Aromatic Indian Lentil Stew

cats and Sun Oven

Dal, a lentil or bean stew, is a staple throughout India, Nepal, and Pakistan. Like most bean dishes, it can easily be prepared in a Sun Oven.

Solar Dal


2 tablespoons coconut oil or butter

1 onion, roughly chopped

2 cloves garlic

1 teaspoon peeled fresh ginger, minced

1 teaspoon ground coriander

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon turmeric

1/2 teaspoon ground cardamom

1/2 teaspoon dry mustard

1/4 teaspoon cayenne pepper

1/4 teaspoon allspice

1/2 cups dried brown lentils, picked over and rinsed

1 1/2 cups previously cooked red kidney beans

3 cups water

salt and pepper to taste


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Use a food processor or blender to puree the onion, garlic, and ginger. Add the onion mixture to the pot and cook, stirring often for about 3 minutes. Stir in the coriander, cumin, turmeric, cardamom, mustard, cayenne, and all spice. Add the lentils, kidney beans, and water. Stir well, cover, and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the lentils are very soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove to cups of the dal from the pot, process it in a food processor or blender until smooth, and return it to the pot. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over rice.

Makes 6 servings

Vegetarian Sun Oven Bolognese Sauce

Lentil Sauce

The trick to enjoying whole wheat pasta is finding the right sauce. The bolder flavor of whole grains might over power more delicate toppings. This hearty sauce pairs perfectly with just about any shape whole wheat pasta, from spaghetti to fusilli.

Lentil Bolognese Sauce


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 leek, white and pale green parts only, finely chopped

2 carrots, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

8 ounces dried brown lentils, picked over, rinsed, and drained

1/2 cup dry white wine

1 can (15-ounce) crushed tomatoes

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 bay leaf

salt and pepper to taste

Freshly grated Parmesan cheese for serving.


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Heat the oil in a large enamelware pot place on a heat defuser over medium-high heat (if you don’t have a heat defuser use a Dutch oven or other heavy pot. It will take a little longer for the sauce to cook but the end result will be the same). Add the leek, carrots, celery, and garlic. Cook, stirring often, until just softened, about 5 minutes. Add the drained lentils stirring to coat. Turn the heat up and add the wine, stirring until evaporated. Stir in the tomatoes and 2 cups of water. Add the thyme and bay leaf, cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the lentils are soft, about 1 1/2 hours. Remove and discard the thyme and bay leaf. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over pasta. Dust each serving with Parmesan cheese.

Makes 4 servings.



Add Sprouting Seeds to Your Supplies


Sprouting seeds

Top left to right: Peas, Mung Beans; Bottom left to right: Lentils and Wheat Photo:

Sprouts are one of the most concentrated natural sources for all life’s building blocks. They are packed with vitamins, minerals, proteins, enzymes, amino-acids, and trace elements. Seed sprouting is a capability everyone has, no matter where you live. It is a simple technique and with only the need for clean water, requires no energy to prepare.1 As a matter of fact, you can sprout seeds while you’re on the move, if necessary and will create no cooking odor to give away your position.

For survival preparation and self reliance, there are few better foods. Sprouting seeds can be stored for a long time – up to four years at stable 70º F, and even longer if stored in a colder environment. From time to time we test our supply for viability simply by sprouting some. Buy them in bulk and package them yourself in glass canning jars with rubber ringed lids. These will keep out vermin.2 Sprouted seeds increase in nutritional value exponentially over cooked dried seeds. Being natural nutrition, the components will fully penetrate the cell membranes and even help oxygenate cells.


Nutrition Packed and Ready to Go

In a survival situation and you’re hungry now, simply soaking seeds, nuts, grains or legumes in water for 30 minutes will activate some enzymes, increasing their nutritional value.3  Starch begins to disappear and is replaced by enzymes and an increased quality of protein, fat, certain amino acids, total sugar and B-group vitamins appear.4

Sprout different types of seeds to add more variety into your diet. In addition to good nutrition, many studies are showing that they have health benefits to protect us from diseases. Some sprouts have components that lower bad cholesterol and fat. Others offer protection against cancers. Alfalfa, broccoli and soybeans have been extensively studied.5

Preparedness Pro recommends 15 pounds of veggie seeds and 5-6 pounds protein seeds per adult for a year’s supply. For more information on how to start sprouting, see Sprouting 101.



Billie Nicholson, Editor
March 2015


March Newsletter Articles:

Add Sprouting Seeds to Your Supplies

How Bleach Kills Germs

Salt – Fact or Fiction

Onions More Benefits Than You Know

Veggie Balls for Pasta from the Solar Chef

Every Day Uses for WD-40

Sun Ovens Teach Solar Energy Concepts

Starting Seeds and Caring for Seedlings

Veggie Balls for Pasta and More.

Lentil Balls

Serve these over spaghetti with your favorite tomato sauce or use them in meatless ball sandwiches. Double the recipe and freeze half (before baking) for future use.

Mini Lentil Balls

(adapted for the Sun Oven from The Meatball Shop)


1 cup dry lentils, picked over and rinsed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried thyme

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 teaspoon salt

4 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced

1 large egg, lightly beaten

1/4 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese

1/4 t0 1/2 cup dried bread crumbs

1/4 cup chopped flat-leaf parsley

2 tablespoons finely chopped walnuts


Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray two mini-muffin pans with cooking spray, set aside.

Put the lentils in a pot with enough water to cover them by an inch (use very hot water for faster cooking) cover and cook in the Sun Oven until soft but not mushy, 35 to 45 minutes. Drain and let cool. Leave the Sun Oven out.

Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion, carrot, celery, garlic, thyme, and salt. Cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the tomato paste and continue cooking for about 3 minutes. Add the mushrooms and cook until softened and the all the liquid has been absorbed, about 15 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a large bowl and let cool. When the vegetables are cool add the lentils followed by the egg, cheese, 1/4 cup of the bread crumbs, parsley, and walnuts. If the mixture is too moist add more bread crumbs as needed. Use your hands to mix until all the ingredients are well combined. Refrigerate the mixture for 25 minutes.

Roll the mixture into balls and place them in the prepared mini-muffin pans. Use a rack to separate the two pans and stack them in the Sun Oven. Bake until firm, about 45 minutes. Let rest in pans before serving.






Rice, Lentils, and Onions Lebanese Style


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)


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


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.



Sun, Lentils, Maple

Maple Lentils

Maple syrup is one the best foods native to North America. It’s simply too good to be enjoyed only at breakfast. These lentils, paired with rice, make a delicious, savory, maple infused dinner. Grade B syrup works best in this recipe as grade A’s more delicate flavor will get lost in the shuffle.

Solar Lentils with Maple Syrup


1 1/2 cups dried green lentils

3 1/2 cups water

2 medium potatoes, peeled and diced

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

1 onion, finely chopped

4 cloves garlic, minced

4 tablespoons tomato paste, diluted in 1/2 cup water

6 tablespoons maple syrup (preferably grade B)

2 tablespoons soy sauce

2 tablespoons oil oil

1 teaspoon ground ginger

1 teaspoon cumin

1 teaspoon dried majoram

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

Additional oil for serving


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Ptu all the ingredients in a large pot. Mix well. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until the lentils are soft, 1 to 1 1/2 hours*. Season to taste with salt. Ladle in to bowls and drizzle each serving with olive oil.

Makes 4 servings.

*cooking time will be longer if you’re cooking a pot of rice along with the lentils.



Solar Baked Lentils

Lentil Nut Loaf

For a heartier meal serve this lentil loaf with whole wheat pasta and extra tomato sauce.

Sun Oven Lentil and Nut Bake


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

1 onion, finely chopped

4 ounces white mushrooms, chopped

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

1/4 cup raw almonds

1/4 cup raw cashews

3 tablespoons plain bread crumbs

4 cloves garlic, minced

1 egg, lightly beaten

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

For serving

Your favorite tomato sauce, purchased or homemade


Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line a loaf pan with parchment paper.

Put the lentils in a large pot with 3 cups water. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until the lentils are soft, about 1 hour. Drain the lentils and transfer to a large bowl. Add the onion, mushrooms, bell pepper, nuts, bread crumbs, garlic, egg, salt, and pepper. Stir to combine. Spoon the mixture into the prepared pan. Cover the loaf pan with an inverted rectangular baking dish. Bake in the Sun Oven until lightly browned, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Remove from Sun Oven and let rest 15 minutes. Leave in pan and slice. Serve with sauce.

Meatless Monday Pasta Sauce

Lentil Sauce

This easy to prepare vegetarian pasta topping is a good alternative to traditional meat sauce. Unlike most pasta sauces, it tastes better when served over whole wheat pasta than white.

Easy Sun Oven Lentil Pasta Sauce


1 cup dried green lentils, picked over and rinsed

2 1/2 cups water

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 (8-ounce) can tomato sauce

Salt and pepper to taste

Optional topping

freshly grated Parmesan cheese

chopped flat-leaf parsley


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a large pot, combine the lentils and water. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until the lentils are tender but not falling apart, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the lentils from the Sun Oven and drain. In the same pot, combine the oil, garlic, and tomato sauce. Stir in the cooked lentils. Cover and return the pot to the Sun Oven. Continue cooking until heated through and the flavors have blended. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Serve over whole wheat pasta or brown rice.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.


Middle-Eastern Solar Soup

New Sun Oven

Fresh mint is used in many savory dishes in the middle-east. If you don’t have any, or don’t like mint, Italian parsley can be used instead.

Minty Lentil Soup


1 tablespoon olive oil

2 leeks, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

Read more »

Solar Soup with Spinach


This middle eastern style soup makes a great first course or serve it with a salad and good crusty bread for a light summer dinner.

Sun Oven Lentil Soup with Spinach


1 cup dried lentils, picked over and rinsed

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 carrots, peeled and finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon cumin seeds

1 teaspoon grated lemon zest

1 medium potato, peeled and finely diced

Read more »

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