Finally, today I’m sharing a recipe that is a victory for my kitchen. I’ve been obsessed with the lemon ginger Nama Shoyu special sauce that Life Alive (a restaurant in Cambridge) puts on their goddess bowls. I started trying to recreate it back in the late fall and finally mastered it.
The sauce goes great with your favorite sautéed (or raw) veggies and a grain like brown rice or quinoa making it a truly nutritious power meal.
It goes great on any cooked or steamed vegetable. The recipe is also perfect for detox diets. If you are avoiding sugar, this is a great swap for stir fry sauce. The raw ginger, garlic and lemon also make this packed with health benefits from detoxification, to reducing bloating, better digestion and increased energy. I promise it tastes amazing despite sounding random. Nama Shoyu is basically like a vegan/soy free soy sauce but I’m not into buying ingredients that are expensive/rarely used so I just used Tamari, a gluten free soy sauce I buy at Whole Foods.
Ginger Awesome Sauce (recreated from Life Alive’s Ginger Nama Shoyu in Cambridge) Makes 4-6 servings
- 2 garlic cloves, chopped
- 2 inches of fresh peeled ginger, chopped
- 1 tablespoon of Tamari Sauce (or Nama Shoyu or Soy Sauce)
- 2 tablespoons of lemon juice (about 1/2 of a lemon)
- 2 tablespoons of Tahini (sesame seed butter basically)
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil (or flax oil)
- 2 tablespoons of water
Combine the first two ingredients in a mini food processor or blender. Blend well. You may need to chop them up finely depending on the efficiency of your blender. Next add in the remaining ingredients and blend until you have a creamy consistency. You may add more water if you would like a less thick sauce.
My favorite combination is short grain brown rice with broccoli, kale, carrots, beets and tofu. Add avocado, pepitas or siracha for texture and a kick! You can also add in some squash, mushrooms or sprouted peas.
Below is the Goddess Bowl from Life Alive and how they combine the veggies but really anything you have in your fridge will work. Enjoy and let me know what you thought of the recipe. If you love garlic, you will have a new favorite sauce.
If you make the recipe or make and substitutions, leave your swaps below!
Wow, that looks amazing! Love ginger anything! Gonna try it!
Laura M says
LOOOOVE that Life Alive sauce -- it’s like crack! I can’t wait to try this.
Amanda Margaret says
This sounds soooooooo yummy, definitely trying this 🙂
I am drooling! Wow! Gotta make this but hoping I can find Tahini ?!!!
It’s near the peanut butter and almond butter at Whole Foods, if that helps!
Basically you can find tahini at any decent supermarket. No need to pay WF premium prices.
I am SO happy you posted this. I’ve tried 2 different recipes I found online attempting to recreate the goddess bowl sauce and both were a flop. Can’t wait to try this one. Thank you!
I would love it! Just pinned! I create a lot of clean dressings and this one sounds like smth I would LOVE!!!
Glad you posted this! I used to get so many Green Goddess bowls when I lived around the corner 🙂 Might put it in a Cuppow BNTO for a mason jar veggie bowl.
I’m drooling over those photos. and thinking about the bowls at LifeAlive. I love that place. It was one of my favorites when I lived in Cambridge. Excited to try this recipe!
Whoah:o that looks good.
Gotta add more color to my salads!
The second salad looks absolutely mouthwatering.
Wow awesome! Thanks! I just moved out of Somerville this fall and I am missing the green goddess desperately! Will try tomorrow and post how it turned out!!
I’m going to have try this!
Amanda & Ken says
Your recipe tastes just like the one at life alive! Thank you!!
Thank you, this is exactly the recipe I was seeking…discovered it at Life Alive in Lowell!! 🙂
This is amazing , thank you ! Just went to life alive last night and have to make more at home cuz it’s So. Damn. Good. You’re right, you nailed it!
Tried it, it’s AMAZING!
Totally delicious for when I can’t/ don’t want to trek to life alive. Super excited about this, THANK YOU!!!
Really yummy and identical to the Life Alive sauce. Then, just to try something a little different, I got some miso from my local Harvest food coop and put in about a tablespoon. Makes it taste different but also great.
I’d love to take the entire bottle of their hot sauce too! My favorite place to eat by far nom nom nom
I think I like the hot sauce better than the ginger sauce -- and I do take a little sample home with me hahah!
A-A ron says
Agreed. SO GOOD. That hot sauce gives me life. any chance we can get a Sarahfit take on that at some point ?O_O
Next we need to find out how to make that hot sauce! This is great do you know how long it stays good For?
This is one of my favorite Life Alive’s sauces! Thank you for figuring it out and sharing with everyone. I can’t wait to make this tonight!
THANK YOU THANK YOU THANK YOU…….I was planning to make this tonight…and had over the ingredients but was missing a few…my favorite dish!
I am so excited to see this!! I am junk food junkie recently turned health food obsessed due to the incredibly tasty bowls at Life Alive! I live in the South End and make the trek (lol) over to Cambridge at least once a week to get my fix. I really love the Adventurer which has a slightly different sauce -- the Sesame Ginger Nama sauce. If you perfect that one, please share it as well 🙂 You rock!
Nicole -- I’m with you!! The Adventurer is worth a weekly trek [South End as well] and would love to get my hands on the sesame version of this sauce. I may try around with Sarah’s recipe and see where I can get the sesame in. It’s addictive!
Sarah, you made our day. I echo others who have moved to neighborhoods further away and can’t make regular treks to Life Alive for these delicious goddess bowls. I’ve tried without luck to find this recipe online in the past and tried asking around at LA (was told it’s a trade secret but that tamari was the key). My husband and I made this per your recipe last night, with farro as a base. OMG. Heaven.
Nicole, this is what I came up with for the sesame ginger Nama sauce. Makes 1 cup, or enough for four bowls.
1/4 cup low sodium soy (or nama shoyu, but I didn’t need to add to my condiment collection)
1/4 cup tahini
2 Tbsp sesame oil
2 Tbsp olive oil
2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar
1 Tbsp agave syrup or honey
1-inch piece ginger, sliced
1 clove of garlic, peeled and sliced
1 tsp lime juice
1/2 tsp sea salt
OH I’m definitely going to make this this weekend!
Hi Sarah -- I’m a total Life Alive devotee and always trying to recreate their meals in my own kitchen. I’ll definitely give this sauce a try ASAP! Thanks for sharing.
Genius! I’ve been trying to con some of the workers behind the counter to spill their guts on the recipe. I think they have to give their first born if they divulge that information. So, thank you! I will continue to follow you!
Now if only they would tell us what the hot sauce is made of!!!
Every time I’m in Boston, I go to Life Alive and wish I could recreate their amazing goddess bowl… I just made your recipe tonight and you totally nailed it!
This is great, can’t wait to try it! I’m in love with Life Alive but no longer live in the Boston area!
If you figure out the recipe for the Innocent wrap that’d be amazing! I believe they call it the Flaxy Nutri-Nama sauce.
Thanks for sharing!
I second this post! I always order a bowl of the Innocent and take one to go, but I’d love to learn how to make the sauce as I’m constantly craving it’s deliciousness!
Thanks for the recipe! Any idea how long the sauce will keep?
Brad Capello says
Just like life alive cafe!! Great work. Thank you!
I didn’t have any tahini on hand so I substituted two tablespoons of almond butter with a few dashes of sesame oil. I still couldn’t tell the difference between this and Life Alive’s recipe. If anything, this came out even better. Thanks so much!
Thx for deciphering the code…I have been making this for a few months now…I make a double batch of sauce w/1.5 cups of quinoa and steam approximately 4 carrots, a dozen leaves of kale, 3 ears of corn and combine with shaved almonds, hot sauce and some protein flakes…makes 4+ portions
Bless you for coming up with this! I’ve been wanting to make my own bowls for a long time now.
p.s. I just tried the recipe and indeed, you have nailed it. I’ll still eat at Life Alive whenever I’m in Cambridge. But it’s so great to be able to have this awesomeness in my own home.
I love Life Alive! I’m definitely going to try this! Thank you so much!
Maida Broudo says
This is so awesome……Thank you!
I just had it and love it…..and LOVE Life Alive.
I think a bit of extra lemon juice and water can make this go a bit further…..thin it out just a bit…..make it easier to mix in…..-that said…perfection!
are these vegetables raw or cooked???
Absolutely legit. Works perfectly. Kudos and thanks!
Does anybody have a recipe or link or any suggestions re how to recreate the LA *hot sauce*???
This sauce is great but I don’t think two cloves of garlic are necessary. I still had garlic on my breath several hours and multiple tooth brushings later.
Roast the garlic first.
We are regulars at Life Alive. I found your recipe and it is just perfect! I made it for the family and it was so nice to have one of my favorite meals at home. I was able to have the option of adding chicken for those who are not vegetarian.
Thank you so much!
Thanks! I made it tonight, brought a big smile to my face!
Paula Messias says
Wow, you did a great job! Do you also know how to make the flaxy nutri nama sauce??
Let me know! Thank you!!!
This dressing was absolutely delicious! Thank you!
I’m SO excited to have found this!! I fell in love with the sauce up in the Lowell location and have been trying to recreate it ever since! Thank you 🙂
Liz Raymond says
OMG! Loved this. Made it last night and was a replica of the sauce. Holy cow. So now just need the hot sauce recipe 🙂
Right!??? I love that stuff too!
OMG, thanks so much! I LOVE thaeir sauce and was trying to figure out how to make it!
I really like using fresh lime juice instead of lemon
I love the internet.
Thank you so much for this! I just made it and it’s amazing 🙂 I would recommend a lil more water as your recipe barely stretched to 4 dishes. Still it’s such a strong flavour that it doesn’t matter much that the sauce is sparse. I added cubed roasted sweet potato which was great!
M. Wells says
You nailed the Ginger Awesome Sauce. It is just like the sauce at Life Alive! Thank you for sharing!
Good try! I’m sure it tastes great. I’m also sure that there is no tahini in the original. I’m very allergic to it, and they’ve promised there’s none in there (and I’ve never had a reaction.) I’d like to attempt to create it myself without the sesame!
Hi, I am excited to try your recipe! Can you tell me if you have a recipe for the broth for the Soba noodle dish?! That is so rich and earthy I would LOVE to be able to have it anytime. Thanks!!
Rebecca R. Hernandez says
Hello -- from the West Coast! Thank you so much for the recipe and conferring the ability for me to take a piece of Cambridge home with me. I have made this twice now (love it!) and I have a question — do you feel like the dressing is ever “stringy” from the cellulose in the ginger? I am wondering if Life Alive might strain the ginger?
Thank you for this recipe!! It was so amazing! I made this dinner for my mother (I am introducing her to veganism) and she and I loved it! This is definitely a favorite dish, so thank you!
You area goddess. THANK YOU
Spot. On. Make sure to make extra because you’re going to need it 🙂
Thank you so much Sarah! This recipe definitely works. You just made healthy food a whole lot tastier for us :).
This was delicious -- thank you!!!! I added a touch of honey but otherwise made it as directed. So good.
I eat at life alive all the time, and I made this tonight and your sauce recipe is absolutely on point!!! I never thought I’d be able to recreate their bowls..I am so excited 🙂
I followed the recipe exactly but added a couple of tablespoons of nutritional yeast and it came out FANTASTIC!!! tastes exactly like the sauce at Life Alive if not better, thanks so so much for posting!
Eeek!!!! Amazing! Thank you SO much for this!! I love Life Alive (Salem is my local one) and have been dying to find this recipe ? Hurray!!!
Thank you for coming up with this. It tastes just like it. I am very excited!!!
Thank you so much for posting this<3 I love Life Alive and this sauce as well. I just tried your version for dinner and I wish I cut back on the soy/tamari. Next time I'll start with a tsp and go from there. Thanks again for demystifying this!
Thank you! This was perfect and now my daughter will eat ANY vegetable. I also must try the hot sauce now! Great work, I am so happy!
You are a genius. So flavorful and satisfying. Made it in my nutribullet. So easy. 53 cals per tablespoon
I’ve been looking for this! Great way for me to save money. I spend too much of it there. Do you happen to know what brands of kelp, nutritional flakes, flax oil etc. they happen to use or are good alternatives?
I’ve been dreaming about this sauce since I visited Boston earlier this month. Your recipe was a perfect match, and much cheaper than making a second trip out there to eat this again 🙂 Thank you so much!
Sarah…. THANK YOU! I recently discovered Life Alive in Lowell and the Green Goddess is my go to meal at least once a week. Now that I can make the sauce though…. my whole world got better 🙂 Thanks for sharing!
Once again, does anybody have ANY idea how to recreate the Life Alive Hot sauce … I think it is called Dancing Passion ?
I have no tried but I wish I had it!!
OMG you are amazing! I’d tried all sorts of different Asian salad sauces trying to figure out what flavors I was missing and this *nailed it*. I’ve made 3 batches and had it every day for almost 2 weeks. Thank you!!
Thank you TONS! I love this sauce. Just made a ton of it 😀
Dear Sarah, just wanted to let you know that I’ve been making this sauce for the past two years at least once a month. It’s absolutely incredible and makes my busy student life delicious, nutritious, and easy. THANK YOU!
I just made this and IT.IS.AMAZING. I am so happy- it tastes just like the Life Alive one! I will be making this weekly.
I just went to Life Alive in Salem tonight and had the Goddess bowl, it was so good I knew I had to find out how to make the sauce! Thank you for the recipe, I will add it to my repertoire!
Hi Sarah is there a tahini you recommend? I made this some time ago with tahini that was the consistency of hummus I found in the refrigerated section but now I can only find the ground sesame seeds with the peanut butter which obviously is not that same consistency. Any insight you can provide is appreciated!
I used the kind that was more of a peanut butter consistency but I don’t think it particularly matters. I’d use the creamier variety.
not sure if you intended it to sound this way, but nama shoyu is NOT soy free. it’s an unpasteurized soy sauce (contains live enzymes)
Made this today -- so good! Thanks for posting!
Nailed it, thank you so much for reverse engineering this amazing recipe! Now, if only I could find the recipe for the peanut curry that Veggie Planet made. They closed down in Harvard a few years ago. Thanks again!
Thank you! My daughter’s favorite!
Alex Cowan says
I just wanted to say THANK YOU for figuring out this recipe! My husband and I moved to CA from Boston 5 years ago and I have regularly lamented the fact that I could never figure out how to re-create my favorite dressing ever. A thousand thanks to you! I tried it a few nights ago and it is an exacting replica and brings me back!
haha thank you! 🙂 Glad you like it!!
Thanks you ! I love this sauce, can you try to hack their hot sauce as well ?
I wish! I have no idea where to start but it is totally the best!
I know that they use ground chili spice from Salem Spice company. They sell it in jars at the Life Alive. I plan on buying a bottle next time I’m in Boston and am going to try to reverse engineer. I know it has vinegar in it. When and if I get around to actually doing it, I will let you know. My husband has a good palette for tasting things and figuring out what is in them…so hoping he can help.
ALSO, the chef/owner at Life Alive co-authored a cookbook called Raw Food for Everyone. She isn’t the one on the cover, but she is behind a lot of the recipes. She wrote the book several years ago. I don’t know how close this is to Life Alive’s current one, the difference I noted is that there is ginger in it now, this one doesn’t have ginger. Just posting to help with possible ratios. Her recipe for Tahini Dressing goes:
1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
1/2 cup Nama Shoyu (cheaper alternative is San-J Tamari sauce, it is much better than soy and gluten free)
1 garlic clove
1/4 cup apple cider vinegar
1/4 cup fresh squeezed lemon
3/8 cup tahini (I think Trader Joe’s is the best) and 3/8 is equivalent with 6 Tablespoons
It says blend ingredients and will keep in refrigerator for 3-4 weeks.
YOU ARE MY HERO!!! I have been searching how to make something similar. Wow thank you for seriously improving my every day life.
Oh my god. Thank you for perfecting this!!! Amazing indeed. Wowww. Added it to warmed farro, tofu and blanched broccoli and cold edamame, carrots, pea shoots, and avocado. So delicious.
thanks for this recipe! this sauce makes ANYTHING taste good, even when i’m craving junk food instead 🙂
Isabelle M Holmes says
When I make the dressing I compulsively lick the bowl like I do after I make cookies. It. Is. Crack. I found this recipe before going to Life Alive. When I started going to Boston more regularly I was so excited to finally get to try this much talked about dressing and bowl that inspired this magical sauce. I was SO disappointed! I went back three times because I thought I was missing something but finally realized I could do so much better at home with your sauce! Seriously. I’ve made this so many times for so many friends. Thank you thank you thank you! And I now go to Naco Taco when in Boston. 😉
I just made this and it tasted exactly like the Life Alive sauce I oh so fondly remember. Used to be my go-to dish back when I lived in Boston. Now I don’t need to go to Life Alive, I AM Life Alive!!! Thank you!
So glad you like it!!
So excited to find this. Thank you! How long do people think this would keep in the refrigerator? A week?