Easy Sun Oven Lunch

Sun Oven risotto is what I like to call a hybrid, half conventionally cooked and half solar. The broth is brought to a boil on the stove before being stirred into the sauteed rice and transferred to the Sun Oven. I think the texture is far superior when it’s prepared this way. Bringing any dish with a high liquid content to a boil first will cut down on the overall cooking time by up to 30 minutes. Something to keep in mind if you get a late start.

Risotto al Pomodoro (Tomato Risotto)


1 tablespoon butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

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More Sun Oven Risotto

It wasn’t until recently that I came up with my method for Sun Oven risotto and now I can’t seem to get enough of it. Risotto con Porcini is probably my favorite, solar cooked or not. The key to success is heat. Make sure the Sun Oven has time to preheat, and the broth is simmering hot before combing all the ingredients.

Sun Oven Risotto con Porcini

(risotto with porcini mushrooms)


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More Solar Risotto

This yummy risotto makes a great quick lunch if you have any leftover cooked butternut on hand. If you don’t, start by solar roasting some. If you cook up a whole squash you’ll have more than you need for this recipe and you can freeze the leftovers for future use.

Solar Butternut Squash Risotto


2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, chopped

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Sunny Solar Risotto

Risotto is probably one of the trickiest things to make in the Sun Oven. Unlike traditionally prepared risotto, where the broth is slowly added 1/2 cup at a time, all the broth is stirred in just before transferring the pot to the Sun Oven. Therefore it’s important to get the amount right, too much and you’ve got something that looks more like soup, too little and the rice is under cooked. Also, it’s best when served immediately. For this reason solar cooked risotto is a lunch food at our house.

Solar Risotto alla Milanese


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Solar Risotto

Leftover minestrone can be used to make a delicious, creamy, solar-cooked risotto in under an hour. Make sure you use the right kind of rice, Arborio or, if you can find it, Carnaroli.

Risotto al Minestrone


2 tablespoons butter

1 small onion, finely chopped

1 cup arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

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Solar Vegetarian Casserole

This casserole is better than it looks in the picture. It can be served as a side dish or paired with solar roasted squash to make a nice vegetarian main course. Broccoli can be used in place of the asparagus.

Asparagus and Brown Rice Casserole


2 cups brown rice

4 1/2 cups water

1/4 teaspoon salt

3 tablespoons olive oil

1 cup celery, finely chopped

1 large onion, finely chopped

4 cups asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

4 ounces neufchatel cheese

1 tablespoon fresh basil, chopped

Salt and pepper to taste


Combine water, rice, and 1/4 teaspoon salt in a dark pot, cover and place in Global Sun Oven. Cook until the rice is tender. About 1 hour.

While the rice is cooking heat the olive oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add celery and onion and sauté until the onions are translucent. About 5 mimutes. Add the asparagus, stir to combine and saute for another 3 minutes.

Add the cheese to the skillet, breaking it up as stirring to coat the vegetables. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Combine the vegetable cheese mixture with the rice and fresh basil in a large bowl.

Spread the mixture in an oiled casserole dish, cover tightly with tin foil and a dark tea towel. Place in Global Sun Oven and bake until heated through. Serve hot.

Makes 6 servings

A Complete Meal From the Sun Oven

Sometimes I want to come home to a fully cooked dinner. No last minute side salad to prepare, no pasta to boil. I just want to take the food out of the Sun Oven and eat. This chicken and rice, and vegetable combo is a complete meal in one pot. The rice comes out nice and creamy; almost like a risotto. If you’ve got a really busy day ahead of you, do all the prep work the night before.

Chicken Thighs with Rice and Mixed Vegetables

2 cups short grain brown rice

1/2 cup dry cranberry beans, soaked over night and drained

1 leek, pale green and white parts only, chopped

1 cup butternut squash, cut into 1/2 cubes

1 carrot, peeled and chopped

1 zucchini, chopped

2 cups green cabbage, coarsely shredded

1 1/2 cup water

8 skin on, bone in chicken thighs trimmed of excess fat

salt and pepper to taste

2 tablespoons fresh basil, chopped

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese

1 tablespoon olive oil

Combine the rice and the next six ingredients (leek through cabbage) in a heavy cast iron dutch oven. Add the water. Top with the chicken thighs. Sprinkle thighs with salt and pepper. Cover and place in Sun Oven. Cooking time is approx. 2 1/2 hours.

To serve, remove chicken thighs. Stir basil, cheese, and olive oil into the rice.

makes 6 to 8 servings

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