Skinny Solar Mac and Cheese

Skinny Mac

A few years ago I was having dinner with a group of friends when the topic of disliked foods came up. Most of us were rather adventurous eaters so when we went around the table each naming the foods we did not enjoy the lists were rather short. I was the last to speak and mine were tofu and okra. And just about everyone agreed with me, quickly adding them to their own lists. I’m still working on finding a way to enjoy okra, but I have since learned that when tofu is used as an ingredient instead of the main attraction it’s not all that bad.

Sun Oven Mac’n’Cheese Surprise

Ingredients

1 pound shell or elbow whole wheat pasta

1 box (1 pound) silken tofu, drained

2 cups milk, (whole, 2%, or 1%)

2 tablespoons mustard

1 teaspoon paprika

1 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 teaspoons cornstarch

6 ounces sharp Cheddar cheese, shredded

2 tablespoons butter, melted

1/2 cup breadcrumbs

2 tablespoons chopped flat-leaf parsley

freshly grated Parmesan cheese

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Coat a baking pan with cooking spray.

Cook the pasta according to the package instructions to al dente. Drain and set aside.

In a large sauce pan, use an immersion blender to combine the tofu, milk, mustard, paprika, salt, and pepper until smooth. Heat the mixture over medium heat, stirring often. When it starts to simmer, whisk in the cornstarch and then the Cheddar cheese. Continue whisking until the mixture thickens, about 4 minutes. Spread the pasta out in the prepared baking pan. Pour the sauce over the pasta. In a small sauce pan, melt the butter. Stir in the breadcrumbs and parsley. Sprinkle the breadcrumb mixture over the pasta. Top with a generous dusting of Parmesan cheese. Cover and bake in the Sun Oven until browned, 45 minutes to 1 hour.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

 

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

Ingredients

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

Preparation

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.

Spicy Solar Roasted Cauliflower

Roasted Cauliflower

Serve sun roasted vegetables make a delicious side dish to just about any main course.

Spicy Sun Roasted Cauliflower

Ingredients

1 cauliflower, cored and cut into florets

2 cloves garlic, quartered lengthwise

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/4 t0 1/2 teaspoon red pepper flakes

salt

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a baking pan, toss the florets and garlic with the oil and pepper flakes. Season with salt. Cook in the Sun Oven, uncovered, until soft and beginning to brown, about 45 minutes.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Solar Breakfast Bake

Oat Banana Bake

Great for a weekend brunch or to make ahead for a ready-made weekday breakfast. Or pair it with vanilla ice-cream for dessert.

Solar Banana and Oatmeal Breakfast Bake

Ingredients

2 cups old-fashioned rolled oats

1 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 cup raw almonds, coarsely chopped

1/4 teaspoons salt

1 egg, lightly beaten

1 cup milk

3 bananas, 1 mashed, 2 sliced

1/4 cup brown sugar

1 teaspoon cinnamon

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line a baking dish with parchment paper.

In a large bowl, combing the oats, baking powder, almonds, and salt. In a medium bowl, stir together the egg, milk, and mashed banana. Stir the wet ingredients into the oat mixture. Arrange 1/2 of the sliced bananas on the parchment paper. Spread the oatmeal mixture evenly over the bananas. Top with the remaining banana slices. Sprinkle the brown sugar and cinnamon over the top. Bake in the Sun Oven until set, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 4 servings.

Slow Solar Stewed Onions

Stewed Onions

Never let a sunny day go to waste. When nothing else is going on in your Sun Oven whip up a batch of slow cooked onions. They’ll come in handy for all sorts of things: a base for soups, a topping for burgers, or a sauce for pasta, just to name a few.

Solar Stewed Onions

Ingredients

3 onions, thinly sliced

3 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 cup dry white wine

salt and pepper

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a medium to large pot, toss the onions with the oil. Pour the wine over the onions and season to taste with salt and pepper. Cook in Sun Oven until the onions are golden, 2 to 3 hours. Let cool then store in the fridge in a tightly sealed container for up to 4 days.

Solar Roasted Veggies

Roast Veggies

Roast the vegetables during the day then combine with them pasta later for a lovely, solar-cooked dinner.

Sun Roasted Eggplant, Tomato, and Garlic Pasta Sauce

Ingredients

1 eggplant, halved lengthwise and cut into 1/2-inch slices

1 pound cherry tomatoes, halved

1 head garlic, cut in half crosswise

6 tablespoons olive oil, divided

salt

1 pound farfalle, rigatoni, or other pasta

1/2 cups fresh basil, chopped

1/2 cup freshly grated Romano cheese

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line 3 baking racks or rimmed baking sheets with parchment paper.

Arrange the eggplant slices in a single layer on two of the racks. Brush both sides with 2 tablespoons of the olive oil. Season with salt. Arrange the tomatoes and garlic on the remaining rack. Drizzle 2 tablespoons of the oil over the tomatoes and garlic; season with salt. Stack the racks in the Sun Oven and cook until the vegetables are soft and beginning to brown, 1 1/2 to 2 hours, top racks will cook faster. Remove vegetables from the Sun Oven and cut the eggplant into pieces. When the garlic is cool enough to handle, squeeze the pulp into a serving bowl. Add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil, mashing to combine. Stir in the basil and cheese. Cook the pasta according to the package instructions. Drain, reserving 1/2 cup of the cooking water. Add the pasta to the garlic mixture and toss with the eggplant and tomatoes. Add reserved cooking water as needed.

Makes 4 servings.

Eggless Sun Baked “Omelette”

Vegan Frittata

Chickpea flour is a high protein, high fiber, nutritional powerhouse.

Vegan “Omelette”*

Ingredients

1/2 cup chickpea flour

1/4 cup masa harina

1 teaspoon curry powder

1/2 teaspoon baking powder

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 cup unsweetened almond milk

1 tablespoon sesame seed oil

1 cup canned pumpkin

1 cup frozen chopped spinach, thawed, excess water squeezed out

For serving:

Tahini

hot sauce

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line a pie tin with parchment paper, set aside.

In a large bowl, whisk together the chickpea flour, masa harina, curry powder, baking powder, and salt. Add the almond milk and oil; whisk until smooth. In a medium bowl, stir together the pumpkin and the spinach. Using a rubber spatula, fold the pumpkin mixture into the flour mixture. Spread the batter out into the prepared pie plate. Bake the omelette in the Sun Oven until golden and set, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Let cool slightly. Cut into wedges. Drizzle each serving with tahini and hot sauce.

Makes 4 servings.

It’s also gluten free.

Solar Braised Carrots

Honey Carrots

This colorful side dish can be tossed together in no time and is a good way to make use of any excess carrots you might have on hand. Let the carrots cook in the Sun Oven as long as possible. The slow, gentle solar heat brings out all their flavor and sweetness.

Sun Braised Carrots with Honey

Ingredients

4 tablespoons unsalted butter

1 tablespoon honey

1 pound carrots, peeled and cut into rounds

salt

chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a medium pot, melt the butter over low heat. Remove from heat and stir in the honey. Add the carrots, tossing to coat. Season with salt, cover and cook in the Sun Oven until the carrots are very tender, 1 1/2 to 2 hours. Sprinkle with parsley just before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

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

Ingredients

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

Preparation

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.

 

Vegan Pumpkin Bread

Vegan Pumpkin BreadPumpkin Bread Baked in the Sun Oven

Every day the sun shines in Florida’s panhandle, I cook in our All American Sun Oven. For this recipe we used frozen pumpkin, but any pureed pumpkin or winter squash will work. This bread was so yummy, everyone wanted second slices.

Ingredients

1 TBS oatmeal ground
1 TBS raw sunflower seeds ground
1 1/2 cup whole wheat flour
1/2 cup natural granulated sugar
1-2 tsp ground ginger
2 tsp cinnamon
1 tsp West Indies allspice
2 tsp baking powder
1/2 tsp baking soda
1 cup pureed pumpkin
2 TBS molasses
1 TBS olive oil
1 TBS sesame oil
1/2 cup walnuts optional
1/2 cup raisins

Directions

Preheat the sun oven. Grind the oatmeal and sunflower seeds and add whole wheat flour to make up the 1 1/2 cups volume. Mix the dry ingredients in a large bowl. In another bowl, whisk the pumpkin, molasses, and oils together. Fold into the dry mixture and blend until thoroughly mixed.  Stir in the raisins and walnuts. Pour into a loaf pan and bake for 50 minutes.

 

 

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