Solar Veggie Chips

Zucchini Chips

This is the time of year that zucchini are abundant; sometimes too abundant. These chips make a great, healthy snack and, in addition to using up some of the zucchini from your garden, they can be made on a partly cloudy day when the Sun Oven might not reach the highest temperatures.

Sun Baked Zucchini Chips

Ingredients

2 medium zucchini, sliced into 1/8-inch rounds

2 tablespoons olive oil

1/2 teaspoon kosher salt

1/2 teaspoon herbs de Provence

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Line 3 stackable baking racks with parchment paper or silicone mats.

In a large bowl, toss the zucchini slices with the oil, salt, and herbs. Spread the slices out in single layers on the prepared baking racks. Stack the racks in the Sun Oven. Keep the Sun Oven focused to keep the temperature between 200 and 250F. If condensation begins to build up unlatch the door to allow steam to escape. As the zucchini cook and shrink they can be consolidated onto few racks. Continue cooking until browned, removing any that may brown faster as they cook, about 2 hours total.

 

Egg Casserole to the Rescue

Egg Casserole

I recently signed up for one of those services that deliver a box of fresh produce to your door. I’d tried one in the past but discontinued it after receiving a box that contained more cucumbers than I could eat in a lifetime – and I like cucumbers. This service lets you pick and choose. However, using all the fresh vegetables before they turn to composte is still a challenge. Starting with the green tops of the beets. The beets themselves keep for quite a while, but I know from experience that if I don’t use the tops immediately they will spoil. To stop that from happening I trimmed and steamed them right away, before they ever got a chance to see the inside of the refrigerator. This morning, in the spirit of preventing waste, I tossed them with a few other things that may have wound up in the composte bin. The result was this tasty baked egg casserole. The ingredient and amounts of the following recipe are just guidelines since the contents of your refrigerator will not be the same.

“Everything” Sun Baked Egg and Cheese Casserole

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

3 green onions, thinly sliced

About 2 cups cooked mixed green vegetables (I used beet greens and green beans)

About 1/2 cup chopped fresh parsley

About 1 1/2 cups ricotta cheese

6 eggs

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat. Spray a baking pan with cooking oil.

Heat the oil in small skillet over. Add the green onions and cooke, stirring often, until softened, about 5 minutes. In a large bowl, mix together the cooked onions, mixed greens, and chopped parsley. In another large bowl, beat together the cheese and the eggs. Mix the vegetables into the egg mixture. Season with salt and pepper. Pour the mixture into the prepared baking pan. Cover with a second baking pan and transfer to the Sun Oven. Cook until set and starting to brown around the edges. Let rest 1o minutes before serving. Serve warm or at room temperature.

Makes 6 to 8 servings.

 

 

Vegetarian Chickpea Curry Pie

Curry Chickpea Pie

The easiest way to make this savory, vegetarian pie is in a skillet, but make sure yours fits in the Sun Oven. If not, bake it in a pie tin.

Curried Chickpea Pot Pie

Ingredients

2 tablespoons butter

1 onion, finely chopped

8 ounces white mushroom, chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 cups frozen chopped mixed vegetables

1 tablespoon cornstarch

1 cup vegetable broth

1 tablespoon mild curry powder

1 1/2 cups previously cooked chickpeas or 1 (15-ounce) can drained and rinsed

salt to taste

1 refrigerated pie crust

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

 

French Style Stew

 

Beef Stew

There’s nothing like a hearty stew on a cold night. And like most stews, this one is even better the next day.

Provençal Beef Stew

Ingredients

3 tablespoons olive oil

4 ounces salt pork or thick cut bacon, diced

2 pounds beef stew meat, cut into chunks, patted dry with paper towels

1 large onion, chopped

2 carrots, sliced

2 tomatoes, peeled, seeded, and chopped

2 teaspoons tomato paste

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 cup dry red wine

2/3 cup beef broth or stock

1 bouquet garni, (sage, thyme, basil or herbs of choice)

1 small onion, peeled and studded with 2 cloves

grated zest and juice of 1/2 orange

1 tablespoon flat-leaf parsley, chopped

salt and pepper to taste

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Add the salt pork and cook, stirring often, until browned, about 5 minutes. Use a slotted spoon to transfer the pork to a large pot. In the same skillet, working in batches, brown the meat on all sides, transferring it to the pot as it browns. Add oil as needed. Add the chopped onion to the skillet and cook, stirring often, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add the carrot and continue cooking until just softened, about 4 more minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and the garlic. Pour the wine and broth over the meat in the pot. Add the onion studded with the cloves and the bouquet garni. Add the vegetable mixture from the skillet. Cover and transfer the pot to the Sun Oven. Cook until the beef is very tender, 2 1/2 to 3 hours. Remove and discard the bouquet garni and the whole onion. Stir in the orange zest and juice. Season with salt and pepper.

Makes 4 to 6 servings.

Solar Meatball Stew

Meatball Stew

The spices in this stew are reminiscent of  Northern African cuisine and go best with couscous, but it could also be served with a good, crusty bread or pasta.

Solar Moroccan Style Meatballs

Ingredients

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 onion, finely chopped

2 cloves garlic, minced

1 pound ground lean ground beef

2 teaspoons ground cumin, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground pepper, divided

1 cup diced tomatoes

1/2 cup water

3 tablespoons tomato paste

2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

Preparation

Set Sun Oven out to preheat.

In a large pot, combine the oil, onion, and garlic. Cover and cook in the Sun Oven until the onion is soft, 15 to 20 minutes.

Prepare the meatballs while the onion mixture is cooking. In a large bowl, mix together the beef, 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Using damp hands, shape the beef mixture into 24 meatballs; set aside.

Bring the pot with the onions in and leave Sun Oven out. Add the tomatoes, water, and tomato paste. Stir in the remaining 1 teaspoon cumin, 1/4 teaspoon salt, and 1/8 teaspoon pepper. Add the meatballs. Cover and return the pot to the Sun Oven. Cook until the meatballs are cooked through, 45 minutes to 1 hour. Remove the pot from the Sun Oven. Stir in the lemon juice and mint. Serve over couscous.

 

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.

 

Split Pea Soup – Bacon Optional

Dutch Oven

This soup is good with or without the optional bacon. Plus, the bacon isn’t added until the end so everyone can make their own choice.

Have it Your Way Split Pea Soup

Ingredients

2 tablespoons olive oil

1 onion, diced

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 large carrot, diced

2 stalks celery, diced

1 tablespoon dried marjoram

Read more »

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