Before I owned a Sun Oven, polenta (corn grits) rarely made an appearance at our table. I like the stuff, but when prepared stovetop it requires constant stirring for almost an hour, and I don’t like it that much. However, thanks to the effortless no-stir Sun Oven method of preparation we’re eating more of it lately. Once cooked it keeps well in the fridge and is extremely versatile. It can even take the place of oatmeal for a brighter, more colorful breakfast. And while no one in our household has gone gluten free, it does have that going for it too.
Sun Oven No Stir Polenta
(adapted from Marcella Hazan’s ‘No Stir Polenta’)
7 cups water
2 teaspoons salt
This easy to assemble main course is a great way to make a meal out of a small amount of leftover chicken or turkey.
Sun Oven Enchilada Stack
5 (6-inch) corn tortillas
1 (12-ounce) jar tomato salsa
1 (14-ounce) can red kidney beans, drained
1 cup frozen corn kernels
1 small red bell pepper, seeded and thinly sliced
1 cup cooked chicken or turkey, shredded
1 cup Cheddar cheese, shredded
1/4 cup cilantro, chopped (optional)
Set Sun Oven out to preheat.
Line a pot with three 2-inch wide strips of aluminum foil. Place 1 tortilla in the pot. Spread with 1/4 of the salsa, beans, corn, bell pepper, and chicken and 1/5 of the cheese. Repeat with the remaining ingredients topping the last tortilla with the remaining cheese.
Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until heated through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Use the foil strips to carefully transfer the stack from the pot to a serving dish. Top with cilantro. Cut into four wedges and serve.
Makes 4 servings.
This is similar to the broccoli frittata from a few posts back, but I lightened it up a bit by eliminating the cream and using less cheese. It’s still good. We took it with us for our post-hike evening picnic.
Sun Oven Cheese and Asparagus Frittata
1/2 pound red potatoes, well scrubbed and diced
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 tablespoon unsalted butter
3/4 cup scallions, thinly sliced
12 ounces asparagus, ends trimmed and cut into pieces
6 large eggs, at room temperature
This super simple recipe reminds me of something that would be on one of those cooking shows where the chef has to come up with something using only ingredients found in the refrigerator of a random family.
Sun Oven Sweet and Sour Chicken
2 tablespoons apricot jam
3 tablespoons reduced-sodium soy sauce
Pulled pork sandwiches have been a 4th of July tradition ever since I first got my Sun Oven in 2008.
That year, after enjoying our sandwiches, we took the bus to the local fireworks display to avoid the headache of finding a parking spot.
I’m sure the show was spectacular, the city of Tempe always does a good job, but what I remember best is that towards the end we were both eager to get home for seconds! Good thing they had lots of extra buses running to get us back quickly.
New diet plans don’t usually appeal to me, but Mark Bittman’s Vegan Before 6 struck a chord. It’s extremely simple.
Basically eat only vegetables, fruit, and whole grains during the day. Then, you have dinner. The best part is even my husband can stick to it. He’s the kind of guy that, if he likes something, can eat it pretty much every day and he loves both rice and beans, and beans and rice.
At the beginning of the week I make a big batch and use it to fill the thermos he takes to work with him. It makes my life so much easier now that I don’t have to come up with new, easily portable, healthy lunches ever day.
I, on the other hand, get easily bored with just about any food so after the first week of beans and rice I was ready for something else. Luckily, I work from home and can use my Sun Oven to mix things up a bit. Today’s lunch consisted of a baked potato, roasted butternut squash, and some leftover sauteed greens from last night’s dinner. The combination of colors, textures, and flavors was just what I needed to add a little excitement to my day.
These inexpensive metal mugs can be found in the camping department and are a great addition to your Sun Oven.
Single Serving Sun Oven Peach Crumble
For the filling:
4 peaches, cut into thin wedges
1/4 cup sugar
1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice
1 teaspoon cornstarch
For the topping
1/4 cup brown sugar, packed
Yesterday’s braised lamb shank for two can be used to make a delicious shepherds pie that will feed the whole family. Use the following recipe as a guideline and feel free to use whatever vegetables you like for the filling.
Sun Oven Shepherd’s Lamb Shank Pie
Simple Sun Oven Braised Lamb, previously prepared, meat and onion cooking liquid stored in separate containers and refrigerated
1 carrot, quartered lengthwise and finely sliced
1 zucchini, diced
Good, meaty lamb shanks can be hard to find so when I see one I like to snatch it up. This easy braise can be consumed immediately, or, stored overnight in the fridge and used to make a shepherd’s pie.
Simple Sun Oven Braised Lamb
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 sprig fresh rosemary
2 onions, finely sliced
1 meaty lamb shank, about 1 1/2 pounds
1/2 cup dry white wine
This soup can be made in advance, without the chard or lemon juice, and stored in the refrigerator for a few days, or it can be frozen. When ready to serve, gently reheat and add them in at that time.
Sun Oven Lentil Soup with Chard
2 tablespoon olive oil
2 onions, finely chopped
2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped
2 stalks celery, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 pound dried lentils, picked over, rinsed, and drained
8 cups water
4 cups thinly sliced swiss chard leaves, lightly packed*
salt and pepper to taste
2 teaspoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
Additional olive oil for serving
Set Sun Oven out to preheat.
Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery and garlic.
Cook, stirring often, until the vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the lentils and the water.
Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven.
Cook until the lentils are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours.
Stir in the Swiss chard and continue cooking until wilted, about 5 more minutes. Remove from Sun Oven.
Season to taste with salt and pepper and stir in the lemon juice.
Ladle into bowls and drizzle each serving with olive oil.
Makes 8 servings
*spinach, kale, or any other leafy greens can be used in place of the Swiss chard.