Sun Oven Meets Grill

Now that the days are getting warmer even more cooking can be moved outside. Get these lentils going in the Sun Oven then toss some sausages on the grill for a match made in heaven. The Italian answer to Bangers and Mash.

You’ll need two pots that fit in the cooking chamber together, either side by side or stacked, to cook the sauce and the lentils at the same time.

Sun Oven Lentils and Red Sauce

Ingredients

For the red sauce

1 tablespoon olive oil

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Sun Oven Lentil Stew

Weight Watchers taught me that one of the best ways to avoid unwanted weight gain during the holiday season is to eat sensibly on the days surrounding the main event; essentially saving calories now so you can indulge (not over indulge) later. This filling lentil stew will keep hunger at bay while you look forward to Thursday’s feast. It can be served on it’s own as a soup or over rice.

Sun Oven Lentil Stew

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 cup carrots, chopped

3 cups celery root, peeled and chopped

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Solar Squash Curry

If you have two pots that fit side by side in the Sun Oven you can get the base of this lentil stew going while the lentils cook in the other pot. Otherwise you’ll have to wait until the lentils are done and then make the base or cook it on the stove.

Ingredients

1 cup green lentils

1 cup red lentils

1/2 teaspoon turmeric

4 cups water

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

1 (14 oz) can diced tomatoes

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 tablespoons curry powder

2 teaspoons ground cumin

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Solar Lentil Loaf

Cook the lentils in the Sun Oven the day before making this vegetarian twist on meatloaf. Serve it with a green vegetable, mashed potatoes, and vegetarian gravy. Any leftovers can be used for sandwiches.

Solar Lentil Loaf

2 cups cooked green lentils

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 small carrot, shredded

1 stalk celery, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

2 slices white bread, torn into pieces

3/4 cup vegetable broth

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Not So Sloppy Sun Oven Lentil Sloppy Joe’s

These vegetarian sandwiches are a lot less messy than traditional sloppy Joe’s, and in my opinion, tastier too.

Sun Oven Lentil Sloppy Joe’s

Ingredients

1 3/4 cups vegetable broth

1 cup dried lentils, picked over and rinsed

1 small onion, diced

1 jalapeño chile pepper, seeded and diced

1 clove garlic, minced

1/2 cup ketchup

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/4 cup molasses

2 tablespoons brown sugar

2 tablespoons Worcestershire sauce

1 tablespoon yellow mustard

1 tablespoon cider vinegar

6 whole-wheat buns, sliced dill pickle chips

Preparation

Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat.

Combine broth, lentils, onion, jalapeño, and garlic in a pot. Cover and cook in Sun Oven until lentils are tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Whisk together ketchup, salt, molasses, brown sugar, Worcestershire, mustard, and vinegar; add to lentils in pot and continue cooking in Sun Oven for another 30 minutes. Serve lentils on whole-wheat buns with dill pickle chips.

Makes 6 servings.

Lentils for the Week

We have a busy week ahead and I’m using my Sun Oven to help me prepare for it. This big pot of lentils will come in handy. As is, they’re a side dish. Add a few more ingredients and some pasta and you’ve got soup. Mix them in with rice cooked risotto style and you have “Risotto con Lenticchie”. The main ingredient may be the same, but your taste buds will think it’s always something new.

Basic Solar Lentils

Ingredients

1 pound dry lentils, picked over and rinsed

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, peeled and chopped

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Quick Sun Oven Soup

Red lentil soup is a favorite at our house. This super easy recipe doesn’t take long to cook in the Sun Oven so it makes a good solar cooked lunch or dinner, even on days when you get a late start.

Solar Red Lentil Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 medium onion, chopped

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Sun Oven Curried Green Lentil Soup

When a recipe calls for sauteing prior to adding the bulk of the ingredients it can, as I’ve mentioned in previous posts, be done either on the stove or in the GSO. For me the choice usually depends on my mood. Sometimes I prefer the convenience of starting out inside and sometimes I like to see how little conventional fuel I can use. When I made this lentil curry I played a little game of “What if I didn’t have any electricity?” and dug out my long forgotten food mill so I didn’t even have to use a food processor. Too bad I had to make a quick trip to the market for a lemon; that kind of negated all my efforts to conserve energy. Oh well, nobody’s perfect.

Sun Oven Curried Lentil Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 medium carrot, finely chopped

2 large cloves garlic, minced, divided

2 tablespoons curry powder

1 cup green lentils

3 1/2 cups water

1 15-oz can chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice

1 tablespoon butter

Preparation

Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat. Pour 1 tablespoon oil in a dark, light-weight and heat in GSO.

Chop the onion and carrots while the oil is heating. Add onion and carrots to the pot in the GSO, stir to coat;  cook vegetables until the onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir half of the minced garlic and cook another 5 minutes or until the vegetables begin to soften. Stir in curry powder and cook for about 1 minute. Add lentils and water, put the lid on the pot and cook until the lentils are tender, about 50 minutes.

While the lentils are cooking, pass the chickpeas through a food mill and mix with lemon juice, remaining tablespoon olive oil, and remaining garlic. (This step can also been done in a food processor.)

Stir chickpea mixture and butter into soup, adding additional water if needed, cover and cook until heated through, about 10 minutes.

Makes 6 servings.

Solar Indian Inspired Red Lentil Soup

Red lentils are a favorite in our house. Serve this soup with some whole wheat pita bread and a salad for a satisfying and filling vegetarian dinner.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

2 onions, finely chopped

2 tablespoons fresh ginger, peeled and finely chopped

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 pound dried red lentils, picked over, rinsed, and drained

1 (14 1/2 oz) can diced tomatoes

4 celery stalks with leaves, finely chopped

1 carrot, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, peeled

2 cardamon pods

1/4 – 1/2 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon saffron threads, crumbled

5 cups water or vegetable broth

Preparation

Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat.

Heat the oil in a large dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onions and ginger, cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are softened, about 5 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring constantly, until fragrant, about 1 minute.

Add the remaining ingredients, stir, cover, and place in GSO. Cook until lentils are tender, 2 – 3 hours. Discard cardamon pods and garlic.

Puree soup in batches in a blender or in the pot with a handheld immersion blender.

Makes 6 servings.

The only hard part is finding the garlic and the cardamon pods before pureeing the soup. If you can’t find both the garlic cloves it’s not a big deal. I cannot say the same about the cardamon pods. These must be found and removed, if not you’ll wind up with dozens of nasty, hard, little black seeds that will ruin your soup. And yes, I speak from experience.

Sun Oven Curry

Here’s a tasty curry that’s a fine example of using multiple cooking methods. It’s easier to keep on eye on the onions, which could easily burn, if you saute them on your stove while preparing the ginger and garlic purée. Once the stew is fully assembled it is transferred to the Sun Oven. Finally, when it comes out of the Sun Oven, additional spices are toasted in a heavy skillet.

Curried Red Lentil Stew with Carrots and Sweet Potato

(adapted from Gourmet magazine April 2007)

Ingredients

1/4 cup vegetable oil

1 medium onion, finely chopped

1 2-inch piece peeled fresh ginger, quartered

5 cloves garlic, coarsely chopped

4 1/3 cups water

2 teaspoons curry powder

1 teaspoon ground turmeric

3/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1 1/2 cups red lentils, picked over and rinsed

2 medium carrots, quartered length wise and chopped

1 medium sweet potato, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

3 cups chopped trimmed spinach leaves

1 cup frozen peas (not thawed)

1/2 teaspoon cumin seeds

1/2 teaspoon dried hot red-pepper flakes

Preparation

Heat oil in a large pot until hot but not smoking, then cook onion, stirring occasionally, until golden, 8 to 10 minutes.

While the onion is cooking, purée ginger, garlic, and 1/3 cup water in a blender. Add purée to golden onion and cook, stirring, until water is evaporated, about 5 minutes. Add curry powder, turmeric, and cumin and cook over low heat, stirring, 1 minute. Stir in lentils, carrots, sweet potatoes, and remaining 4 cups water. Cover and place pot in preheated Sun Oven and cook for approx. 90 minutes, or until lentils have broken down into a coarse purée.

Stir in spinach and peas and leave in Sun Oven, covered, until peas are tender. About 10 minutes.

Just before serving, heat a small heavy skillet over moderately high heat, toast the cumin seeds and red-pepper flakes, stirring, until fragrant and a shade darker, 30 to 45 seconds (be careful not to burn spices). Stir hot spices into the stew.

Serve with basmati rice.

Makes 6 to 8 servings

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