Archive for the ‘Baking’ Category
All of us want to be happy in one way or another. We like to share a way of happiness that we regularly enjoy. Solar cooking!
There’s just nothing like sun cooking. Many solar cooking enthusiasts have more than one solar oven or cooker. They enjoy every sunny day they can and end up with a delicious meal to boot!
Some solar cookers even work well on cloudy days, and others have electric backup systems so that a few clouds don’t ruin your outdoor cooking fun.
Bake chicken, or any variety of meats in any variety or combination of solar ovens. How about a veggie medley for vegans?
Food makes us happy in so many ways. It gives us the energy we need daily. So, why not use free energy from the sun to make your next meal?
You can purchase or make a solar oven or solar cooker. Just read more of these posts to keep informed about using them.
It may be your new path to a creative form of happiness. Enjoy!
Sure, we all enjoy the warmth and joy that Summer often brings us. But, for many of us here in Pennsylvania, Autumn is the signal for the upcoming hunting season. Not everyone is headed out into the woods for game, so this is dedicated to those who like a short hike, or maybe do some camping on an “Indian Summer” day or weekend. Breaking out the solar oven to make some stew is a fun goal.
In our area, campfires will be aglow many nights in the near future, and even in many residential backyards. Lots of folks will attempt to cook food over these smokey fires without even considering the multitudes across the globe that do that daily to feed their families. “Preppers” usually have a better grasp of that whole concept. That’s why solar cooking can help everyone.
With lots of sunny Fall days ahead, this time of year is wonderful for solar cooking. Today we’re showing you our recipe for solar beef stew. More care is needed to refocus the oven and usually a little more cooking time, since the sun’s rays are longer and the angle lower. But, rest assured, your solar oven will still work very well without using wood or any fossil fuels to cook a great meal.
So, here’s our recipe for a simple and delicious solar beef stew:
Just thoroughly mix this altogether in the 3 quart stoneware pot: 1, 2-2 1/2 lb pkg of stew meat, 1 chopped medium onion, 1-1 celery stalks, 1-2 carrots, 2 cubed small potatoes, 1/4 cup of beef broth,1 tbsp Italian seasoning, 1/2 tsp red pepper (or black), 1 tsp paprika, 2 tbsp olive oil (or cooking oil), 1 tsp worcestershire sauce, 1 small can of cream of mushroom soup. Let stand alone in good sunshine for about 6 hours. Refocus the oven periodically to keep temperature up and cooking time shorter.
And, don’t forget the goodies & go-alongs! Fall is a great time to make various breads, muffins and cakes in your oven.
As an avid solar chef, sometimes it is really difficult to find that time for your solar- powered passion. Then, once you have found a few hours on a sunny day to create your newest delectable solar cuisine, it seems like the day just flew bye. It did! So, the answer is to “milk” out that time, that is; make the most of it. This way, everyone will have a better time.
To better utilize this cooking “event”, try taking only a few minutes during the week to plan your solar meals. It might be a weekday or the weekend when you do this. It will depend on your schedule. We are all busy people these days. Remember to jot down with the planned meal, any essential ingredients that you may need to pick up at the market. If you already like to cook, solar or otherwise, your cabinets and refrigerator are probably stocked with most needed items. Also, as mentioned in our previous posts, consider checking the weather report for the week to better plan your set up time for the solar cooking.
One other way to enhance the solar cooking day is to consider the solar ovens to be used and know how many will be at the table. If you have more than one oven or cooker, you can cook up a storm! Of course, depending on the other factors we have mentioned, which solar cooker you use for what food, can make a difference.
For those survival enthusiasts who cannot get enough “milk”, try out this stuff to get you through it.
Maybe you are not the type to build your solar oven. Want to get one that eats sunshine like a carnivore eats meat, and that is inexpensive, as well as very reliable? If so, take a look at the Solavore Sport. It comes as a kit with about all you need to get started except the food. Thousands of people across the world are enjoying the benefits of using it as an outdoor solar oven. It is a very portable solar oven, so survivalists and campers/backpackers love it. It has helped countless third world inhabitants remain safe from the hazards of smoke inhalation while cooking meals over an open fire.
This large solar oven is really a wonderful solar oven design. It has a large cooking chamber and allows for much food to be prepared on the given sunny day. Temperature in the chamber can easily reach 300 degrees F, without the use of reflector! It is a very well insulated double box solar oven. The Solavore can be your solar oven AND grill. So much food can be made in it!
Meat dishes, desserts, breads, soups and loads of other great meals can come out of the Solavore.
With a Solavore Sport Solar Oven, it’s an easy way to enter and win in the Green Lifestyle.
For some, cheese is the world. Others can take it or leave it. Others want to move others cheese around…so they say. We find using cheese in solar cooking to be very useful. The dish you may be preparing in your solar cooker, has some cheese in it. And, just as in a conventional oven, allows it to melt its wonderful flavor into the other ingredients.
Whatever the main dish is, so many do better by adding cheese. You know, it’s as simple as cheese dogs vs. hotdogs. If it is quesadilla, chili con carne, baked lasagna or tuna casserole, the cheese sometimes just makes the dish. All these cheese masterpieces can be as easily prepared in a solar oven, as in a conventional oven. Cheese is really great for the vegetarian meals as well; think broccoli and cheese soup. This time of year, the real benefit of using your outdoor solar oven is just that. It’s outside cooking the meal and there’s no need to fire up the conventional oven and turn your kitchen and maybe house up several more uncomfortable degrees! And, need we mention it, you are doing your part of living a greener lifestyle, since the solar oven is a solar powered oven; no fossil fuels are being consumed.
What egg dish isn’t improved with a little cheddar or your favorite cheese?
What about you survivalists? Add some cheese to the dehydrated food mix and make the meal a bit more palatable. The solar cooker won’t mind at all.
Here’s a few other great cheesy dishes you can prepare in your solar oven: Chili Mac & Cheese, Layered Enchiladas, Hot Bean Dip, Bean Nachos, Baked Florentine, Mexican Rice, Cheesy Rice & Veggies….and the list goes on. For more specific information and recipes look these books up. For you survivalists that might think this is tough, please find this cheese as satisfactory.
What a great old song! It makes you feel like dancing! Oops, (another great oldie) another unintended pun. But, these feelings arise when you are in your element and busy solar cooking. What is better than having all your ingredients together and setting up the solar cooker(s) on a beautiful sunny day? Sure, it can be Winter and cold outside, a bit breezy or maybe even a little cloudy, but the serious solar chef is dauntless under these conditions. The solar meal must be made! The Solar Flare parabolic style solar cooker is a great little solar cooker design. Very light and extremely simple to set up, the Solar Flares (recommend you use 2) can make a decent amount of food for a few people. You can use it camping or hiking, and be able to enjoy warm food, maybe some soup and veggies, when you stop to eat. The Solar Flare heats up very quickly in good sunshine.
Yes, no matter the season, as long as it is a sunny day, it is the right season for solar cooking. Just Fall into the fun!
These commercial solar cookers make the solar chef happier, since they are often easy to set up and transport by backpack, RV, camper or donkey! The Solavore only weighs about 10 pounds and can easily be strapped on a backpack. It makes a lot of food and, like the other solar cookers, can be used year round.
So, get out there and start solar cooking to do your part to save our earth! Anytime there’s sunshine will do!
And, by the way, in case you are somewhere and you really do feel the Earth Moving Under Your Feet, you may want to check this out: Surviving an Earthquake
Oh the variety and solar oven designs out there these days! You can get a parabolic that will have your ham & cheese sandwich done in seconds, or burnt to ashes if you don’t watch it. The wonderful evacuated tube models can sometimes cause food to suffer similarly, if you don’t mind them. For some panel cookers, especially depending on your latitude, you may be waiting awhile for thorough cooking. Don’t get me wrong, all these models serve their purpose very well!
With a double box solar oven, it is very difficult, to impossible, to burn any food. The other advantage of a big solar oven, like a box style cooker, is the generally large cooking chamber. If properly focused, and with plentiful sunshine, the box cooker usually only requires a few hours to prepare a typical meal. Depending upon the model, you can usually get a couple pots of food cooking simultaneously. This allows for bigger portions and servings for family and guests. This is an advantage not always used, especially if you may be hiking on a trail alone, on the beach with friends, or simply your back patio.
The other great advantage of a solar box oven, is that often the pots or baking pans can be stacked in the cooking chamber. For example, you may have a 3 quart pot of stew in there, but can also set a 9 inch baking pan, or cookie sheet into the chamber. It’s great! You can have your main course as well as dessert!
With some big solar ovens, like the Solavore Sport, three items, sometimes four, can be cooking: two, 3-quart pots plus the aforementioned cookie tray, baking pan, bread pan, etc. It’s easier than you may think to accomplish this.
Here’s how it can look in the Solavore Sport Oven:
In this oven, it’s easy to stack up the trays, plates, pots and pans. While remaining a light-weight and very portable solar oven, this model has a large chamber to cook loads of food simultaneously. Here’s how it all turned out:
So, if you have a large, double box solar oven, give stacking a fair try. Sometimes it takes more than one chance to be successful. But the rewards of cooking several meals at the same time are really enjoyable.
It is a great sunny day, so let’s cook up a batch of food to last a few days. In the All American Solar Oven, we’ve prepared another South of the Border favorite, Mexican Rice. Since the Sun Oven’s chamber is large enough, and it reaches 300 degree temperatures in a short time, rice of any kind is always a good option.
Mexican Rice recipe: Adapted from “Adventures in Solar Cooking”, by Jackass Jill (Spanish Rice)
Mix all in a bowl: 1/2 cup water, 1 Tbsp chili flakes, 1 bell pepper diced, 1/2 onion diced, 1 cup of long grain white rice, 2 small celery stalks diced, 1 tsp paprika, 1 tsp cumin, 1 tsp salt (optional), 1 large Tbsp chili powder, 1 small can of diced tomatoes with green chiles , 1 can tomato sauce (16 oz) 1 tsp oregano, 1 Tbsp minced garlic, 1 lb of extra lean ground beef. Once thoroughly mixed, put into the 3-quart dutch oven and place into solar oven.
In good sunshine, this will be ready in 4 hours. The day we prepared it, we had some passing clouds and it took about 5 1/2 hours. To make this really tasty, we sprinkled some “fiesta cheese” on top of the rice about 1/2 hour before removing it from the oven. However, you can use the cheese of your choice, or just eliminate it altogether. We do recommend getting the best extra lean ground beef for the dish to make it less greasy.
This meal came out great for us. We were able to share some with friends and family and are already being asked to make another batch. If you are skeptical of solar cooking, or don’t want to spend money for a commercially available solar cooker, without more information, try picking up a book about it. There are several inexpensive and good ones available here.
Using your Solavore Sport on a bright sunny day, can yield some festive results. Today’s menu included Mexican Stuffed Peppers and Brownies Plus. In the nice Summer sunshine, the Solavore easily attained a 275 F temperature and was able to bake our two selections in just under 4 hours.
The Brownies Plus, were compliments of a Betty Crocker mix, with the addition of just 2 tablespoons of raisins, a dash of crushed red pepper and a handful of chopped walnuts. They baked in 1.5 hours. Our guests loved them!
The stuffed pepper recipe is adapted from a wonderful solar cookbook,Solar Cooking for Home & Camp, by Linda Yaffe (“Tex-Mex Stuffed Peppers”), and is simple to create. Here it is:
Recipe for Mexican Stuffed Peppers: Mix: 1 clove garlic chopped, or 1 tbsp minced garlic, 1 small onion coarsely or finely chopped (your preference), 2 cans (14oz) refried beans (about 30oz), 1 teaspoon paprika, 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper, 1/2 tsp salt (recipe, but we don’t normally cook with salt), 1 tbsp Italian seasoning, 4 ounces of Monterrey Jack cheese, finely diced.(mix altogether in bowl), core 4 large bell peppers sliced in half lengthwise. Stuff peppers with the mixture, place into oiled 3 qt pot and then pour a can (12 oz) of enchilada sauce over it all and cover with lid (Old El Paso does a good job). In decent sunshine, your peppers will be ready in about 4 hours. This is a filling meal and should satisfy your vegetarian friends.
Hope you enjoy these solar-made dishes as much as we did with our guests.