Parsnip Persistence

Parsnip Soup

I’ve given parsnips more second chances than almost any other food I can think of. Once or twice a year I say to myself, “Maybe they’re not that bad after all”. This recipe, that includes potatoes and bacon, sounded good on paper. I’ll admit, it wasn’t that terrible, but I’ll probably just make potato and bacon soup next time. Luckily my husband likes parsnips and hopefully the soup freezes well.

Parsnip and Potato Soup

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Rachael Ray)

Ingredients

6 slices bacon, cut into 3 pieces

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1 1/4 pound Russet potatoes, peeled and diced

1 pound parsnips, peeled and chopped

1 onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, chopped

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground nutmeg

1 sprig flat leaf parsley, tied into a bundle with string

4 cups chicken broth

salt to taste

1/2 cup milk

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Chopped chives for garnish

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Line the bottom of a soup pot with the bacon (it’s o.k. if it overlaps a little). Place the pot, uncovered, in the Sun Oven until the bacon is crisp, 45 minutes to 1 hour.  Peel and chop the vegetables while the bacon is cooking. When the bacon is crisp bring the pot inside; leave the Sun Oven out. Transfer the cooked slices to a paper towel. When cool enough to handle finely chop the bacon and set aside. Drain all but two tablespoons of the bacon fat from the pot then add the butter. Add the potatoes to the pot, stirring to coat. Top the potatoes with the parsnips, onion, garlic, pepper, nutmeg, and parsley. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until the vegetables begin to soften, about 40 minutes. Remove the parsley and discard. Add the hot broth, cover, and continue cooking until the vegetables are very soft, about 4o more minutes. Remove the pot from the Sun Oven. Add the milk. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the Parmesan cheese. Season to taste with salt. Ladle into bowls and top each serving with the reserved bacon bits and chives.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Bacon for Soup

Sneaky Mac and Cheese with Tofu

Tofu Mac and Cheese

It’s the end of the year and time for something new. This week I’ll be experimenting with some of my least favorite foods. Not the ones I can’t stand. The ones I don’t really care for. The ones I’ll politely eat if I’m a guest but rarely, if ever, prepare at home. Among those foods, tofu used to at the top of my list. Over the past year I’ve learned to use it as an hidden ingredient and it’s lost its most disliked food status, but it still makes the top 10.

Silken Tofu Mac and Cheese

(adapted for the Sun Oven from grouprecipes.com)

Ingredients

9 ounces (dry) pasta, cooked according to the package directions until al dente, drained

12 ounces cauliflower florets, steamed or microwaved until soft

1 carton (12-ounces) silken tofu

1/2 cup ricotta cheese

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup milk, hot

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon garlic powder

1/8 teaspoon paprika

1/8 teaspoon pepper

3 tablespoons dried bread crumbs

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray; set aside.

Put the steamed cauliflower, ricotta, and Parmesan cheese in the bowl of a food processor and process until smooth. Add the Cheddar, salt, garlic powder, paprika, and pepper and process again until smooth. Put the cooked pasta in a large bowl and pour the sauce over it. Stir well than spread the mixture out in the prepared baking pan. Sprinkle the bread crumbs evenly over the pasta. Cover the pan with another baking pan or lid and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until bubbly and golden on top. Let rest 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 8 to 10 servings.

Bean Soup with a Hint of Garlic

New Sun Oven

Once you’ve solar cooked the beans this thick, slightly garlicky soup can be put together stovetop in minutes.

Bean, Parsley, and Garlic Soup

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Marcella Hazan’s Classic Italian Cookbook)

Ingredients

2 cups dried cannellini beans, rinsed, picked over, soaked overnight, and drained

2 cloves garlic, chopped

1/2 cup olive oil

2 tablespoons chopped flat leaf parsley

salt and pepper to taste

1 cup broth (beef, chicken, or vegetable)

Toasted Italian bread for serving

Preparation

For the beans:

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Put the beans in a large pot with enough water to cover them by about about 2 inches. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until very soft, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Set aside until you’re ready to make the soup.

For the soup:

Finish the soup stovetop just before serving. Heat the garlic and oil in a large soup pot over medium heat until the garlic is just starting to brown. Stir in the parsley, then add the drained beans. Cover and gently simmer for about 5 minutes. Remove 1/2 cup of the beans from the pot and puree them in a blender or food processor. Return the pureed beans to the pot along with the broth. Let the soup simmer for another 5 to 10 minutes, stirring occasionally. Place a slice of toasted bread in each bowl and ladle the soup over it.

 

Rice, Lentils, and Onions Lebanese Style

mujadara

This Lebanese style lentil dish is best served straight out of the Sun Oven and despite the fact that it has more active steps than most solar recipes, if you get it going early it will be ready in time for lunch.

Rice and Lentils with Caramelized Onions (Mujadara)

Ingredients

1 cup brown dry brown lentils, picked over and rinsed

1/4 cup olive oil

3 onions, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/2 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1 cinnamon stick

3/4 cup uncooked basmati rice

salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon fresh lemon juice

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Put the lentils in a medium pot and cover with water by 1 inch. In a separate pot, toss the onions with the olive oil to coat. Season with salt. Stack the pots with the one with the onions on top, cover the top pot, and transfer both to the Sun Oven. Cook until the lentils are soft but non falling apart and the onions are golden, 45 minutes to 1 hour for the lentils, up to 2 hours for the onions. While the onions and lentils are cooking toast the cumin seeds in a small pan over medium-high heat, stirring often, until fragrant; about 30 seconds. Set aside. When the lentils are ready, bring the pot in, leaving to onions to cook more. Drain the lentils reserving the cooking liquid; set aside. When the onions are golden bring them inside; leave the Sun Oven out. Use tongs to transfer 1/2 of the cooked onions to a bowl; set aside. Add enough water to the reserved lentil cooking liquid to measure 2 cups and bring it to a boil in a sauce pan. Heat the pot with the remaining onions over medium heat. Stir the cumin, cayenne, toasted cumin seeds, and cinnamon stick into the onions. Stir the rice into the onion mixture. Add the hot water and cooking liquid mixture. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until most of the liquid has been absorbed, 25 to 30 minutes (do not over cook). Stir in the lentils and lemon juice. Season with salt and pepper. Top with reserved onions. Serve immediately.

Makes 6 servings.

 

 

Solar Sweet and Sour Onions

cipolline

These would take just as long to cook stovetop as they do in the Sun Oven. But in the Sun Oven, not only do you save on fuel, you don’t need to constantly monitor them as you would stovetop. If you can’t find cipolline onions (I had to go to three different stores to find mine) use small white onions. They go great with any kind of roast or braised meat.

Sweet and Sour Onions

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Marcella Hazan’s Classic Italian Cookbook)

Ingredients

2 pounds cipolline onions or small white onions

3 tablespoons unsalted butter

2 tablespoons red wine vinegar

1 1/2 teaspoons sugar

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon freshly ground pepper

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

To peel the onions, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil and immerse the onions for about 30 seconds, drain. Remove the outer skin and the dangling roots only. Use a sharp paring knife to score and cross in the root end of each onion. Spread the onions out in a single layer in a large pot. Dot with butter. Add enough water come about half way up the side of the onions. Add the vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until very soft and have absorbed most or all of the liquid, about 3 hours.

makes 4 to 6 servings.

 

 

Vegetarian Chickpea Curry Pie

Curry Chickpea Pie

The easiest way to make this savory, vegetarian pie is in a skillet, but make sure yours fits in the Sun Oven. If not, bake it in a pie tin.

Curried Chickpea Pot Pie

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, finely chopped

8 ounces white mushroom, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups frozen chopped mixed vegetables

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup vegetable broth

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

1 1/2 cups previously cooked chickpeas or 1 (15-ounce) can drained and rinsed

salt to taste

1 refrigerated pie crust

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

 

Sun Sautéd Chicken with Butter and Sage

New Sun Oven

This simple chicken dish is the ideal accompaniment to risotto with turnips.

Sautéd Chicken with Sage

Ingredients

2 tablespoons unsalted butter

8 boneless, skinless chicken thighs, patted dry

4 fresh sage leaves

1/2 cup dry white wine

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Melt the butter over medium heat in a skillet (make sure it fits in the Sun Oven) or shallow pot. Add the chicken thighs and brown on all sides. Add the sage and the wine. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the meat is tender, about 1 hour. Serve with pan juices.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Venison Sausage Stew

Deer hunting season is a highlight of the winter months. Here is our favorite recipe made in the Sun Oven®. Served with warm Artisan bread, this makes a hearty meal in any weather.

INGREDIENTSVenison stew

1 medium onion, sliced

2-3 garlic cloves, diced

4-6 peeled carrots, 2” pieces

3 peeled white potatoes, chunks

1 lb. venison sausage, bite-size pieces

6” sprig rosemary

1 tomato cut in sections

Cavendars Greek no salt seasoning Venison stew

to taste

2 Tbs coconut oil

1 tsp chicken bullion dissolved in

6 cups hot water

Garnish:

Dollop of sour cream

Dust of Paprika

Sprig of basil

Makes 4-6 servings

INSTRUCTIONS

Preheat Sun Oven® to 300-350ºF.  Saute onion, garlic and celery in coconut oil and partially brown venison. Add all vegetables and meat to pot that fits in Sun Oven®. Smother with broth and cover with lid. Bake in Sun Oven® 2-3 hours, until potatoes and carrots are tender and flavors blended. Garnish and enjoy!

Billie Nicholson, Editor
December 2014

This month’s issue includes:

  • During our conversations with Pearl Harbor Survivors, they continued to warn us of the importance of being prepared – on every level, from our national military down to each individual. During World War II, everyone sacrificed to insure that world peace would be restored.
  • Mama’s Last Gift ~ Who would expect 33 year old jelly to be any good? The jelly was firm and no crystallization or mold was apparent. A taste test confirmed the goodness within.
  • Preparing for a Pandemic ~ A pandemic is basically a global epidemic. Learn how to protect your family should a viral sickness begin to spread around the world.
  • Generosity during the holidays often includes contributions to food banks. Think about contributing something healthy in your Food Bank Contribution.

Creamy Red Lentil Soup

Apple Lenti Soup

This soup has a sublime, velvety texture. The sliced apple garnish is a nice touch, but the soup’s just as good without.

Curried Red Lentil Soup with Apples

(adapted for the Sun Oven from WW Veg Power!)

Ingredients

2 Granny Smith apples

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

3 cups water

1 cup vegetable broth

1 1/4 cups red lentils, picked over and rinsed

sour cream for serving

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Peel, halve, core, and chop one apple. Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the chopped apple, onion, carrots, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the curry powder. Add the water, broth, and lentils. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the vegetables are soft and the lentils are very tender, about 1 hour. Use an immersion blender to puree the soup until smooth.

Halve, core, peel, and thinly slice the remaining apple. Ladle soup into bowls. Top each serving with apple slices and sour cream.

Makes 4 servings.

Sun Baked Lentil Loaf

Lentil Nut Loaf

This mild flavored lentil loaf has a nice, slightly crunchy texture. It has a tendency to fall apart so leave in the pan to slice it. If you’re not going to eat the whole loaf at one meal line the pan with parchment paper. It will make it much easier to remove it from the pan. It goes great with yesterday’s Classic Italian Tomato Sauce or use your favorite red sauce.

Sun Baked Lentil and Nut Loaf

(adapted for the Sun Oven from W. W. Veg Power!)

Ingredients

1 1/4 cups brown lentils, picked over and rinsed

1 onion, finely chopped

4 ounces white mushrooms, chopped

1/2 bell pepper (green, red, or yellow), seeded and finely chopped

1/2 cup raw, unsalted mixed nuts, chopped

3 tablespoons plain dried bread crumbs

2 large eggs

4 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

For serving:

Classic Italian Tomato Sauce

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray a 4 x 8-inch loaf pan with cooking spray or line with parchment paper, set aside.

Put the lentils in a large saucepan with 3 cups water. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the lentils are tender but not mushy, 40 minutes to 1 hour. Drain and transfer to a large mixing bowl. Leave the Sun Oven out. Stir the onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, nuts, bread crumbs, eggs, garlic, salt, and pepper into the lentils until well combined. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan, pressing as you go. Bake the loaf in the Sun Oven until lightly browned, 1 t0 1 1/2 hours. Remove from Sun Oven and let cook 15 minutes before serving. Cut into 6 slices in the pan. Serve with sauce.

Makes 6 servings.

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