Sun Baked Beans

Maple Beans Baked beans can’t get any simpler than this. Just beans, pork, maple syrup, and a hint of mustard.

Sun Oven Maple Baked Beans

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Serious Eats)

Ingredients

2 cups dried navy beans, picked over, rinsed, and soaked overnight

6 strips thick-cut bacon

1 onion, chopped

1 teaspoon dried mustard

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup maple syrup (preferably grade B)

1 pork hock, fresh or smoked

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Drain the beans. Put the drained beans in a large pot with enough very hot water to cover by 2-inches and cook in the Sun Oven until beginning to soften, 30 to 40 minutes. Remove the pot from the Sun Oven. Drain the beans, reserving the cooking liquid. Line a large pot with the bacon strips. In a large bowl, mix the beans with the onion. In a medium bowl, whisk together 1 1/2 cups of the cooking liquid with the maple syrup, mustard, and salt. Put half of the bean and onion mixture into the bacon lined pot. Place the pork hock on the beans and cover with the remaining bean mixture. Pour the maple syrup mixture over the beans. Cover and return the pot to the Sun Oven. Cook until the beans are soft, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove pork hock and discard or use meat for other purposes.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Delicious Sun Baked Granola

Granola

Granola sounds healthy but I consider it a treat. Its high fat and sugar content make it more of a deconstructed cookie than a breakfast cereal. That said, it’s delicious as a topping for ice-cream or baked fruit, mixed into yogurt, or on its own as a snack. And it can be stored in gift jars for your friends and family.

This recipe yields about 8 cups of granola and needs to be baked in two batches so start early in the day (unless your lucky enough to own two Sun Ovens).

Sun Baked Coconut Oil Granola

(adapted from the New York Times)

Ingredients

3 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 1/2 cups raw almonds, coarsely chopped

1 cup unsweetened coconut flakes

1/2 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)

1/2 cup raw sunflower seeds

1/2 cup pure maple syrup (preferably grade B)

1/4 cup packed brown sugar

1/2 cup coconut oil

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1/4 teaspoon freshly grated nutmeg

 

1 cup dried cranberries, raisins, or cherries

 

Preparation

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

In a large bowl, toss together the oats, almonds, coconut flakes, pumpkin seeds, and sunflower seeds. In a small bowl, whisk the maple syrup, brown sugar, coconut oil, salt, cardamom, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Add the maple mixture to the oat mix, stirring well. Spread 1/4 of the mixture into each baking pan (set aside the rest for the second batch) cross stack the pans bake in the Sun Oven.  After 30 minutes start checking every 10 minutes or so to prevent burning and remove when golden and fragrant, about 1 hour. Transfer granola, in a single layer, to a large tray to cool, use the same parchment paper for the second batch. Let the granola cool completely (it will also dry out a bit) before stirring in the dried fruit. Store in airtight containers for up to 2 months.

French Style Stew

 

Beef Stew

There’s nothing like a hearty stew on a cold night. And like most stews, this one is even better the next day.

Provençal Beef Stew

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces salt pork or thick cut bacon, diced

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into chunks, patted dry with paper towels

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped

2 teaspoons tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup dry red wine

2/3 cup beef broth or stock

1 bouquet garni, (sage, thyme, basil or herbs of choice)

1 small onion, peeled and studded with 2 cloves

grated zest and juice of 1/2 orange

1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the salt pork and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pork to a large pot. In the same skillet, working in batches, brown the meat on all sides, transferring it to the pot as it browns. Add oil as needed. Add the chopped onion to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the carrot and continue cooking until just softened, about 4 more minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and the garlic. Pour the wine and broth over the meat in the pot. Add the onion studded with the cloves and the bouquet garni. Add the vegetable mixture from the skillet. Cover and transfer the pot to the Sun Oven. Cook until the beef is very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove and discard the bouquet garni and the whole onion. Stir in the orange zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Spaghetti Squash Curry

New Sun Oven

This is a tasty side dish that goes well with Indian style lentil soup or grilled meats.

Curried Spaghetti Squash

Ingredients

3 to 4 cups cooked spaghetti squash

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 teaspoons finely grated fresh ginger

1 teaspoon garam masala

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

1 tablespoon honey

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup chopped fresh cilantro

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the squash, cut side down in a baking pan. Add 1/2 cup water and cook in the Sun Oven until soft, about 1 hour. Remove the squash from the oven (leave the Sun Oven out) and when cool enough to handle but still warm scrape the pulp out into a large bowl. You may have more than needed for this recipe. Store leftover squash in the fridge in an airtight container for other uses.

Heat the oil in a large skillet. Add the ginger and garam masala and cook until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the lemon juice, honey, and salt. Remove from heat and add the warm spaghetti squash, tossing to coat. Adjust for salt and toss with the cilantro.

Makes 4 servings.

 

Solar Huevos Rancheros

Squash Rancheros

Cooked spaghetti squash keeps well in the fridge and can be used to make all sorts of quick lunches.

Spaghetti Squash Huevos Rancheros

Ingredients

2 cups cooked spaghetti squash

1 can (14-ounce) vegetarian refried beans

6 eggs, at room temperature

red or green salsa

hot sauce

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray six custard cups or a muffin tin with cooking spray; set aside.

Cut squash in half lengthwise, scoop out the seeds and discard. Place the squash, cut side down in a baking pan. Add 1/2 cup water and cook in the Sun Oven until soft. Remove the squash from the oven (leave the Sun Oven out) and when cool enough to handle scrape the pulp out into a large bowl. You will have more than needed for this recipe. Store leftover squash in the fridge in an airtight container for other uses.

Divide the squash evenly among the custard cups, pressing it up the sides like a pie crust, season with salt. Fill the squash lined cup with the beans, making a slight indentation in the center of each cup. Carefully crack an egg into cup. Season with salt and pepper. Place the cups in a baking pan. Use a second baking pan as a lid and bake the eggs in the Sun Oven until the whites are cooked, about 40 minutes. Top with salsa and hot sauce before serving.

Makes 6 servings.

Italian Day of the Dead Treats

Pan dei Morti

I’d almost forgotten about these seasonal cookies that show up this time of year in Italian bakeries and I admit, this recipe is a work in process. I’ll be fiddling with it until I get it right. The recipe I used was from an Italian website, hence the metric measurments. The result was good, but not quite as good as I remembered them. One thing for sure, out of the two batches I made, one in the gas oven due to clouds and the other in the Sun Oven, the latter was far superior. These cookies should be moist and chewy, the gas oven batch was too dry.

Pan dei Morti

Ingredients

150 grams (about 5-oz or 3/4 cup) raisins, set to soak in warm water

250 grams (about 9-oz) Italian lady fingers (savoiardi)

80 grams (about 3-oz) blanched almonds

150 (about 5-oz) all-purpose flour

150 grams (5-oz) sugar

20 grams (about 1/4 cup) unsweetened cocoa powder

1/2 teaspoon cinnamon

1 teaspoon baking powder

100 grams (about 3.5-oz) dried figs

50 grams (about 2-oz) pine nuts

2 egg whites, lightly beaten

About 1/4 cup sweet white wine or water

Powdered sugar

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line baking racks or sheets with parchment paper or silicon mats.

Use a food processor to to grind the ladyfingers to a fine meal and transfer to a large bowl. Grind the almonds in the same processor and add to the ground lady fingers. Mix in the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, cinnamon baking powder. Use the processor to chop finely chop the figs and add them to the bowl. Drain the raisins, squeezing out excess liquid, and add to the bowl along with the pine nuts. Use your hands to mix in the egg whites and slowly add the wine until the dough forms, it should have the consistency of rolled cookie dough. Break off golf ball sized pieces of dough and flatten the into an oval shaped cookie on a lightly floured work surface. Bake the cookies in the Sun Oven 20 to 30 minutes. Cool on racks. Store in airtight containers. Dust with powdered sugar before servings.

Makes about 18 cookies.

 

Surprise Squash

Chili Squash

Stuffed squash is one of my favorite lunches. I really don’t follow a recipe when I make it. I just go with whatever leftovers I have in my fridge. It comes out different ever time. Today’s combo was surprisingly good.

Chili Stuffed Squash

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt

1 medium Kabocha squash

1/2 can (14-ounce) vegetarian chili

1/2 can (14-ounce) diced tomatoes with green chiles with juices

1/2 packet (3-ounce) tempeh, crumbled

1/4 cup frozen corn kernels

2 cloves garlic, minced

5 tablespoons orzo shaped pasta

1/4 cup water

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Cut off the top of the squash to make a lid. Scrape out and discard the seeds. Rub the inside of the squash with the olive oil, season with salt. Place the squash in a pot, set aside. In a large bowl combine the chili, diced tomatoes, tempeh, corn, garlic, and pasta. Spoon the mixture into the prepared squash. Pour in the water. Cover with the top part of the squash. Cook in the Sun Oven until tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Use a large spoon to scoop filling and squash onto plates.

Makes 4 servings.

 

 

Sun Oven Apple and Onion Cornbread

Corn Bread

Neither my husband nor I are big fans of cornbread but this disappeared without a complaint. The topping is so good I’m already thinking of other uses for it, maybe as a pasta sauce or the base for a risotto.

Apple-Onion Cornbread

Ingredients

For the topping:

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 onion, thinly sliced

salt and pepper to taste

2 red-skinned apples, cored and finely sliced

2 tablespoons sugar

2 teaspoons dried sage

For the batter:

1 1/2 cups cornmeal

1 cup all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon baking powder

1 teaspoon kosher salt

3 tablespoons sugar

2 large eggs, at room temperature

1 1/2 cups buttermilk

3/4 cup unsalted butter, melted

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray a round pot or rectangular baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.

Prepare the topping:

Melt the butter in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the onion, season with salt and pepper, and cook, stirring often, until soft and beginning to brown; about 5 minutes. Stir in the apples, sugar, and sage. Continue cooking until the apples are soft; about 4 additional minutes. Remove skillet from heat and set aside.

Prepare the batter:

In a large bowl, whisk together the cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and sugar. Gradually whisk in the eggs, buttermilk, and melted butter until the batter is smooth. Fold in half of the onion and apple mixture. Pour the batter into the prepared baking pan. Top with the remaining onion mixture. Bake in the Sun Oven until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out clean, about 1 hour. Cool slightly before serving.

Makes 8 servings.

 

Prepper Camp™ Recap

Prepper Camp

In the foothills of western North Carolina, over 600 serious preparedness citizens gathered for a 3-day, total immersion experience in survival at Prepper Camp™. Attendees had opportunities to learn from the best in the business about topics ranging from alternative power solutions, cheese making, first aid, herbal medicine, how to grow a camouflaged food forest, solar cooking and water filtration. In addition, they had time to talk to vendors and practice some of the skills they learned during evening activities as they camped on the meeting site.

Prepper Camp™

 

Billie  Nicholson, editor

October 2014

Additional articles in this month’s issue:

What’s in Your Every Day Carry Kit?
Emergency Medical Assessment  
How’s Your Battery Health?  
10 things You’ll Regret Not Having Enough of When the SHTF by Elise Xavier, 
Waste Not … Want Not… Making Apple Cider Vinegar
Escaping a Riot

Our solar Chef presents Solar Apple Soup

 

 

Sun Oven Autumn Stew

Beef Stew

A hearty solar simmered stew with a chunk of crusty bread makes a perfect fall dinner.

Autumn Beef Stew

Ingredients

2 tablespoons vegetable oil, divided

1 1/2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into chunks and patted dry

1/2 cup flour

1/2 cup dry red wine

1 onion, chopped

1 1/2 cups pie pumpkin or sweet potatoes, seeded, peeled, and cubed

2 small red potatoes, peeled and cubed

1 small turnip, peeled and cubed

1 cup acorn squash, seeded, peeled, and cubed

3 cups beef broth

1 can (14 1/2-ounces) diced tomatoes, with their juices

2 bay leaves

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon chili powder

1/2 teaspoon pepper

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/4 teaspoon ground cloves

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Put the flour in a large plastic food storage bag. Add the beef, close the bag, and shake to coat. Working in batches and adding oil as needed, brown the beef, transferring it to a plate as it browns. Pour the wine into the Dutch oven stirring constantly with a wooded spoon to scrape up any browned bits. Stir in the remaining ingredients, onion through clove. Return the beef with any accumulated juices to the Dutch oven. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the beef is very tender, 2 to 3 hours.

Makes 6 servings.

 

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