seeing your sauce recipe. I like rice and beans but I have been able to make them taste as good as the ones I ate when on a mission trip in the Dominican Republic. Everyday for over a week we ate lunch at the home of an Americal missionary and his native wife. Every lunch they fed us rice and beans. I never got tired of it. I am certian it was the sauce in this case as well that made it so yummy!

  5. I had magical experiences with “gallo pinto” (the Costa Rican version of beans and rice) but the sauce is totally impossible to get here in Eugene. Thank goodness that Yumm Sauce can fill the void! I can’t remember precisely, but I believe it’s creator has been influenced both by Southern cooking and Asian flavors, so the concoction she came up with is truly wonderful.

  6. our family is addicted to yumm sauce! we live in seattle but i was raised in eugene and my mother brings up a few bottles every time she comes to visit her grandson. we discovered that the screw tops from a classic red plastic ketchup bottle fits perfectly on top of their larger containers of sauce. it makes the yumm go much further for us. we’ll be having it tomorrow night!

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