This simple, hearty, vegetarian dish is a meal on its own.
Sun Oven Rice and Lentils
2 tablespoons olive oil, plus extra for serving
1 large onion, finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, chopped
1/4 cup strained tomatoes
5 cups water
1 cup dried green lentils, picked over and rinsed
1 cup brown rice
1 teaspoon salt
2 tablespoons flat-leaf parsley, chopped
Set Sun Oven out to preheat.
Combine the oil and onion in a large pot. Place the pot in the Sun Oven and cook until the onion begins to soften, about 10 minutes. Stir in the garlic, then the tomatoes. Add the water and the lentils, cover and cook until the lentils are slightly tender, 30 to 4o minutes. Stir in the rice and salt, replace the lid and continue cooking until the rice is done, about 45 minutes. Remove the pot from the Sun Oven and stir in the parsley. Drizzle additional olive oil over each serving.
Makes 4 to 6 servings
I finally got a chance to use my new baking dishes with the silicone lids and I’m very pleased. So pleased that I might have to make a non-birthday trip to Ikea to get the larger ones. I didn’t make anything fancy.
I drizzled a bit of olive oil on some asparagus, snapped the lid on, and popped it in the Sun Oven. The lid fits so snuggly that I was afraid it would trap too much moisture and the spears would be soggy, but after an hour or so in the Sun Oven on a partially cloudy day they came out just fine.
The black lid does make it pretty much impossible to see what’s going on, however, I knew they were ready by the tell-tale condensation build up on the cooking chambers glass door.
Savoy cabbage is one of my favorite vegetables. It is sweeter and more tender than other varieties of cabbage. It’s great in soups, risottos, and can even be consumed raw. It’s worth seeking out if your regular store doesn’t carry it.
Sun Oven Savoy Cabbage Soup
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1 large leek, white and pale green parts only, chopped
1 clove garlic, minced
1 medium savoy cabbage, cored and shredded
1 small white potato, peeled and cubed
1 quart broth (chicken or vegetable)
Another frosting free cupcake recipe from Martha Stewart. Plus, it’s vegan. Perfect for those days when I forget to take the butter out of the refrigerator to soften. The batter is very thin, so be sure to get the leveling tray as straight as possible before put the pans in the cooking chamber. It’s a good idea to plan on baking around midday when the Sun Oven won’t need to be tilted.
Sun Oven Vegan Chocolate Cupcakes
(adapted for the Sun Oven from Martha Stewart’s Cupcakes)
1 1/2 cups cake flour
3/4 cup granulated sugar
1/4 cup unsweetened cocoa powder, plus more for dusting
1 teaspoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon vegetable oil
1 tablespoon distilled white vinegar
1 teaspoon vanilla extract
1 1/4 cups water
Powdered sugar for dusting
Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line two 6-muffin pans with paper liners.
Sift together the flour, sugar, cocoa powder, baking soda, and salt in a medium bowl. Set aside.
In a large bowl, beat the oil, vinegar, vanilla, and water with an electric mixer on medium-high speed until well combined. Add the flour mixture and continue beating until smooth, scraping down the sides of the bowl as needed.
Divide the batter among the prepared muffin tins, filling each one three-quarters full. Using a rack to separate the pans, cross stack the muffin tins in the Sun Oven and bake until a toothpick inserted in the center of one cupcake comes out clean, 30 to 35 minutes (the top cupcakes will cook slightly faster).
Turn cupcakes out onto a wire rack and cool completely. Dust with powdered sugar and cocoa just before serving
Here’s an easy to make (although slightly time consuming to assemble) vegetable side dish that makes good use of the abundance of summer squash from the garden. Stack the pot on top of one with your main dish and you’ve got yourself a fully solar cooked meal.
Sun Oven Summer Vegetable Tian
(adapted for the Sun Oven from Ina Garten’s Barefoot in Paris)
2 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 yellow onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 zucchini squash, halved lengthwise and sliced
This dip is great with raw vegetables and can be made up to 24 hours in advance. Store it in the fridge in an airtight container and bring it to room temperature before serving.
Sun Oven Roasted Eggplant Dip
(adapted for the Sun Oven from Bon Appétit)
1 large eggplant
3 tablespoons olive oil, divided
1/2 cup canned chickpeas, drained
1 1/2 tablespoons fresh lemon juice
2 teaspoons tahini
On days when I’ve got nothing else going on in my Sun Oven, I like to make a big batch of smothered onions. Just slice up as many onions as your pot can hold. Put them in the pot. Add olive oil, about 1 tablespoon per pound, and a pinch of salt. Toss to coat, cover, and cook them in the Sun Oven.
The longer they cook the better they’ll taste. They can be used in soups, as a topping for flat breads, as a pasta sauce, or served as a side dish. Season them with salt and pepper and fresh or dry herbs. Store them in the fridge in an airtight container (before adding any seasonings) for up to three days.
They’ll make your weeknight meals taste like you spent hours slaving over a hot stove when in reality you were out running errands while the Sun Oven did all the work.
Sun Oven Smothered Onion Sauce
2 tablespoons olive oil
2 pounds yellow onions, thinly sliced
salt and pepper to taste
I’m still not used to the Southern California weather phenomenon know as marine layer or June gloom. Many a morning starts out overcast only to clear up by noon; catching me off guard and unprepared for solar cooking. Red lentils are always a good choice on those days. They don’t need to be presoaked and cook faster than any other legume I know of.
Garlicky Sun Oven Red Lentil Soup
1 1/3 cups red lentils, rinsed and drained
2 small onions, very finely chopped
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 carrot, very finely chopped