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

This issue includes:

- new Menu Ideas section
- my new cooking find - Mole sauce


new Menu Ideas section

Thanks to a very generous and creative cook from Australia, we now have a new section on the Recipes page, named *Special Menu Plans*. We have 3 complete menu plans here, for *Summer Night Party* , *Chili Dinner Party* , and *Cooking for Kids* .

Please take the time to check it out (near the bottom of the Recipes page, - there are some very fine menu ideas there.

Also, I would like to welcome any of you who would care to share a recipe of your own. If you would, please email me (, and I promise to respond to you quickly.  This is a free site, so I can't offer you money for this, but you will gain Fame and Fortune (umm, right), and the chance to share your cooking ideas with others.


my new cooking find - Mole sauce

My wife and I had lunch recently at a local Mexican restaurant, and she spent much of the meal ooh-ing and aah-ing over a dish with mole sauce (pronounced MAW-lay). It is basically a chili-based sauce, mild in this case, with overtones of chocolate and cinnamon.

I did a bit of research online, just enough to discover that I will never make a genuine Mexican cook; the cuisine is far too labor-intensive for me. (Check out the cookbook, *Cocina De La Familia* by Marilyn Tausend if you'd like to be inspired by serious Mexican cooking. The book is heavy on meat, but there are still a lot of good ideas to be found there.) So, I came up with my own streamlined and slightly simplified version. I won't enter it into any Mexican cooking competitions, but it is a very flavorful chili sauce, with chocolate and cinnamon overtones, that is fairly easy to make.

Most of the recipes I have seen with mole sauce use it over meat. I find that it goes well with - cooked vegetables; vegetables and eggs or tofu; as a chili sauce in a bean dish (I used cranberry beans, which are similar to pintos); and, it is good with grated sharp cheese folded into a corn tortilla.

I used Mexican chocolate that I found at a local grocer. (There were two brands I saw, Ibarra and Abuleita/Nestle). It comes in 3-1/2 ounce cakes, and the chocolate comes topped with sugar and powdered cinnamon. If you use another chocolate I would go with a sweet dark kind. It does not need to be expensive chocolate, but I do not suggest unsweetened cooking chocolate; the sweet undertone is part of the flavor.

If you have ever made your own chili, there is a lot of overlap in ingredients - ground chilis, oregano, cumin, garlic. (Check out *The Vegetarian Chili Cookbook* by Robin Robertson for some fun ideas.) Take those same ingredients, and add some raisins, ground almonds or peanuts, cinnamon and perhaps allspice, and some chocolate, and give at least a half a day for the flavors to mature, and you should have a nice tasting mole.

You can use a pre-made chili powder if you wish, but I strongly suggest you consider grinding your own chilis. The difference in vividness of flavor is amazing. Ancho, Mulato, Pasilla, Guajillo, and New Mexico, are types of chilis that are flavorful without being too hot. Any Mexican grocery should carry them, and some large supermarkets will have at least some of them.

My own first humble recipe is here - .  

Please take this just as a starting point for your own creativity. If you want more ideas, Google on 'mole sauce' and have fun exploring. (Here's the best site I found -


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