A Simple Solar Side Dish

Solar braised carrots go great with grilled chicken or fish. For extra flavor, toss them with drained capers or chopped black olives when they come out of the Sun Oven.

Garlicky Sun Oven Braised Carrots

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

12 carrots, peeled and sliced

12 cloves garlic, sliced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Toss all the ingredients in a dark, light-weight pot. Cover and place in Sun Oven. Cook until the carrots are tender, 30 to 45 minutes. Adjust for salt and serve.

 

Curried Solar Soup

Colorful carrot soup is a great way to start a meal.

Sun Oven Curried Carrot Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 medium onion, chopped

1/4 cup dry white wine

1 1/2 pounds carrots, peeled, halved lengthwise, and thinly sliced

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Sun, Fennel, and Carrots

The flavors and colors of fennel and carrots blend beautifully in this solar baked gratin. Don’t worry about slicing the fennel perfectly, use the pretty slices for the top layer and the less than perfect ones for the bottom.

Sun Oven Fennel and Carrot Gratin

Ingredients

4 medium fennel bulbs, ends trimmed

1 pound carrots, peeled

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 teaspoon salt, divided

1 tablespoon fresh thyme, divided

3 tablespoons freshly grated Parmesan cheese, divided

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray a 11 x 8 x 2-inch baking dish with cooking spray, set aside.

Slice the fennel vertically into 1/3-inch-thich slices; place in a single layer on a foil lined baking sheet. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon of the oil and season with 1/2 teaspoon of the salt; set aside. Slice the carrots on a diagonal into long 1/4-inch-thick slices; place in a bowl and toss with the remaining olive oil and salt.

Spread out 1/2 of the fennel in a single layer in the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with 1 teaspoon of the thyme and 1 tablespoon of the cheese. Layer all the carrots over the fennel; sprinkle with 1 teaspoon thyme and 1 tablespoon cheese. Layer the remaining fennel slices over the carrots, top with the remaining thyme and cheese. Cover the baking dish with tin foil and a tea towel. Bake in the Sun Oven until vegetables are tender, 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Makes 8 servings.

 

Solar Soup’s On

I usually get the solar cooked part of this, and most other soups, done in the morning when I’m sure there will be enough sunlight. At dinnertime all I have to do is gently heat it up and stir in any last minute seasonings.

Curried Solar Carrot Soup

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 leek, white and light green parts only, chopped

2 teaspoons curry powder

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Squeezing in a Side Dish

No meal is complete without at least one side dish. Luckily, even when you’re using a large roasting pan, there’s almost always enough room in the Sun Oven to squeeze in some veggies. These roasted carrots are the perfect accompaniment to the Chicken Masala recipe in a previous post.

Roasted Carrots

Ingredients

4 medium carrots

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

Preparation

Spread carrots out on a small (toaster-oven sized) rimmed baking sheet. Toss with oil, cumin seeds and salt. Roast, uncovered, in Sun Oven until soft, 30 to 45 minutes.

 

Solar Soup for a Cold Evening

It’s been over ten years since we’ve had to set our clock back. Arizona does not observe Daylight Saving Time. I did enjoy the extra hour of sleep on Sunday morning, but it’s going to take me a while to get used to it getting dark so early. To top things off a cold front moved in over the weekend. That put me in the mood for some nice solar soup.

I adapted this recipe from one on epicurious.com. I substituted olive oil for the butter and vegetable broth for the chicken broth to make it vegan.

Solar Carrot Soup with Star Anise

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion chopped

3 fresh thyme sprigs

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Solar Baked Carrot Cake

I needed something sweet for Mark’s packed lunches and had quite a few carrots on hand so I rummaged through my recipes and cookbooks for a carrot cake recipe. I chose this one from “Baking Illustrated” by the editors of Cook’s Illustrated magazine because it claimed to be “good enough to eat on its own”. Since it is going to be cut up into individual portions that will go in the freezer  I wanted something that was good even without frosting and I wasn’t disappointed. The original recipe calls for a 13 x 9-inch baking pan which won’t fit on the leveling tray. I used a 11 x 8-inch pan that fits perfectly, just make sure you get one that doesn’t have handles. The cake came out higher and had to bake a little longer, but since it was solar baked it still came out moist and delicious.

Sun Oven Carrot Cake

Ingredients

2 1/2 cups unbleached all-purpose flour

1 1/4 teaspoons baking powder

1 teaspoon baking soda

1 1/4 teaspoons ground cinnamon

1/2  teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

1/8 teaspoon ground cloves

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corin