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Sun Oven Sunday – Vegetarian Chili

This week’s Sun Oven meal went off without a hitch, I’m happy to report. I tried vegetarian chili which, of course, I assumed I couldn’t get wrong but you never know when I’m cooking. I even tried to be a little daring this time and, instead of constant checking the oven’s alignment with the sun ever 30 minutes or so, I choose to set it up how I expected the sun to traverse the sky throughout the day so that the meal would slow cook over the course of several hours.

As such, when I set it up in the morning (about 8:30) the shadow cast was pointing directly to the left of the sun oven rather than behind it as it’s supposed to be. Then, as the sun moves through the sky the sun oven should pick up more and more rays, get hotter, and eventually lose heat as the sun drifts off target again. And, that’s exactly what happened! Very cool. When I finally removed the pot at about 4:00 pm the chili was still very warm. Since I couldn’t wait until dinner time I had a bowl and it tasted good and cooked.

Ingredients include:

  • 1 can black beans (15 oz, drained)
  • 1 can great northern beans (16 oz, drained)
  • 1 can kidney beans (15 oz, drained)
  • 1 can diced tomatoes (14 oz)
  • 1 can tomato sauce (8 oz)
  • 1 brick vegetable broth (14.5 oz)
  • 1 packet chili seasoning (3/4 oz)
  • 1 tbsp vegetable (or olive) oil
  • 1 medium onion, chopped

Normally, you’re supposed to cook the onion over medium heat and then add it to the other ingredients in a slow cooker. This time we didn’t bother to cook or add an onion and I really couldn’t tell a difference. In fact, in the past I have failed to cook the onion before placing in the slow cooker and the meal turned out fine too, so you could probably just toss it all together and forget about it. Anyway, combine everything and slow cook (or sun oven cook!) on low heat for several hours or high heat for 3-4 hours.

Maybe soon my wife will let me cook a full meal in my sun oven. :)

8 comments to Sun Oven Sunday – Vegetarian Chili

  • T.R.

    Found an alternative to Tuna for high calories and protein .
    Sprats in oil .
    1 – 240g ( 8.4 oz ) can = 855 calories , 36 g protein . tasty too ;)

    • Considering that tuna fish is getting way too expensive, this may be a good alternative.

      • T.R.

        The only bad part of that depending on where you live ….is that I have only found Sprats at Russian and Middle Eastern markets . On line of course , but check shipping and price . For those that dont know what Sprats are , they are basically sardines , herring , or other small fish . Good thing is that by law they have to have the nutrition stickers in english , I dont read cyrillic either .

  • T.R.

    That looks good !!!!

  • Bellen

    My husband’s hint (which you alluded to) is to treat the sun oven like a slow cooker. My hint – only check the sun’s orientation about midway thru the cooking. If you want to use the oven and go someplace you won’t have to worry about it. Just make sure it will not be in the shade.
    At one house we had to put the sun oven in the driveway in the winter months so it wouldn’t get in the shade. Thank goodness we had nice neighbors and nobody bothered it.
    Your recipe sounds great – at the table I’d sprinkle with any grated cheese because cheese always makes everything taste better:)

    • Not checking my sun oven will be hard to do… I like to micro-manage it. :) I certainly wouldn’t put my oven in the driveway, who knows what would happen to it.

  • Bridget

    Your chili sounds good but we keep the juice from the beans and add that too.
    It is edible and can thicken the chili for free! If it gets too thick you can add water but rarely needed.