Wednesday, August 6, 2008

bob's mill GF raisin bread

okay, so this was almost TOO easy. open a bag of bob's mill gluten-free raisin bread mix, follow the directions, and cook it in the sun oven. have the earth balance and a knife handy when it's done. irresistible!

Sunday, August 3, 2008

gluten-free, dairy free brown rice pudding

we've had lots of cloudy days here lately, so my posts have slowed down a bit...


this pudding is great warm or chilled, and makes a great quick breakfast with the addition of sliced banana or berries. i made this batch with homemade soymilk…i use a soyabella maker…i added a few almonds to the soybeans before the maker grinds them into mush. this adds a slightly almond flavor to the soymilk, and therefore the pudding.

cook the following in a 300-350 degree sun oven for approximately 50 minutes, until rice is cooked soft:

3 cups fresh soymilk/“okara”mixture (okara is the soybean mush left after making homemade soymilk). If you are not using fresh soymilk, 3 cups plain, unsweetened soymilk will do just fine.
1 cup coconut milk
1/2 cup brown rice
several tablespoons agave nectar, to taste

while this is cooking, mix together in a small bowl:

1 teaspoon lemon rind
2 tablespoons fresh orange juice
1 teaspoon vanilla
2 large eggs
dash of salt

when the rice mixture is done, add a dollop at a time to the egg mixture, stirring after each addition. keep adding until most of the rice mixture is added, then pour back into sunoven pot.

put back in hot oven for 10-15 minutes.

remove from heat and let set for 30 minutes before serving.

Sunday, July 20, 2008

sun oven granola

For us, making homemade granola is usually a winter activity. In fact, we often try to come up with things to bake (bread, cookies, muffins, etc), since we count on the heat from our oven to warm up our tiny home on chilly days.

The sun oven gives us an excuse to make granola even in summer!


Preheat the sunoven to approximately 350 degrees.

1/4 cup canola oil
1/4 cup brown rice syrup (or agave nectar, honey, or maple syrup)
any combination of the following: chopped walnuts, pecans, pumpkin seeds, sunflower seeds, sesame seeds, shredded coconut, and/or any combination of these or other things you like in your granola (if you are going to add dried fruit, I usually wait until after it’s cooked and cooled…it stays fresher that way).
Dash salt (I think the dash of salt adds a lot. But if you don’t want the extra sodium, feel free to omit).

Mix all this together thoroughly so it’s all coated with the oil/sweetener mixture. Place in the pre-heated oven. At 350, give it 45 minutes and then check up on it. If it’s starting to look a little golden, it’s done! The key to nice lumpy granola is to let it cool completely into one big lump and then break it up when it’s completely cool.

Try not to eat it all in one sitting.

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

baba ganoush

roasting vegetables in the sun oven could not be simpler.

yesterday morning i harvested two fat eggplants from the garden. we decided a batch of baba ganoush was in order. i set out the sun oven, and it heated up to 350 in about 15 minutes.

i washed and dried the eggplants, and put them in the sun oven pot whole. i didn't even cut off the ends. i also put about 10 whole unpeeled cloves of garlic in the pot along with the eggplants. then i put the pot, without the lid, in the oven and clamped down the glass.

after about 20 minutes, i noticed that the eggplants were beginning to brown. i opened the lid and turned them. after about 45 minutes, i opened the lid again and gave them a poke...they felt very soft.

i removed the pot from the oven and let them cool down for awhile.

when they were cool enough to handle, i pulled off the skin, removed as many of the seeds as possible, and put them in the food processor. the two eggplants probably yielded about 3 cups of mushy roasted flesh.

(all measurements approximate and adjustable according to taste):

3 cups roasted eggplant flesh, seeds removed
1/2 cup tahini
1 teaspoon salt
5-10 cloves roasted garlic, squeezed out of peels
(this may sound like a lot, but roasted garlic does not have the same potency as fresh)
juice of 2 limes
handful fresh parsley

whirl all that around in the food processor until creamy.
serve in a bowl and make a little pool of olive oil on top.
chips, pita triangles, crackers, crudites, olives all make nice accompaniments.

Monday, July 14, 2008

gluten free jalepeno onion cornbread

this saturday i went over to farmstand marfa to pedal my wares. in addition, i brought along the sun oven and baked a loaf of cornbread while the market was going on. it was lots of fun! folks were very intrigued, and had lots of questions. and the smell of fresh-baking cornbread sure attracted people over to my table.

here's the recipe i use. it's adapted from the back of the arrowhead mills cornmeal bag:


set out your sun oven to pre-heat. around here it takes about 20 minutes for it to get up to 350 on a cloudless day. during farmstand, there were a few clouds in the sky and it only got up to around 300. not to worry...just add a few minutes to the cooking time!

cut a circle of unbleached parchment to fit in the bottom of your black enamel sun oven pot. place in the bottom, and spray or brush with canola oil.


1 cup fine or medium grind cormeal (i often use blue cornmeal)
1 tablespoon baking powder
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 eggs beaten
1 cup soymilk or water
3 tablespoons canola oil
3 tablespoons honey (use the same measuring spoon you used for the oil and the honey will slide right off!)
1 cup onion, finely chopped
2-4 chopped jalepeno peppers

the arrowhead recipe also calls for 1 1/4 cups grated sharp cheddar cheese, which i'm sure is delicious, but i omit!

pour the batter into your prepared pot, put the lid on, and place in preheated oven.
if it's at 350, check it in 25 minutes. on saturday the oven temp only got up to 300, so it took closer to 35 or 40 minutes.

i have yet to OVER cook something, as the moisture is pretty much sealed into the pot. the temp is completely even inside the black box, so it's very difficult to actually burn something.


Tuesday, July 8, 2008

baked stuffed squash blossoms

we have more male squash blossoms in our garden than we need right now (there only needs to be ONE male flower available for any female flower currently in bloom). a good thing to do with the extras is to pick 'em in the morning before they wilt and put them in a bowl of cool water until you're ready to deal with them. let's say you've got 4 or 5 good-sized squash blossoms...

get out your sun oven, and let it heat up to around 350.

meanwhile, compile your ingredients.

here's what i used, but you may not have exactly the same things on hand and will need to improvise. i'm big on improvisation (not only in cooking, but in other things too...). for example, you may not have silken tofu on hand, but maybe you eat dairy and have some grated cheese. you could add that instead. you may not have bob's mill gluten free cornbread mix. but you could use some plain cornmeal and add a little bit of baking powder.


1 egg
a few tablespoons of finely-chopped red onion
1/4 cup silken tofu
3/4 cup bob's mill gluten free cornbread mix
a splash of unsweetened soy milk
4 tablespoons olive oil
chopped fresh herbs, such as oregano & thyme
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
fresh ground black pepper

mix this all together thoroughly with a fork, being sure to mash the tofu into the batter.

oil the bottom of your black enamel sun oven pot, or cut a piece of baking parchment to fit.

remove the male flower parts from the inside of your flowers.

spoon the filling into each flower as far as you can without it spilling out between the petals. fold the tops of the petals over, overlapping them to enclose the filling.

place the stuffed blossom, top down, in your oiled pot.

repeat with remaining flowers.

put the lid on, and place the pot in your sun oven.

check back in about 35 minutes if your oven is at a pretty constant 350.
adjust accordingly if it's lower or higher.

when your blossoms are fully cooked, they should look something like this picture. ours have been tasting out of this world. i hope yours do too!!

the joy of sun oven cookery

cooking in a sun oven is an extremely simple and profoundly rewarding experience. solar ovens work with absolutely no fuel of any wood, charcoal, gas, electric...nothing. nothing but concentrated heat from the sun. it doesn't even have to be a hot day to use can be the middle of winter, as long as there's a fairly cloudless sky.

a sun oven consists of an insulated black box with a glass cover and some reflective panels. you can purchase a sun oven already assembled, or you can build one yourself. there are many plans available on line if you google "solar oven". perhaps some of the best ideas can be found at path to freedom website.

we have the sun oven brand sun oven. we never would have thought to spend the money on buying one of these new, but some extremely thoughtful friends insisted we take it in exchange for some work we'd done. turns out, we completely love it. we use our sun oven at every possible opportunity. here in west texas, the sun shines almost every day. on a good cookin' day, we might start baking a loaf of sourdough bread in the morning and have it with lunch, then cook up a big sweet potato pancake to have with the next day's breakfast, then throw together a bean and veggie stew, forget about it for a few hours and have it for dinner.

on a good day, i can't stop cooking.