It's time to start cooking outdoors here in Texas. Turning on the oven heats up the house this time of year and is such a waste of energy--and money! Cooking with the Sun Oven on the other hand costs nothing and helps keep the indoor oven off. That's the part I really love. There are other advantages to cooking with the Sun Oven: you get practice with solar cooking (after all it's a little different than turning on a traditional oven); you don't have to worry about things burning (okay, I really love that part too); and of course it's a conversational piece, so your neighbor is likely to come over to see what you're up to (yeah, that's not my favorite part). I've never been a fan of nosy neighbors, but that's a different post for another time.
I love my Sun Oven. I mean I love, love it. Out of all the products that Bill and I have reviewed on Self Reliant School this has got to be one of my favorites. I love how it costs nothing to cook with and really connects you to our life giving sun. Yeah, it's hokey and I was probably a hippie in another life, but those really are reasons I love the Sun Oven so much. I have 3 very hungry boys who eat a lot and Bill can eat his fair share of a meal too. So really I have 4 hungry boys. I also like to cook and have leftovers for the freezer or later in the week. All the boys are to the point where a sandwich for lunch no longer gets the job done. I really need to break down and buy another Sun Oven. But for now what I'm doing is doubling meals as normal and cooking one in the Sun Oven outside and the other in our toaster oven inside so the big oven never has to be turned on.
When you look up recipes for solar cooking the recipes often call for cooking this or that over the stove then transferring the food to your solar oven. That's nice is you have power or a camp fire, but what if you don't? And there's something that just seems wrong about writing a post on cooking with the Sun Oven but cooking half the meal by other means. It just doesn't seem fair. I'm not saying I'll never do it, but I can say I won't do it unless I'm one hundred percent sure the entire recipe won't work in the Sun Oven, because at some point the Sun Oven might be all you have. After all, if you're already used to making you're entire meal work in the Sun Oven then you're that much more ahead of the game.
Pasta Pizza Casserole In The Sun Oven
- 14 oz Pizza Sauce
- 1 lb Sausage (we used vegan sausage but you can use any kind you like)
- 10 0z Pasta (not cooked--let me show how I cooked pasta in the Sun Oven)
- 1T Onion Powder
- 1T Garlic Powder
- 1/2 Copped Green Bell Pepper
- 8oz pkg Mushrooms
- 1 t Dried Oregano
- 1 c Parmesan
- 3 c Mozzarella
- 1 can Black Olives (optional)
Preheat your Sun Oven for about 30 minutes. Put your mushrooms on a baking dark or glass pan In a 9×9 dark (remember, stainless steel reflects) or glass pan and sprinkle with onion and garlic powder. Place in the Sun Oven.
Here I actually am roasting both "sets" of mushrooms, the mushrooms I'll use for the Sun Oven casserole and the ones I will use for the toaster oven casserole. I placed a pot of water underneath the mushrooms to heat up water for the pasta.
The mushrooms were done in about 20 minutes.
Now, the water is hot enough for the pasta. Since this is a casserole and the pasta will cook in the casserole dish as well, I wanted my pasta al dente. This takes 15 to 20 minutes in the Sun Oven. Note: the water is never at a rolling boil like it is when you cook pasta on the stove. But it's hot enough to get the job done, you just need to keep checking because you don't want mushy overcooked pasta.
Mix pasta, mushrooms, pizza sauce, sausage, copped green pepper, oregano, parmesan and half of the mozzarella in a bowl and stir to mix well. Transfer to a baking dish. Mine is a 2 qt baking dish. Top with the remainder of the mozzarella.
Bake in the Sun Oven for 30 minutes and you've got dinner!
To be fair I have to let you know that the boys ate this entire dish and didn't start on the toaster oven casserole until the following day. So if you're trying to figure out how many people you can feed with a Sun Oven. I would say 6 to 7, or if you have boys maybe a few less. We have 5 in our family with the majority, as I said, boys.
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