Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Solar Cooking Tricks

The Sun Oven's cooking chamber may seem small at first sight, but don't be fooled. If you remove the leveling tray you will be able to use a 6 qt pot like I did today. I've been told that it is possible to cook a turkey as large as 18 lbs in the Sun Oven using a baking bag. I haven't done this yet but if it's sunny on Thanksgiving day I'll give it a shot. The only thing to remember is to never set anything directly on the bottom of the Sun Oven. That would create a hot spot and your food could burn. To avoid any problems simply place a small trivet on the bottom of the chamber and place the pot, or turkey - in it's bag- on top of it.
I used this large pot to make a batch of vegetable soup. This low calorie soup is a staple in our household. I'm a lifetime member of Weight Watchers and Martin recently joined. We often have it as a first course for dinner. The base recipe is as follows:

Pureed Vegetable Soup

1 small potato
1 medium carrot
2 celery stalks
2 cups cubed butternut squash
1 medium zucchini
1 clove garlic
1 can red kidney beans
1/2 lb swiss chard or cabbage
1 tbs tomato paste
2 qt chicken or vegetable broth

Roughly chop all vegetables. Simmer in broth until tender. Puree soup with a handheld blender. Add salt and pepper to taste. Drizzle each serving with 1 tsp olive oil (optional)

I vary the vegetables according to what I have on hand. If I'm in a hurry I buy pre-chopped squash and pre-washed swiss chard from Trader Joe's. You can also add fresh herbs like basil or parsley just before serving.

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