Breakfast for Dinner Ham and Cheese Casserole

Hame and Eggs

Everyone loves breakfast for dinner; especially solar cooks.

Sun Oven Ham and Eggs


6 large eggs

1/2 cup Greek yogurt

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 cup milk

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon fresh thyme, leaves only

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1 cup (packed) baby spinach

1 cup diced ham

1/2 cup white mushrooms, thinly sliced

1/2 cup shredded Gruyere or Swiss cheese


Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray a baking pan with cooking spray, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, yogurt, Parmesan cheese, milk, salt, thyme, and pepper until well blended. Stir in the spinach, ham, mushrooms, and shredded cheese. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan, cover with a second baking pan and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the eggs are set, 30 to 45 minutes. Cut into 6 squares and serve. Can be served warm or at room temperature.

Makes 6 servings.


Egg Casserole to the Rescue

Egg Casserole

I recently signed up for one of those services that deliver a box of fresh produce to your door. I’d tried one in the past but discontinued it after receiving a box that contained more cucumbers than I could eat in a lifetime – and I like cucumbers. This service lets you pick and choose. However, using all the fresh vegetables before they turn to composte is still a challenge. Starting with the green tops of the beets. The beets themselves keep for quite a while, but I know from experience that if I don’t use the tops immediately they will spoil. To stop that from happening I trimmed and steamed them right away, before they ever got a chance to see the inside of the refrigerator. This morning, in the spirit of preventing waste, I tossed them with a few other things that may have wound up in the composte bin. The result was this tasty baked egg casserole. The ingredient and amounts of the following recipe are just guidelines since the contents of your refrigerator will not be the same.

“Everything” Sun Baked Egg and Cheese Casserole


1 tablespoon olive oil

3 green onions, thinly sliced

About 2 cups cooked mixed green vegetables (I used beet greens and green beans)

About 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

About 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese

6 eggs

salt and pepper to taste


Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray a baking pan with cooking oil.

Heat the oil in small skillet over. Add the green onions and cooke, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, mix together the cooked onions, mixed greens, and chopped parsley. In another large bowl, beat together the cheese and the eggs. Mix the vegetables into the egg mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Cover with a second baking pan and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until set and starting to brown around the edges. Let rest 1o minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.



Savory Solar Breakfast Sandwiches

Mini Omlettes

Single serve customized mini omelettes are another great do-ahead option for anyone who prefers a savory breakfast. To make them simply gather a variety of the usual omelette components: shredded cheese, crumbled cooked bacon, diced ham, chopped veggies and herbs, etc. Beat some eggs (calculate 1 egg per omelette) with a touch of milk, salt, and pepper. Coat muffin tins or silicon baking molds with cooking spray. Sprinkle a mixture of the assembled filler into the bottom of the tins (be sure to leave enough room for the egg) and cover with beaten eggs. Pop the tins in the Sun Oven and bake until set, 20 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately or let cool and wrap each mini-omelette in plastic wrap.  They can be stored in the refrigerator for up to 3 days. Use them for breakfast sandwiches or serve with a tossed salad for a light lunch.

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


2 cups cooked spaghetti squash

1 can (14-ounce) vegetarian refried beans

6 eggs, at room temperature

red or green salsa

hot sauce


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.

Greens, Eggs, and Pumpkin

Sausage Frittata

This frittata like baked egg dish can be served with a tossed salad for an easy dinner or cut into squares and used for sandwiches.

Solar Baked Eggs with Pumpkin, Sausage, and Spinach


1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely sliced

2 mild Italian sausages, casings removed and crumbled

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed and squeezed dry

6 eggs

2 tablespoons milk

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 cup canned pumpkin

1/4 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon dried sage

1/4 teaspoon pepper


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

Heat the oil in a skillet over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until just softened; about 3 minutes. Add the sausage and continue cooking and stirring until no longer pink; about 4 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs, milk, and cheese until well blended. Beat in the pumpkin, salt, sage and pepper. Stir in the spinach and sausage mixture. Pour the egg mixture into the prepared baking pan spreading it out evenly. Cover and cook until set in the center and browning around the edges; about 40 minutes. Let rest for 5 minutes before serving.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.



Frittata Mexicana

Mexicana Frittata

This frittata is reminiscent of nachos. Omit the toppings and it can be used to make sandwiches. Like most frittatas, it is good warm or at room temperature.

Solar Frittata Mexicana


For the frittata:

4 large eggs, at room temperature

2 tablespoons cornmeal

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup salsa

1 cup frozen corn kernels, thawed

3 tablespoons sour cream

1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

2 green onions, thinly sliced

For the topping:

1 cup vegetarian refried beans, heated

1/2 cup salsa

3 tablespoons sour cream

1/4 cup shredded Mexican cheese blend

2 plum tomatoes, chopped



Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray a round cake pan or pie tin with cooking spray; set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the eggs, cornmeal, and salt. Mix in the corn, salsa, sour cream, cheese, and green onions. Pour the mixture into the prepared pan. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until set; 35 to 50 minutes. Transfer to a serving plate. Top with dollops of beans, salsa, and sour cream. Sprinkle with tomatoes and cheeses. Cut into four slices and serve.

Makes 4 servings.


Sun Oven Cauliflower Quiche

Cauliflower Crust

Any savory filling will work with this flourless dough. Don’t mind the cracks, they weren’t there before I dropped it.

Cauliflower Crusted Solar Quiche



1 cauliflower, stems and leaves removed

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1 large egg

1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley

1/4 teaspoon garlic powder

1/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


6 slices thinly sliced pancetta

1 (10-ounce) package frozen chopped spinach, thawed

5 large eggs

1/4 cup milk

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper


Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray a pie pan with cooking spray; set aside.

Prepare the crust: Remove the florets from the cauliflower, discard the stem and leaves. Working in batches, pulse the florets in a food processor until they resemble cornmeal. Put the ground florets in a microwave safe bowl and cook for 5 minutes. Let cool completely, at least 10 minutes. Place the cooked cauliflower in a sturdy kitchen towel and wring out all the moisture. Put the dry cauliflower into a large bowl. In a small bowl, whisk together the egg, Parmesan, parsley, garlic powder, salt, and pepper. Using your hands, mix the egg mixture into the cauliflower. Pat the cauliflower dough into the prepared pie pan. Bake in the Sun Oven until edges brown, 30 to 45 minutes. Leave Sun Oven out. Cool the crust on a rack.

Prepare the filling: In a skillet, cook the pancetta until just lucent, about 3 minutes; do not cook until crisp. Line the cooled cauliflower crust with the pancetta. Squeeze excess water out of the spinach. Put the spinach in a large bowl. In a medium bowl, whisk together the eggs, milk, Parmesan, salt, and pepper. Pour the egg mixture over the spinach, stirring to combing. Pour the mixture over the pancetta in the cauliflower crust. Bake in the Sun Oven until the filling is set, about 40 minutes. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings.

Cauliflower Crust w:Pancetta


Cauliflower Quiche


Solar Quiche to Go

Quiche Muffins

Make these delightful portable breakfast muffins your own by using your favorite add-ins with the eggs. Any kind of vegetable can be used and the bacon can be replaced with ham or cooked sausage. They keep well in the fridge for up to 4 days and are great for meals on the go. I like to serve them for dinner with a bowl of tomato soup and a salad.

Sunny Savory Quiche Muffins


5 slices cooked bacon, chopped

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 package refrigerated biscuit dough (10 biscuits)

6 eggs

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, excess water squeezed out



Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray the indentations of 10 muffin cups with cooking spray.

In a medium skillet, heat the oil over medium-high heat. Add the onion and sauté until soft, about 5 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool slightly.

Flatten the biscuits into 5-inch rounds and line the muffin tins. Top the biscuits with silicone baking molds. Start baking the biscuit shells in the Sun Oven while preparing the filling.

In a large bowl, beat the eggs. Stir in the chopped bacon, sautéed onions, cheese, and frozen spinach. Season to taste with salt. Remove the biscuits from the Sun Oven. Remove the silicone molds and carefully spoon the egg filling into the shells. Do not over fill*. Return the muffin pans to the Sun Oven and continue baking until the egg fill is set and the shells are golden brown, 40 minutes to 1 hour.

Set pans on a rack a let cool for 5 minutes. Run a knife along the sides of each muffin and remove the tins. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Quiche Shells

*Trust me on this, you do not want to clean cooked egg off the bottom of your Sun Oven. If you have too much filling use the empty indentations to make one or two crustless pies.


Alternative Protein Sources

What are your plans to provide alternative protein sources in an emergency situation?

As you collect canned goods don’t forget about this vital nutrient. The human body is nearly half protein, found in muscles, blood, antibodies and enzymes which make other body functions work. Often commercially processed meats are loaded with salt to enhance the flavor.  There are other sources. Here are some items to consider adding to your supplies.

  1. Nuts and Seeds – are high in protein and healthy fats. If you buy them prepackaged, they are ready to eat. They only last six months to a year, depending on the type of nut. Their high oil content reduces shelf life. Peanut butter is high in protein and available dried.
  2. Beans – are one of the longest cultivated plants, easy to digest and high in fiber. They also help maintain stable blood sugar levels by slowing the rate of carbohydrate absorption.1 Dried beans are economical and store well for an extended period of time. Store them in jars or mylar bags with oxygen absorbers. They will require water for presoaking before cooking, so plan ahead when preparing them. Cook with anise or coriander seeds to reduce flatulence as they’re digested by microbes in your intestine. There are lots of varieties for your culinary pleasure. Canned beans can be eaten right after opening, even cold in a power down situation.
  3. Chia Seeds – have double the amount of protein found in other seeds. Humans began eating chia seeds around 3500 BC. Aztecs and Mayans considered them magical because they increased stamina and energy over long periods. Chia seeds are high in fiber, omega fatty acids, calcium, and antioxidants as well. Because they absorb 12 times their weight, their expansion in your stomach will curb your appetite.
  4. Protein Powders – are available in three common forms, whey, soy and casein. Whey is the most popular because it is a water-soluble milk protein. It contains all nine amino acids necessary to build proteins in the human body. Soy has been favored by vegans, but recently it has been associated with altering estrogen balance. Casein powder is used with cheese production.
  5. Textured Vegetable Protein (TVP) – is produced from soy flour after the oil has been extracted. It is cooked under pressure, extruded and dried. Soy flour has a long shelf life if kept in a cool, dry place. With varying flavors added, it can taste like sausage, beef, ham, bacon or chicken. Easily rehydrated, it is economical and an excellent meat substitute or meal extender. One ounce of TVP is the equivalent of three ounces of meat.
  6. Freeze-dried Meat – has the water removed through sublimation, which turns water molecules into vapor. Freeze-drying food affects meat’s texture more than other preservation techniques. They are extremely light and easy to carry but more expensive to purchase. While some fruits taste great freeze-dried, meat will need to be rehydrated.
  7. Powdered Eggs and Milk – made by spray drying, the process removes nearly all of the water prohibiting the growth of microorganisms. Non-fat dried milk is best for long term storage.  Eggs are available as whole, yolks and whites. Store cool and dry. Refrigerate when opened.

Billie Nicholson, Editor 2014





Additional Articles in the April 2014 Issue:

  • A reminder to review and rotate three types of items in your 72 hour emergency kit.
  • A discussion of the importance of “duck and cover” in surviving a nuclear attack
  • Are members of your family hearing impaired that might not hear a smoke alarm?
  • Our featured contributor this month is Tess Pennington of She shares an article about Bio Mass Briquettes. Now you’ll have an environmentally friendly use for those shredded documents.
  • Sun Ovens are a perfect partner for bio mass briquettes, here’s how …
  • Some of our friends have complained that their yards were so shady that they doubted they could grow anything in a garden. In answer to their questions, here are some plants that can be grown in shade. Don’t give up on your yard either. Read more …
  • Speaking of gardening, do you use Epsom salts? Here’s why.
  • We can all be prepared to take the initiative to save a life, should we be faced with a life or death situation. Here are three critical first aid procedures that can be accomplished with one dressing.
  • Our Solar Chef has included a wonderful recipe for Solar Stuffed Shells. Give it a try, these are yummy.

 Billie Nicholson, Editor
April 2014

Solar Breakfast Mini Muffins

Mini Muffin Pans

These mini egg muffins can be frozen for convenient weekday breakfasts. They are also a great party food. And, mini muffin pans fit perfectly on the Sun Oven baking racks.

Sun Oven Mini Egg Muffins


2 small zucchini, finely chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

3 ounces freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Read more »

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