Surprise Squash

Chili Squash

Stuffed squash is one of my favorite lunches. I really don’t follow a recipe when I make it. I just go with whatever leftovers I have in my fridge. It comes out different ever time. Today’s combo was surprisingly good.

Chili Stuffed Squash

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

salt

1 medium Kabocha squash

1/2 can (14-ounce) vegetarian chili

1/2 can (14-ounce) diced tomatoes with green chiles with juices

1/2 packet (3-ounce) tempeh, crumbled

1/4 cup frozen corn kernels

2 cloves garlic, minced

5 tablespoons orzo shaped pasta

1/4 cup water

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Cut off the top of the squash to make a lid. Scrape out and discard the seeds. Rub the inside of the squash with the olive oil, season with salt. Place the squash in a pot, set aside. In a large bowl combine the chili, diced tomatoes, tempeh, corn, garlic, and pasta. Spoon the mixture into the prepared squash. Pour in the water. Cover with the top part of the squash. Cook in the Sun Oven until tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Use a large spoon to scoop filling and squash onto plates.

Makes 4 servings.

 

 

Buttery Solar Roasted Squash

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Sun Glazed Maple Squash

Ingredients

1 (about 2 1/2 pounds) winter squash, any kind except spaghetti

1/3 cup pure maple syrup

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne pepper

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray two baking pans with cooking spray or line baking racks with silicone mats or parchment paper.

Wash the squash. Cut in half lengthwise. Scoop out the seeds and discard. Cut the squash into 1 1/2-inch thick slices or wedges, cut side up. Arrange the pieces in a single layer in the baking pans or on the racks. In a small bowl, mix together the maple syrup, butter, and cayenne. Brush the squash with the glaze. If using baking pans, cross stack them in the Sun Oven. Roast squash until tender, about 1 hour.

Makes 6 servings.

Solar Southwest Spaghetti Squash

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This is a fun, healthy side dish that goes great with tacos or other “south of the border” fare.

Sun Oven Southwest Spaghetti Squash Bake

Ingredients

1 spaghetti squash (about 3 pounds), cut in half length-wise, seeds discarded

1 (14-0unce) can Mexican-style diced tomatoes

1 (14-ounce) can black beans, rinsed and drained

3/4 cup shredded Monterey Jack cheese, divided

1/4 cup cilantro, finely chopped (optional)

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Sun Oven Lunches for Busy Days

Stuffed Golden Nugget

As far as weight gain goes, the most critical days can be the days leading up to and following Thanksgiving. We might be making multiple trips to the store for all the ingredients for the big feast only to forget to pick up anything for lunch or dinner today. Luckily, once you get something in going in the Sun Oven it doesn’t require a lot of your attention and before you know it you’ll have a healthy, tasty meal to help tide you over.

Stuffed squash is a favorite around our house this time of year. Any variety of squash will work and the choices for filling are practically unlimited. Some of my favorites are couscous, feta cheese, chickpeas, leftover stuffing, crumbled cooked bacon, cooked rice (white or brown), cherry tomatoes, – you get the idea. Be creative, use your imagination. Change it up each time and every meal will be like a little surprise party.

Here’s how I prepared mine today.

Sun Oven Stuffed Squash

Ingredients

2 golden nugget squash

1 tablespoon olive oil

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Solar Butternut Squash Soup

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Nothing’s better on a cold evening than a nice bowl of hot soup. Cook the squash in the Sun Oven in the morning, when the sun is shining, then finish the soup up on the stove at dinner time.

Sun Oven Squash and Sage Soup

1 whole butternut squash (about 2 pounds), halved lengthwise, seeds removed, and cut into large slices

1 tablespoon unsalted butter

1 small Granny Smith apple, peeled and diced

1/2 small yellow onion, finely chopped

4 fresh sage leaves

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Quick Sun Oven Side Dish

Acorn Squash

As the days get longer solar cooking becomes a whole lot easier.

Even on a busy day, like mine was today, you’re more likely to get at least part of your evening meal into the Sun Oven before it’s too late.

It was mid afternoon by the time I got some acorn squash going, but there was still plenty of time to roast it to perfection. To keep it simple, I cut the squash in half, scooped out the seeds, and seasoned it with some olive oil and a sprinkling of kosher salt.

Add a drizzle of balsamic vinegar just before serving for a splash of color and extra flavor.

Vegetarian Solar Stew with Kale

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Solar Roasted Squash Soup

 

Butternut squash and sage go together splendidly, and this simple, satisfying soup is perfect for this time of year. The squash can be roasted early in the day when sunshine is abundant while the rest can be done stovetop later in the day after sunset.

Sun Oven Butternut Squash Soup with Sage

Ingredients

1 (2 1/2 to 3 pound) butternut squash, peeled, seeded and sliced

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, chopped

1 leek (white and pale green parts only), sliced

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 fresh sage leaves or 1 1/2 teaspoons dried

3 cups broth, chicken or vegetable

1/2 cup freshly grated parmesan cheese (optional)

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Coat two baking pans with cooking spray.

Arrange the squash in single layers in the pans and coat with cooking spray.  Sprinkle kosher salt over squash. Cross stack the pans in the Sun Oven and cook until the squash is just soft, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove from Sun Oven and cut into chunks.

While the squash is cooking heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and leak and cook, strirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Add the garlic and sage and continue cooking for another minute. Add the roasted squash to the pot with the broth. Return the pot to the Sun Oven and cook until the squash is very soft, about 1 hour.

Remove the sage leaves (if using fresh) and discard. Using an immersion blender puree the soup until smooth. Stir in the cheese. Season to taste with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 servings

 

 

Lid or No Lid?

Most Sun Oven cooking is done in a covered pot. This is to keep the moisture in the food from fogging up the glass door which lowers the temperature of the cooking chamber. But I’ve found that some faster cooking foods, such as vegetables, come out better if left uncovered. Even without a lid they tend to be done by the time the glass fogs up and since the steam isn’t trapped in the pot they come out a little crispier.

Today I put it to the test with two batches of asparagus and acorn squash. There wasn’t any noticeable difference between the covered squash and the uncovered, but the uncovered asparagus came out slightly browned  and with a pleasant crunch to it and the covered batch did not.

Covered or uncovered, it’s a good idea to set a timer when solar cooking spring vegetables, unlike meats and stews that seem to get better the longer they cook in the Sun Oven, delicate greens can overcook and get soggy.

From Freezer to Sun Oven to Table in Under an Hour

This African inspired soup can be made with fresh squash and onions, and dry beans that have been soaked overnight. Using frozen, precut vegetables makes it super easy to toss in the Sun Oven on those days that turn unexpectedly sunny. For a heartier meal serve over brown rice.

Sun Oven African Squash and Lima Bean Soup.

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 tablespoon grated peeled fresh ginger

1 teaspoon paprika

1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper

3 cups vegetable broth

1 (20-ounce) bag frozen butternut squash

1/2 (1 pound bag) frozen small onions

1 (10-ounce) bag frozen baby lima beans

1 can diced tomatoes

1/2 teaspoon salt

Preparation

Set Global Sun Oven out to preheat.

Heat the oil in a large pot over medium heat. Add the garlic, ginger, paprika, and red pepper. Cook, stirring frequently, until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, squash, onions, lima beans, tomatoes, and salt. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven and cook until the vegetables are tender, about 40 minutes.

Makes 4 servings.

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