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It’s no secret that in our house BBQ lentils are the dish of choice. We eat them as tacos with pineapple, we take them to parties, and we serve them to guests when they come over. We have yet to have a meat eater who doesn’t enjoy some of their vegan yumminess.

Tonight we tried a twist on our regular BBQ lentils. We still solar cooked the lentils and then heated them with BBQ sauce, but we served them over spinach and topped them with pineapple! It made for a nice summer salad and was very filling!


Rating: good! We may try this again for a quick meal!

Lentil Salad

At the risk of being untruthful, I must immediately confess that I did not cook this in the solar oven. I should have though, and it’s super yummy, so I think it belongs here anyway.

Yesterday I made chili, which I already posted here awhile ago. My husband used the crock pot (for the last time, as it died immediately) to make an amazing lentil salad. The recipe is from the Esselstyn’s book How to Prevent Heart Disease. It could and should have been done in the solar oven, so here is the recipe:

Lentil Salad

2 cups green lentils

4 cups water

1 chopped onion

1 chopped red pepper

Combine the above ingredients and solar cook till the lentils are soft.

Then add in:

2 Tbsp apple cider vinegar

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 cup cilantro

2 Tbsp mustard

3 Tbsp lime juice

2 Tbsp dill

Stir and enjoy. It’s good hot or cold!


Rating: definitely one of the better recipes here. The kids devoured it, and it’s both vegan and GAPS friendly, not to mention gluten-free!


Cloudy with no chance of lentils

My plan yesterday was to try a lentil casserole in the solar oven. I stole a simple recipe from The Tightwad Gazette and figured that if I put the dish in at breakfast then I would have food by lunchtime.

No such luck. I went out in the morning and looked up at a completely gray sky. It wasn’t rainy looking, just cloudy. I figured I should try anyway, so I angled the cooker as best I could toward where the sun should be and left. 3 hours later I had the same raw food, only slightly warmer.

I ended up coming inside and trying the recipe again in the crock pot. It was bland mush and I wouldn’t recommend it. The recipe was 3 cups water, 1 cup rice, 1/2 cup lentils, half an onion, and some spices.


Rating: yuck.

In other crazy and ironic news, my conventional oven broke yesterday. It was old and had a good life, so we were not surprised, but it does force us to consider how big a role solar cooking will play for us in the future as we appliance shop. In the meantime, I’m suddenly very glad to have a solar cooker!

BBQ Lentils

It was my nephew’s birthday party yesterday, so I needed to find a dish to share. It’s not always easy to find vegan and gluten-free food choices that normal folks enjoy. Plus, I needed to be able to cook it in the solar oven, and I haven’t figured out if gluten-free pasta will cook in it correctly. So, I stole my favorite recipe from Rip Esselstyn’s book: BBQ Lentils. They make good tacos if you put them on corn tortilla shells, or you can eat them alone. I’ve taken them to several parties now and most meat eaters will scarf them down as fast as the kids.

BBQ Lentils

1.5 cups brown lentils

3 cups water

2 Tbsp liquid Amino’s

16 oz BBQ sauce of choice

I cooked the lentils with the water in the solar cooker with the lid on top. Then I brought them in and stirred in the liquid Amino’s and BBQ sauce. They serve best topped with cilantro and fresh cut pineapple!


Rating: mixed. I got complements on my dish, but the solar oven didn’t cook the lentils as soft as I like them, even with direct sun for 2 hours. I wonder if a parabolic cooker, which is supposed to function more like a stove top would have done a better job.

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Lentil joes are a staple in our house. They are easy, nutritious, gluten-free, and my kids love them. They usually take about an hour to simmer to gooey perfection on the stove top though, so I thought i’d try these in the solar oven. The original recipe is from The China Study Cookbook (I think…). Below is my version:

Lentil Sloppy Joes

Serves 4-6

3.5 cups water

1 chopped onion

1 bell pepper, chopped

2 Tbsp chili powder

1.5 cups lentils

1 28 oz can diced or crushed tomatoes

2 Tbsp liqiod Amino’s

3 Tbsp mustard

2 Tbsp vinegar

Stir together all ingredients and cook covered in your solar oven for about 3 hours. Ours cooked for 4 hour and was yummy. Serve over rice.


Rating: Success! Now we even have leftovers for lunch tomorrow!