side dish

Spanish Rice

Once in awhile you find a recipe that works so much better in a solar oven than it ever could on a stovetop. This is one of those recipes, the slow cooked flavor is truly delicious. If you can find canned roasted tomatoes, it adds even deeper flavor. We made this as accompaniment for tamales on New Years Eve; just be sure to get it started early if you're making it in the winter. This side dish needs about four hours to cook. 

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Solar Cooker Applesauce

This is a kid friendly set-it-and-forget-it recipe. Let your apples cook all day and you'll have a fantastic fresh tasting snack or a side dish to serve with pork chops.

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Scalloped Potatoes

solar oven scalloped potatoes from the Solavore blog

This one took several tries before it was just right for solar cooking. Most scalloped potato recipes contain too much liquid, and simply cutting back on the liquid doesn't really do the trick. We found that creating a roux on the stove before solar cooking was the answer to great solar oven scalloped potatoes.

Ingredients

1 T butter
1/2 onion, thinly sliced
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 T flour
1 c broth
1/2 cup cream or milk
1 t salt
1/2 t pepper
4 large red or yukon gold potatoes
1 cup cheese (cheddar, gruyere, etc.)
fresh thyme

Directions

Place your Solavore Sport in the sun to preheat.

Peel and slice potatoes 1/8 inch thick. A mandoline slicer is very helpful for creating slices with even thickness.

Melt butter in a large saute pan over medium-high heat. Add onion, and saute for 4-5 minutes until soft and translucent.  Add garlic and saute for an additional 1-2 minutes. Stir in the flour until it is evenly combined and saute for an additional 1-minute.  Pour in the stock, and whisk until combined. Add in the milk, salt, pepper, and 1 teaspoon thyme, and whisk until combined. Continue cooking for an additional 1-2 minutes until the sauce comes to a simmer (not a boil) and thickens. Remove from heat and set aside.

In your graniteware pot, spread half of the sliced potatoes in an even layer on the bottom of the pan. Top evenly with half of the cream sauce, the sprinkle evenly with half of the cheese Top evenly with the remaining sliced potatoes, the remaining half of the cream sauce, and the remaining cheese.

Cover the pot and place in the Solavore Sport. Bake for 3-4 hours,or until the potatoes are tender.

Remove and sprinkle with the remaining 1 teaspoon thyme.  Serve warm.

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Sriracha and Honey Glazed Brussels Sprouts

solar oven sriracha and honey glazed brussels sprouts from the Solavore blog

This sweet, sour, spicy mix adds a unique and flavorful punch to brussels sprouts. Serve them as a side, add to a salad or use them as a pizza topping. Delicious!

Ingredients

2T honey
1T sriracha
2T lemon juice
1/2 t kosher salt
1 lb brussels sprouts

Directions

Place your Solavore Sport in the sun to preheat.

Trim your Brussels sprouts and cut them in halves or quarters depending on the size.

In a small bowl, whisk together honey, sriracha, lemon juice and salt. Place Brussels sprouts in the pot and pour the glaze over the sprouts. Lightly toss to coat. 

Cover the pot and place in the Solavore Sport. Let cook for approximately 3 hours, depending on how well you like them cooked.

 

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Baked Potatoes

Perfect for those days when the sun is out, but you don't have any elaborate cooking plans. You can still put the sun to work for you; simply place potatoes in the oven and go on with your day.

This recipe is based on potatoes weighing 1 lb. each—the really choice bakers. For smaller potatoes, the cooking will be faster.

1. Wash and dry the potatoes. Prick each potato a few times.

2. Place 2 large baking potatoes per Sport cooking pot. Do not add liquid.

3. Put lid on the black cooking pot and place in the Sport solar oven. Clip the clear lid to the oven. Face the oven into the sun and then rotate it clockwise 30 degrees. Relax and do other things. The potatoes can be left unopened the entire cooking time. Check in 3-4 hours. If the potatoes are not done, face the oven toward the sun plus 30 degrees clockwise and continue cooking.

4. To serve, open the potatoes and top however you choose.  

In the picture above, we used black beans, salsa, cheddar cheese and guacamole to turn a baked potato in to a hearty meal.

Cooking time - up to 6 hours.

 

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Caribbean Pumpkin Soup (Sopa de Calabasa)

solar oven pumpkin soup

This soup is evocative of the Caribbean – colorful pumpkin, spicy ginger, and an unexpected twist: coconut milk.

 [Note:  Calabasa is known as pumpkin in the Caribbean but is really more of a squash. Deep yellow-orange flesh with a speckled dark green skin.   Any pumpkin or squash can be used.  May be prepared a day ahead and refrigerated – even better!]  

Directions: Peel 2 ½  lb. pumpkin.  Scrape out the seeds, cut in chunks.  Place in Sport roasting pot.  Do not add water.

In the second roasting pot, place 2 chopped carrots, 1 stalk celery chopped, 1 lg. chopped onion, 1 chopped green pepper, 1-2 T. grated fresh ginger, and a good pinch of crushed red pepper.  (For the green pepper use the mild “Pimiento de Cocina”, long slender light green, if available).

Place both pots in the solar oven and cook for 1 ½ to 3 hours or until tender.

Remove from oven and allow to cool enough to blend.

In small batches, blend pumpkin along with liquid generated in the cooking, carrot/onion mixture, and 1 c. chopped tomatoes, canned or fresh.  Blend until smooth.  

Combine all in a large pot.  If you prefer your soup thinner you can add vegetable broth at this point, up to 1 c. (but keep in mind you will be adding coconut milk before serving, and the soup should be relatively thick and hearty.) 

Add ½ t. thyme (more if fresh), salt and pepper to taste.  

Before serving, stir in 1 can (13.5 oz) coconut milk.  Heat to serve.

Garnish with fresh parsley or fresh thyme.  Great served with cheese sticks, bread sticks or seasoned toast.

This recipe is vegan/vegetarian – if made according to the above instructions. Carnivores may wish to stir in crumbled bacon after the blending stage.

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Corn Bread

solar oven corn bread

1 cup flour
1 tsp baking powder
1 tsp baking soda
1 tsp sugar
1 cup yellow cornmeal
1 1/4 cup buttermilk
1/4 oil
2 eggs beaten

While the Solavore Sport is preheating, sift the first five dry ingredients. Stir cornmeal in to the other dry ingredients. In a separate bowl, beat the eggs.  Add buttermilk and oil to the eggs. Combine dry and wet ingredients and blend well. Grease and flour two black solar ovens pots. Pour batter into the two pots. Place lids on the pots and place in the Sport.

Bake for 1 to 1/2 hours 

Makes two 8-inch rounds of cornbread.

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Solar Oven Brown Rice

solavore brown rice

Straight from the kitchen of our CEO, this is the recipe for "foolproof" rice in the Solavore Sport.

  • Use organic long grain brown rice
  • Using a heavy non-stick pan, sauté rice in 1-2 T olive oil for 1-2 minutes on med-hi stove-top.  Transfer to Sport pot.
  • For liquid, I use vegetable broth instead of water.  (Using instant broth means you have to start with boiling water which gives a nice boost to solar cooking rice.)
  • Use 25% less liquid than the directions call for (if the package says 2 cups, use 1 1/2).
  • Add salt.
  • Place in solar oven for 4 hours - or all day if you're away.  Try to resist the temptation to open; no stirring required.
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