Solar Snack

Kale-Chips-300x200

Yesterday’s Curried Solar Black Beans, Squash, and Rice left me with half a bunch of  kale. All to often in these cases the odd amount of unused vegetables will go to waste. Luckily, kale can easily be transformed into a tasty, healthy, solar snack.

Sun Oven Kale Crisps

(adapted for the Sun Oven from “The Meat Lover’s Meatless Cookbook”)

Ingredients

1/2 bunch kale

1 1/2 teaspoons olive oil

salt to taste

1/8 teaspoon red pepper flakes

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line a baking rack or pan with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat.

Using a sharp knive, remove the tough rib of each kale leaf. Wash the leaves and dry thoroughly, use a salad spinner if you have one. Cut the leaves into pieces.

Put the leaves in a medium sized bowl.

Add the olive oil, salt, and red pepper flakes. Use your hands to mix until all the leaves are coated with oil.

Arrange the kale in single layers on the prepared baking rack or pan. Bake in the Sun Oven 10 to 12 minutes or until the kale is crisp.

 

Solar Roasted Carrot Dip

New Sun Oven

This spicy dip goes great with tortilla chips and will be a big hit at your Super Bowl party.

Sun Oven Spicy Roasted Carrot Dip

Ingredients

1 onion, finely chopped

3 large carrots, peeled and grated

The zest and juice of 1 orange

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Solar Roasted Onions in Balsamic Marinade

Pearl Onions

These scrumptious onions are delicious when served with an antipasto platter. Keep a close eye on them while they’re baking, if they get too soft they will turn to mush.

Sun Oven Roasted Balsamic Onions

1 pound pearl onions, unpeeled

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

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Solar Breakfast Mini Muffins

Mini Muffin Pans

These mini egg muffins can be frozen for convenient weekday breakfasts. They are also a great party food. And, mini muffin pans fit perfectly on the Sun Oven baking racks.

Sun Oven Mini Egg Muffins

Ingredients

2 small zucchini, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

3 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese

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Spicy Solar Snack

Sun Veggie Chips

The Sun Oven does not need to be at maximum temperature for these chips to come out. If condensation builds up during cooking, unlatch the glass door to let it escape. The temperature will go down a little but it will keep the chips from getting soggy.

Sun Oven Chipotle-Lime Veggie Chips

Ingredients

1 carrot, scrubbed

1 zucchini

1 small sweet potato, scrubbed

1 tablespoon vegetable oil

1 1/2 teaspoons grated lime zest

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/8 teaspoon, chipotle chile powder

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line baking racks with parchment paper.

Use a mandoline slicer, food processor slicing attachment, or a sharp knife and a lot of patience to slice the vegetables very thin. Place the vegetable in a large bowl. Add the oil, lime zest, salt, and chile powder. Toss to coat.

Arrange the slices in a single layer on the prepared racks. Bake until browned, checking often and removing chips as they brown, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Chips will crisp as they cool.

Sun Oven Fava Bean Hummus

Fava beans make great hummus that can be served with pita bread or fresh vegetables. I prefer favas to chickpeas; they don’t need to be presoaked and make a smoother hummus. I used to buy mine at high-end, gourmet supermarkets until I found them for a fraction of the price in the Hispanic aisle of a local store. The expensive ones aren’t any better so don’t drive the extra miles or fork over the extra cash for the fancy packaging. Just make sure you get the ones that have already been shelled, otherwise they’d have to be soaked and peeled before cooking.

Fava Bean Hummus

1 1/2 cups dried, shelled fava beans, picked over and rinsed

1 clove garlic

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More Solar Dehydrating

Lately I’ve been raiding Mark’s stash of corn chips when I go looking for a snack. They’re about the only thing we ever have in the house that are not sweet and require absolutely no preparation.

That’s the funny thing about my house, it’s always full of food but apart from fresh fruit there’s almost nothing that can just be eaten as is and sometimes I want to eat something now. I was hoping seasoned dehydrated veggies could become a new-found version of chips; a salty snack ready to eat straight from the container, but I think I’m going to have to keep looking. Not that the dehydrated zucchini I made the other day are bad, they just lack the satisfying crunch of chips.

Making them was, however, a good learning experience. I got started early and had the thinly sliced, lightly seasoned zucchini ready to go as soon as the sun hit the back yard. By the last rays of the day they were dehydrated to perfection. I’d seasoned them with garlic powder, dried basil, and salt. The flavor was good, and I did manage to stay away from the bag of chips in the pantry, but I think they’d be better as an ingredient in risottos or soups than on their own. I guess I’ll have to find something else to deal with the mid-afternoon hunger pangs.

Sun Oven Saves the Eggplant

Eggplant is one of those vegetables that somehow manage to hide in my refrigerator until it’s time to use it or lose it. This versatile recipe is perfect for rescuing the ones I catch in time. It can be used as a spread on crackers, a dip for pita chips, or as a layer in lasagna. It will keep in the refrigerator for a couple of days.

Solar Roasted Eggplant Spread

Ingredients

1 medium eggplant

2 red bell peppers, seeded

1 red onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt to taste

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 sun dried tomatoes

Preparation

Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat

Cut the eggplant, bell peppers, and onion into 1-inch cubes. Toss them with the oil, salt, and pepper in a large bowl. Spread them on a large, rimmed baking pan. Cook, uncovered, in the Sun Oven until the vegetables are soft, about 1 1/2 hours.

While the vegetables are cooking soak the sun dried tomatoes in hot water for 10 minutes. Drain and squeeze out excess water.

Remove vegetables from the Sun Oven and cool slightly. Put the vegetables and the sun dried tomatoes in a food processor and pulse until blended. Adjust for salt and pepper.

Beans Today, Soup Tomorrow

These beans make a great side dish on their own, but be sure to set some aside (and save the cooking liquid) for a delicious soup later in the week. If you can’t find cannellini, any white bean will do. Same goes for the greens, curly kale can be substituted for the Tuscan.

Solar Simmered Cannellini with Kale

Ingredients Read more »

Savory Solar Potato and Green Bean Pie

If you’ve been following this blog you have probably realized by now that I am not a solar cooking purist. Sometimes for fun I like to do all the steps of a recipe in the Sun Oven and it’s nice to know it the back of my mind that things like sauteing and steaming can be done in it if necessary, but for my everyday cooking I usually choose the cooking method based on convenience and results. I cook the green beans for this savory pie the way I learned in Italy, because I think they taste better, and since the potatoes cook while I’m preparing the beans I boil them inside too. Once the pie is assembled it goes in to the Sun Oven to bake.

Solar Green Bean and Potato Pie (adapted from ‘Essentials of Classic Italian Cooking’ by Marcella Hazan)

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