Environmental Change-Makers www.EnviroChangeMakers.org
Vegetable, egg and cheese dishes such as the
in Ina Garten’s
Barefoot Contessa Cookbook
or the Atkins
cook in about 2-3 hours at “prime time.”
is aone-pot dinner that can be cooked entirely in the solar cooker.
Cooking with Sunshine
(available at LAPL) Good tips on cooking techniques, including baking. Andersondoes use conventional cooking as a supplement to solar, so she’s not purist. She recommends nonstick cookware, which I avoid.And the recipes do call for some prepared foods (canned soups, mayonnaise, etc). The back of the book includes lists of recipesfor cloudy days, quick preparation, and other less-than-optimal situations.
Eleanor’s Solar Cookbook
(available through Solar Cookers International and through Bountiful Gardenscatalog). Many recipes are garden-to-kitchen, thus take your preparation in a more sustainable direction. Cooking instructionsare quite casual, sometimes scant. But this book includes instructions on solar canning of acidic fruits and tomatoes.
Crock pot cookbooks, like Rick Rodgers,
Slow Cooker Ready & Waiting
Garden cookbooks, like the Moosewood series
Ethnic cookbooks (Indian, Middle Eastern, Mediterranean), with long-cook dishes
Unhurried traditional recipes, like Sally Fallon,
Most solar cookers cook slow, long, and moist (like a crock pot). Only the “solar sizzler” parabolic type of solar cooker will brownfood, and even then, it does it rather slowly like a hotplate might. Knowing how solar devices cook, you can convert many of yourfavorite recipes to solar techniques.Eleanor Shimeall writes that solar cookers cook faster than CrockPots, and recommends “using about 2/3 the liquid and about 2/3the cooking time called for.”
You can use your PANEL SOLAR COOKER as an energy-free, emissions-free dehydrator, too. You will need:
Baking racks, the kind that are used for cooling cookies. We use ones with a dark colored coating, that happen to stack(which is convenient).
a “heat sink”-- a dark heat-retaining object which is used at the bottom of the oven. Sometimes we use an old cast-ironpotlid. Other times we use a “paella pan” we found which is made of the same black speckled enamel as our solar pots. Ablack cast-iron trivet would also work.
A large piece of netting (optional). The kind used for little girls’ ballet skirts works fine. It is used to keep insects from flyingonto the fresh-cut food before the food begins to heat up. (They don’t tend to fly into the cooker once it is warmed up.)“Preheat” your PANEL SOLAR COOKER by setting up the reflectors and heat sink in the sun, and focusing the cooker. Meanwhile,slice your fruits or vegetables thinly and evenly, then set them out in a single layer on the racks. Allow a bit of space between thepieces of food because it all works better with a bit of air flow.If your racks will stack, set them into your PANEL SOLAR COOKER one atop the other. We have achieved stacking by using small jarsas spacers between the racks. Drape everything with the netting, if you are using it.As the food dries, rotate it on the racks. Move the driest food to the top layer. Food is ready when it is like dry food from themarket.When you pack your food for storage, inspect each piece for adequate dryness. We recommend using many small jars rather thanone big one, because if a jar goes bad (mold or bugs) then you haven’t lost more than a portion of your larder. For more detailedinstructions, refer to dehydrator cookbooks like
Dry It, You’ll Like It
by Gen MacManiman.