This is the February 2006 issue of the Low Budget Vegetarian newsletter.

This issue includes:
- site update - cookbook now available for free download.
- Thickening bean stews
- some new Recipes


Site update - cookbook now available for free download.

The cookbook I wrote, *How to Survive as a Low Budget Vegetarian*, is now available for free download. It is in pdf format. All of the information on the site is now free of charge, and the site is ad-free.


Thickening Bean Stews

Every week, I make a large pot of some kind of bean and vegetable stew. Along with being a main dish in dinners for the week, my wife takes this to work, dished over some kind of rice.

For a hearty dish over rice, it helps to have the sauce to be somewhat thick. It clings to the rice better, and acts more like a rich gravy.

So, this month I want to mention two new thickening agents I am having good luck with, plus a couple of other ideas to thicken a bean stew.

Thickening with Chickpea Flour - this adds just a bit of extra creamy thickness, without the pasty quality of grain based thickeners like wheat or rice flour. Chickpea flour is also available at Indian groceries, under the name Gram Flour.

Thickening with Peanut Butter - this adds a different kind of thick richness, since peanut butter is high fat. I find it is best used in small amounts or it can dominate the flavor.

Some other thickening ideas
- If you are cooking with whole beans like kidneys or pintos, take around 1/2 cup of the cooked beans, mash them and return them to the stew.
- Add moong dal or red lentils in with whole beans. They pretty much dissolve and thicken the stew.
- If you are using tomato taste, you have a thickness continuum from diced tomatoes, to crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce, to tomato paste, depending on how thich you want the sauce. Crushed tomatoes or tomato sauce tend to dominate the taste. Diced tomatoes add flavor and no thickness. Tomato paste can add some thickness without taking over.


Here are the new recipes I added this month.

This first recipe uses chickpea flour, and is flavored with soy sauce and brown sugar, to make a thick rich brown sauce for the lentils.
- Lentil Vegetable Stew with Soy Sauce -

This next recipe thickens a bean broth with some peanut butter.
- Kidney Peanut Stew -

And one more.
- Mock Duck with Turnips and other Vegetables -


And that is all for this month.

Happy and healthy eating to you, and best wishes for the New Year.

Charlie Obert


Low Budget Vegetarian Survival