Easy Bean Stew with Ham


Adding the olive oil just before serving gives this comforting stew a last minute flavor boost.

Sun Oven White Bean Stew with Ham and Bacon


2 (8-ounce) packages diced cooked ham

2 slices previously solar cooked bacon, chopped

1 onion, chopped

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into 1/4-inch chunks

2 stalks celery, chopped

5 cups previously cooked white beans (cannellini, mayocoba, or navy)

1 (14-ounce) can chicken broth

1 tablespoon chopped fresh rosemary

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste

Olive oil for serving


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a large bowl, combine the ham, bacon, onion, carrots, and celery along with 3 cups of the beans. In a small bowl, use a fork to mash the remaining 2 cups of beans and add them to the pot. Stir in the chicken broth, rosemary, and thyme. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the carrots are tender and the flavors have blended, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Season to taste with salt and pepper. ladle into bowls and drizzle each serving with olive oil. Leftovers can be frozen for up to 1 month.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Bean and Bacon Solar Soup

Bacon Bean Soup

I’ve recently started saving the rendered fat from my solar cooked bacon and am always on the look out for ways to use it. If you don’t have any on hand, double the amount of olive oil in this recipe. The soup will still be good; just a little less bacony. Any type of white bean will also work, but my favorite is the Mayocoba (also know as Peruano or Canario).

Bacon Bean Soup


1 pound dried Mayocoba beans (or other white bean), picked over, rinsed, and soaked overnight

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

2 celery stalks, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons rendered bacon fat

2 teaspoons chopped fresh rosemary

1 1/2-inch thick slice salt pork

8 cups chicken broth

salt and pepper to taste

Crumbled cooked bacon for serving (optional)


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the onion, celery, and carrot. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic, tomato paste, bacon fat, and rosemary. Add the salt pork, drained beans, and chicken broth. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the beans are soft, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove and discard the salt pork. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Ladle into bowls and sprinkle crumbled bacon on each serving (if using).

Makes 12 servings.


Solar Beans and Bacon

Bean and Bacon Stew

This stew is filling enough on its own but for a heartier meal add some grilled sausages. Either way, serve it with some good, crusty bread to soak up all the juices.

Sun Oven Bean and Bacon Stew


4 slices previously cooked bacon, chopped

3 cups previously cooked white beans, (Great Northern, Navy, Cannellini, or Mayocoba)

2 tablespoons bacon fat (or olive oil)

1 onion, chopped

3 carrots, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with their juices

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1/2 cup broth, (chicken, vegetable, or beef)

1/4 cup white wine

2 bay leaves

1 teaspoon dried thyme

salt and pepper to taste


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Heat the bacon fat in a Dutch oven or large pot over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook until the vegetables begin to soften, about 5 minutes. Add the bacon, beans, tomatoes, tomato paste, broth, wine, bay leaves, and thyme. Season with salt and pepper. Stir to combine, cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the vegetables are soft and the flavors have blended, about 2 hours. Remove and discard the bay leaves.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.


Solar Cooking for A Rainy Day


Bacon! It seems like everyone loves bacon. But before I had a Sun Oven it was something I rarely ate at home. I hated the way the smell permeated the entire house and nine times out of ten I burnt it to beyond a crisp. Maybe that explains the unpleasant aroma. With the Sun Oven bacon is easy. However, it’s still an occasional food around our house; so much so that if I don’t cook the entire package in one go the uncooked portion will likely spoil. Luckily, cooked bacon will keep in the fridge for about a week and because it already cooked it easily finds its way into soups, salads, and sandwiches. I’ve even started saving and using the fat. Use two baking pans, with or without racks, to fit a full pound of bacon in the Sun Oven. Cross-stack them on the leveling tray. Bacon is on of the few things that can burn in the Sun Oven so start checking on it after half an hour or so. Take it out as soon as it’s ready. The top tray will cook a little faster. Don’t let its bacony goodness cause you to forget about the bottom one.

Bacon! and Cat!


Solar Quiche to Go

Quiche Muffins

Make these delightful portable breakfast muffins your own by using your favorite add-ins with the eggs. Any kind of vegetable can be used and the bacon can be replaced with ham or cooked sausage. They keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days and are great for meals on the go. I like to serve them for dinner with a bowl of tomato soup and a salad.

Sunny Savory Quiche Muffins


5 slices cooked bacon, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 package refrigerated biscuit dough (10 biscuits)

6 eggs

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, excess water squeezed out



Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray the indentations of 10 muffin cups with cooking spray.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Flatten the biscuits into 5-inch rounds and line the muffin tins. Top the biscuits with silicone baking molds. Start baking the biscuit shells in the Sun Oven while preparing the filling.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the chopped bacon, sautéed onions, cheese, and frozen spinach. Season to taste with salt. Remove the biscuits from the Sun Oven. Remove the silicone molds and carefully spoon the egg filling into the shells. Do not over fill*. Return the muffin pans to the Sun Oven and continue baking until the egg fill is set and the shells are golden brown, 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Set pans on a rack a let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the sides of each muffin and remove the tins. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Quiche Shells

*Trust me on this, you do not want to clean cooked egg off the bottom of your Sun Oven. If you have too much filling use the empty indentations to make one or two crustless pies.


Solar Braised Cabbage

Braised Cabbage

Bacon infuses the cabbage with flavor for a side dish everyone will love.

Sun Oven Braised Cabbage and Onions with Bacon


3 strips bacon

1 head green cabbage, cut into 8 wedges

1/2 onion, sliced

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Sunny Potato Soup


The bacon can be cooked ahead of time or along with the soup. If cooking it with the soup, turn the lid upside down on the soup pot and set the pan with the bacon on top, and keep an eye on it. The bacon will cook faster than the soup and, unlike most everything else, it can burn in the Sun Oven.

Sun Oven Leek and Potato Soup


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 leeks, (white and pale green parts only) finely sliced

1 onion, finely chopped

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Solar Frittata with Rapini and Pancetta

Rapini Frittata

I really liked the egg, rapini, pancetta combination of the savory pudding I made a few weeks ago but don’t often have the right kind of bread on hand. This frittata delivers the same flavors to the taste buds without the extra trip to the bakery.

Sun Oven Frittata with Rapini and Pancetta


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 bunch rapini, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

8 eggs, at room temperature

1 tablespoon milk

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Savory Solar Bread Pudding

Rapini, also known as broccoli rabe, has a slightly bitter taste that pairs perfectly with pancetta. If you can’t find it, or don’t like it, use regular broccoli instead.

Sun Oven Savory Italian-style Bread Pudding

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Bon Appétit)


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, thinly sliced

1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 bunch rapini, trimmed and cut into 1/2-inch pieces

6 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups whole milk, at room temperature

8 cups county-style white bread, cut into 1-inch pieces

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Solar Black-eyed Pea Soup


Whenever I cook bacon I try to make some extra to have on hand for recipes like this soup. I learned from experience to squirrel away any strips I want to save for later. Otherwise it tends to mysteriously disappear from the serving plate. Bacon is easy to cook in the Sun Oven, click here to see how.

Sun Oven Black-eyed Pea Soup


1 pound dried black-eyed peas, picked over, rinsed, and soaked overnight

1/4 pound smoked ham, cubed

1 onion, diced

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