Mmmm… Solar Meatloaf Muffins

Making meatloaf muffins has many advantages. They cook faster, make portion control easier, freeze well, and are fun to eat. Use your favorite meatloaf recipe or use mine which can be found by clicking here. Serve them with mashed potatoes or make some solar tomato sauce for spaghetti and meatballs. Don’t worry if you don’t have a fancy cast iron pan like the one in the picture, any muffin pan, or even silicone cupcake molds, will work just fine; if not better. Whatever type of cookware you use, it will need to be covered with tin foil and a tea towel, or placed in an oven bag.

Solar Stew with a Mediterranean Flair

This stew is best when paired with a good crusty bread or some soft polenta to soak up the flavor packed juices. Any leftovers can be frozen for a quick week-night meal.

Sun Oven Mediterranean Beef Stew

Ingredients

1 pound boneless bottom round roast, cut into 1-inch chunks

3 leeks, white and light green parts only, cleaned, halved lengthwise, and sliced

2 teaspoons herbes de Provence

3/4 teaspoon salt

6 cloves garlic, minced

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Sun Oven Meat Loaf

Mixing shredded vegetables into meatloaf is a good way of cutting down on meat consumption. This recipe uses onion, carrots, and zucchini but be creative and use what you have on hand. Cabbage, kale, or leeks are just a few alternatives that come to mind

Beef and Vegetable Loaf

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

1 cup shredded carrots

1 cup shredded zucchini

1 clove garlic, minced

1 slice white bread, torn into small pieces

1/8 cup dry red wine

1 lb ground beef

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 teaspoon dried basil

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat.

Drape a long piece of tin foil folded in two over the bottom and up the sides of an oval, lidded roasting pan and coat it with cooking spray.

Heat oil in a large skillet. Add onion and cook until softened; about 5 minutes. Add carrots, zucchini, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until vegetables are softened; about 3 minutes. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Combine bread and wine in a small bowl; let stand for 10 minutes

In a large bowl, combine beef, egg, basil, salt, pepper, cooled vegetables and soaked bread. Shape beef mixture into an oval loaf; place into prepared roasting pan. Bake in GSO until cooked through, approx. 1 1/2 hours. Remove from GSO and let stand 5 minutes. Lift loaf out of roasting pan onto a platter using tin foil lining.

Serves 6 to 8

Sun Oven Sunday Roast

Beef eye round roast is a relatively inexpensive cut that can be easily prepared in the Global Sun Oven. We get quite a few meals out of one roast, either served with mashed potatoes and veggies for dinner, or sliced thin for sandwiches for lunch. Cooking times will vary depending on the size of the roast, but on a sunny day will be comparable to a conventional oven; ten to twenty minutes per pound for rare. It’s one of the few things that are easy to overcook in the GSO so some kind of meat thermometer is a must. I like a probe because it eliminates the need to open the door, is easy to read, and has an alarm in case I get distracted.

Simple Solar Roast Beef

Ingredients

4- to 6-pound beef eye round roast

salt

Pepper

Preparation

Let meat stand at cool room temperature for 45 minutes before roasting.

Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat.

Set roast, fat side up on a metal rack in a lidded roasting pan and sprinkle generously with salt and pepper. Add 1/4 cup water to bottom of roasting pan, cover and place in GSO. Cook until the thermometer reads 120ºF. Let roast stand, covered, 10 to 15 minutes before slicing.

As you can see this is an extremely simple recipe. The hardest part was finding a roasting rack that would fit in my pan. I improvised with some canning rings with excellent results.

Meatballs in the Sun

In this recipe the meatballs don’t need to be browned, making it ideal for the GSO. I usually serve them over spaghetti for a classic Italian-American favorite. Any leftovers could be used for meatball sandwiches.

Ingredients

1/4 cup plain breadcrumbs

1/4 cup dry red wine

1 pound ground beef

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup freshly-grated parmesan cheese

1/2 small onion, minced

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried basil

1/2 teaspoon dried mustard

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 clove garlic, halved lengthwise

1 26 oz. carton Pomi strained tomatoes

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 tablespoon fresh basil, torn into pieces

Preparation

Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat.

Soak breadcrumbs in wine. In a large bowl combine breadcrumb wine mixture with the next 6 ingredients, beef through dried mustard. Form 12 meatballs.

Combine olive oil and halved garlic clove in a dark roasting pan with a lid. Place in GSO and cook until garlic begins to turn brown, about 10 minutes. Remove pan from GSO, add meatballs. Mix salt into strained tomatoes and pour over meatballs, cover and return pan to GSO. Cook until meatballs are cooked through, about 40 minutes or until glass door begins to steam up.

Makes serves 4 to 6

Solar Braised Short Ribs

A few years ago it seemed like all the food publications and T.V. shows were raving about short ribs. They all claimed that they were inexpensive, yet I’d never tasted any and had only seen them on the menus of high end restaurants. Finally, on a vacation in Bisbee, we treated ourselves to a nice meal at Cafe Roka and I odered some. When they got to the table the first thing I thought was, “I could make this.” Braising meat is not all that hard and a Global Sun Oven makes the task even easier.

Braised Short Ribs with Parsnip Mashed Potatoes

(adapted from the May 2009 issue of Bon Appétit)

Ingredients

Ribs:

2 tablespoons room-temperature butter, divided

4 3-to 4-inch long meaty beef short ribs (about 2 pounds)

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Solar Pumpkin Chili Mexicana

This is another one of those “If you don’t tell them nobody will know” recipes, for two reasons. First, no one would ever guess that in has pumpkin in it, and second, I got it from Weight Watchers. One of my fellow Weight Watcher members even submitted it in a chili cook-off and won! Like most chili recipes it is an ideal candidate for the Global Sun Oven®.

Pumpkin Chili Mexicana

Ingredients

Cooking spray

1/2 cup chopped onion

1 large cup chopped red bell pepper

1 clove garlic, finely chopped

1 pound extra lean ground beef

2 (14/12 oz) cans diced tomatoes, undrained

1 (15 oz) can solid packed pumpkin

1 (15 oz) can tomato sauce

1 (15 oz) can kidney beans, drained

1 (4 oz) can diced green chilies

1/2 cup frozen corn

1 tablespoon chili powder

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon black pepper

Set Global Sun Oven® out to preheat.

Heat cooking spray in a large cast iron dutch oven. Add onion, bell pepper and garlic; cook stirring frequently until tender, 5 to 7 minutes. Add ground beef and cook until browned. Add the rest of the ingredients, stir, cover, and transfer dutch oven to the preheated Global Sun Oven® for approx. 3 hours.

Makes 8 servings.

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