Curried Quinoa


Curried Quinoa1/4 cup unsalted pistachio nuts, chopped

1 cup very hot vegetable broth or water

salt and pepper to taste

1 teaspoon Garam Masala


Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Have handy two sheets of aluminum foil, a dark dish towel, and a lid.

Melt the coconut oil over medium heat in a large pot. Add the cumin seeds and sauté until lightly toasted, about 2 minutes. Add the coriander and the turmeric and sauté for about 1 minute. Stir in the onion and cook stirring often until softened, about three minutes. Do the same with the carrot followed by the quinoa. Stir in the pistachios, season with salt and pepper. Pour the hot broth or water over the quinoa, stir quickly to combine. Cover with the sheets of aluminum foil, dish towel, and lid. Transfer immediately to the Sun Oven an cook until the liquid has be absorbed, about 40 minutes. Remove the pot from the Sun Oven. Remove the foil. Cover the pot with the dish towel and lid and let rest for 10 minutes. Sprinkle with Garam Masala and fluff with a fork before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Sun Baked Apple Topping

Cinnamon Apples

These baked apples are easy to prepare and can be enjoyed on their own as a dessert. They also make a great topping for ice-cream or mix-in for oatmeal. And It’s a good way to make use of any excess apples you might have on hand.

Solar Baked Cinnamon Apples


1/3 cup brown sugar, packed

2 teaspoons ground cinnamon

the juice of 1 lemon

6 apples (about 2 pounds) peeled, cored, and cut into chunks


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a glass or ceramic baking dish, mix together the sugar, cinnamon, and lemon juice. Add the apple chunks and toss to coat evenly. Cover with aluminum foil and a dark kitchen towel and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the apples are soft, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Serve warm or at room temperature. Can be stored in the refrigerator in airtight containers for up to 5 days.


Solar Squash Gratin

Squash Gratin

This colorful side dish goes well with chicken, pork, or even eggs. If you sauté the onions it the baking pan while you peel and cut up the squash you’ll have fewer pans to wash – and that’s always a good thing.

Sun Baked Squash Gratin


2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 onion, thinly sliced

1 small butternut squash (about 2 pounds), peeled and cut into 1/2-inch cubes

4 teaspoons chopped fresh sage, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

3/4 cup corn meal

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Pour 1 tablespoon of the oil into a baking pan and toss with the onion. Cover with a second baking pan and cook in the Sun Oven until the onion begins to soften, about 20 minutes. Peel and cut the squash while the onion is cooking. Add the squash, 1 tablespoon of the sage, salt, and pepper to the onions. Toss to combine. In a small bowl, mix together the corn meal, Parmesan cheese, and the remaining teaspoon of sage. Sprinkle the mixture over the squash. Replace the cover and continue cooking in the Sun Oven until the squash is soft, 1 t0 1 1/2 hours.

Makes 6 servings.

Bright Red Solar Beet Pilaf

Beet Pilaf

Beets and butternut squash were all I had left from last week’s vegetable delivery. I’m still deciding what to do with the squash. The beets I used to make the colorful rice pilaf. The recipe is a combination of a couple I found on line, one for pasta and one for rice, plus a few touches of my own. It can be served as a side dish or topped with a spoonful of goat cheese or sour cream as main course.

Sun Oven Beet and Poppy Seed Rice Pilaf


2 tablespoons unsalted butter

1/2 onion, finely chopped

3 cups vegetable or chicken broth

1 tablespoon poppy seeds

1 cup arborio rice

1/2 cup dry white wine

3 small beets, peeled and shredded*

1 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon pepper

1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese


In a sauce pan heat the broth until very hot. Keep the broth hot while preparing the rice.

Melt the butter in a large pot over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 5 minutes. Add the poppy seeds followed by the rice stirring to coat. Pour in the wine and continue stirring until it evaporates, about 1 minute. Add the beets, salt, and pepper stirring well to combine. Add the broth, stir quickly, cover, and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the liquid has been absorbed, 40 minutes to 1 hour.  Stir in cheese and serve.

Makes 4 main course servings or 6 side servings.

*I used the shred disc of my food processor. If you don’t have a food processor I’d recommend using previously roasted beets that have been mashed.

Solar Roasted Cabbage

Roast Cabbage

I’m still working my way through last week’s box of vegetables. Today I sliced up the cabbage, roasted it in the Sun Oven, and enjoyed it with lunch. Now all that’s left are the beets and the butternut squash. I’m ready for another box.

Sun Roasted Green Cabbage

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Martha Stewart)


1 head green cabbage

1 teaspoon olive oil

kosher salt

freshly ground pepper

freshly squeezed lemon juice


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Cut cabbage into 8 wedges. Brush both sides with olive oil. Arrange the slices on a baking rack or in a baking pan. Sprinkle with salt and pepper. Roast, uncovered, in the Sun Oven until edges are brown, about 45 minutes. Squeeze lemon juice over the cabbage and serve.

Black Bean and Sweet Potato Burritos


The vegetable box I had delivered last week included a pound of fingerling sweet potatoes which are not one of my favorite things. This came as a bit of a surprise to me because when I initially read the contents my brain skipped over the word sweet – I was expecting regular fingerling potatoes which are one of my favorite things. In any case, these burritos were pretty good.

Sweet Potato Burritos

(adapted for the Sun Oven from


1 pound sweet potatoes, peeled or scrubbed clean, cut into 1-inch chunks

2 tablespoons coconut oil or vegetable oil, divided’

1 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 onion, finely chopped

1 clove garlic, minced

1 teaspoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons chili powder

pinch cayenne pepper

1 1/2 cups previously cooked black beans (or 1 15-ounce can drained), mashed

1 teaspoon mustard

1 tablespoon soy sauce

2 to 3 tablespoons water.

1/2 cup shredded Cheddar cheese

4 burrito size flour tortillas, warmed


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

Melt 1 tablespoon of the coconut oil in a baking pan over medium heat. Remove from heat and add the sweet potatoes to the pan, tossing to coat. Sprinkle with salt, cover with another baking pan, and transfer to the Sun Oven. Bake until the potatoes are soft, about 45 minutes. Mash the potatoes in the pan with a fork; set aside. Leave the oven out.

Heat the remaining tablespoon of the oil in a skillet over medium-high heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. Stir in the garlic followed by the cumin, chili powder, and cayenne. Stir in the mashed beans, mustard, and soy sauce. Add water, a tablespoon at a time, to reach the consistency of refried beans. Removed from heat and let cool slightly.

Spread 1/4 of the mashed sweet potatoes in the center of a tortilla. Top with 1/4 of the beans and 1/4 of the cheese. Fold the tortilla into a burrito and place it, seam side down, in the prepared baking dish. Repeat with the remaining 3 tortillas. Transfer the baking pan to the Sun Oven and bake until the burritos are heated through, about 30 minutes.



Tuscan Style Farro Soup

Farro Bean Soup

This is a big batch of soup so you’re going to need a big pot. A stock pot works great. Make sure it fits in the Sun Oven before you start. You can remove the leveling tray if necessary, just be sure to set a trivet or rack on the floor of the cooking chamber to allow for air flow.

Kale and Cannellini Bean Soup

(adapted for the Sun Oven from


3 cups previously cooked cannellini or other white beans with their cooking liquid

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

3 carrots, finely chopped

3 stalks celery, finely chopped

2 clover garlic, minced

1 leek, white and light green parts only, thinly sliced

1 tablespoon dried thyme

1/4 teaspoon red pepper flakes

1 tablespoon tomato paste

1 cup farro

1 can (15-ounces) diced tomatoes

1 bunch kale stemmed and chopped

Salt and pepper to taste

Additional olive oil for serving

freshly grated Parmesan cheese


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Drain the beans; reserving the cooking liquid. Place 1 1/2 cups of the beans with 1/2 cup of the cooking liquid into the bowl of a food processor and pulse until smooth; set aside.

In a large soup pot, heat the oil over medium heat. Add the onion, carrots, celery, garlic, and leek. Cook, stirring occasionally, until softened; about 5 minutes. Stir in the thyme and red pepper flakes then the tomato paste. Add the farro, diced tomatoes, remaining beans, and kale. Add enough water to the bean cooking liquid to measure 3 cups. Pour the water into the pot and stir to combine all the ingredients. Cover and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the farro is tender, 1 to 1 1/2 hours. Ladle into bowls. Drizzle each serving with olive oil and sprinkle with cheese.

Makes 6 servings.


More British Fare

Curried Potatoes

These pies were inspired in part by two foods commonly found in Great Britain, pasties and samosas, and in part by the lone frozen pie crust left in my freezer from the holidays.

Sun Oven Curry Pies


1/2 cup previously prepared Curried Mushy Peas

1 purchased frozen pie crust, defrosted

1 medium russet potato, peeled and cut diced

2 carrots, peeled and diced

1 teaspoon coconut oil or vegetable oil

2 teaspoons curry powder



Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line a baking rack or pan with a silicone mat or parchment paper.

Put the potatoes and carrots in a medium sized pot. Add the oil and curry powder, tossing to coat. Season with salt. Add 1 tablespoon water, cover, and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the vegetables are soft but not mushy, about 40 minutes. Remove pot from Sun Oven; leave oven out. Cut the pie crust in half and roll one half into a rectangle on a lightly floured surface. Spoon about two tablespoons of the potato mixture on one side of the rectangle leaving 1/2 inch of crust around the three edges. Spoon half of the split peas on top of the potatoes. Fold the crust over the vegetables and crimp the three sides to seal. Use a small, sharp knife to cut a couple of slits in the top of the crust. Use a wide spatula to transfer the pie to the baking rack or pan. Repeat with the remaining ingredients (the may be some potato mixture left over). Bake the pies in the Sun Oven until golden, about 45 minutes. Let cool 10 minutes before serving.

Makes 2 servings.

Samosa Pies


Spiced up British Fare

New Sun Oven

While most Americans know that the British consume a lot of fish and chips many have never heard of mushy peas. They have a consistency similar to mashed potatoes and every fish and chip shop in Great Britain has them on the menu. Traditionally they are cooked with marrow fat and no other seasoning. My version uses olive oil and curry powder. At a recent fish fry we hosted they were the surprise hit of the evening.

Curried Mushy Peas


2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

1 tablespoon curry powder

1 cup dried split peas, picked over, rinsed, and drained

2 2/3 cups water



Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Heat the oil in a large pot. Add the onion and cook until beginning to soften, about 3 minutes. Stir in the curry powder. Remove from heat. Stir in the split peas. Add the water, cover, and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until the peas are very soft and the water has been absorbed. Season to taste with salt. Serve as a side dish or over rice or quinoa (shockingly good) as a main course.

Makes 4 servings.


Basic Sun Baked Quinoa


When quinoa first started showing up on menus and in supermarkets a few years ago my expectations were high. I thought it could be a healthier choice than rice and couscous in many of my favorite dishes. But once I tasted it my hopes were shattered. I was disappointed with both the mushy texture and the unappealing flavor. I  tried mixing it with steel cut oats to give my morning cereal a protein boost, but even at a ratio of 3 parts oats for 1 part quinoa I still wasn’t sold. However, with half a pound of the stuff still sitting in my pantry I had to find some way to make use of it. Baking in Sun Oven does wonders for improving the texture and rinsing it a few times more than you’d think necessary helps with the taste. Once cooked, it can be used in salads or in place of rice.

Sun Oven Quinoa

(adapted for the Sun Oven from Beyond Salmon)


1 cup quinoa, thoroughly rinsed and drained

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1 cup boiling water


Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Have ready two sheets of aluminum foil and a dark dish towel. Put the drained quinoa in a pot. Sprinkle with salt. Pour the boiling water over the quinoa and quickly cover tightly with the foil. Cover with the dish towel and a lid. Transfer to the Sun Oven and cook until the water has been absorbed, about 40 minutes. Remove from the Sun Oven. Remove the foil, replace the dish towel over the pot cover with the lid. Let rest 10 minutes before fluffing with a fork.

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