Friday, September 21

Burrito Lasagna - Solar Baked




One of my favorite food bloggers created a burrito lasagna. I'm going to keep looking for her and give you a link; but, as soon as I read her post, I knew I couldn't wait to try my own solar version. This turned out even better than I expected, so I'm going to share what I used in my recipe and then you'll be able to compare them when I find her. Aaarrrgghhhh! This is a wonderful alternative to regular lasagnas and something I'm sure you and your family will love and enjoy over and over, again. Totally unexpected and an instant keeper. NOTE: Tada! I found it. Mexican Lasagna at Sugar & Spice by Celeste! Check it out. She uses tortillas instead of lasagna noodles.

Burrito Lasagna
Lasagna noodles for three layers, precooked to just under al dente.
1 cup kernel corn
10oz pre-cooked pinto beans, or 1- 10oz. can
1 T olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
4 banana peppers, chopped
2 poblano peppers, chopped
1/8 tsp chipotle pepper
1/8 tsp stevia
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
3/4 cup tomato sauce
1 cup cheddar cheese, shredded
1/2 cup mozzarella cheese, shredded
1/4 cup Parmesan cheese

Preheat solar oven to 225°F                        Lasagna pan, lined with tin foil.

Prepare lasagna noodles per instructions on package. Let cool. Beans will have to be ready for a final cooking stage, so either cook the day before or used canned pinto beans. Sauté onions and peppers in olive oil. One layer of noodles on bottom of pan, then, beans, corn, onion-pepper mixture;


 
tomato sauce mixed with chipotle pepper, stevia, salt and pepper; spread with 1/2 of cheddar cheese; repeat layers; top with layer of noodles and mixture of mozzarella and Parmesan cheeses.


Cover with foil and bake in solar oven for approximately 1.5 to 2 hours. Remove cover and continue to bake until cheese has browned slightly and knife inserted in center comes out clean.


 Serve with crusty bread and your favorite wine. Enjoy your Mexican-Italian meal!

I made the beans the day before and had tripled the recipe so that I would have enough to dehydrate for later meals. While you don't have to precook most foods to dehydrate, they will rehydrate faster if you do and it makes them so much more convenient for folks who like to camp and want a quick meal. 


I don't know if this combination has intrigued you. I hope so because this is so close to a burrito and a delicious surprise for those expecting standard lasagna! I suppose you could use corn tortillas between layers but the noodles are a great change and well worth the doing. Let me know if you try it and I'll keep looking for the original poster.

 


Monday, September 17

Spicy Coconut Chicken Casserole - Solar Baked


With just the two of us here, most of my recipes give me the opportunity to enjoy a second meal. Like most everyone else, I don't like eating the SAME meal. That's when you can get creative and make it new, again. We all do it, to save money and discover new recipes for our families.  Enter, the Solar-Poached Chicken Log from a few weeks ago.  Once the leftovers were frozen, that managed to become three separate meals. With about 1/3 pound of protein, the challenge was on! Meal number two was slicing a chicken log and then frying the rounds in a tablespoon of butter, served with Swiss chard and red potatoes. One more meal to go. 
 
The Poached Chicken Log was already full of its own seasonings, so I had to find a way to use it that wouldn't be at odds with the original flavors. Casserole time and an opportunity to kick up the spices.
I had just picked some Poblano peppers from the garden and spied a can of coconut milk in my pantry, and the Spicy Coconut Chicken Casserole was born! There is just enough bite with the cayenne pepper offset by the coconut milk to keep you wanting more. I hope you'll try it. Of course, you'll have to make the Poached Chicken Logs, first – or, simply combine the recipes to get the full flavor.

Spicy Coconut Chicken
1/3 lb ground chicken (log roll #3)
1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
2 poblano chili peppers, finely chopped
1 cup kernel corn
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp ground ginger
1/2 tsp ground coriander
1/2 tsp ground cumin
1/2 tsp gound anise
1 tsp crushed lemongrass
1 tsp crushed fennel seeds
2 tsps dark brown sugar
1/2 tsp salt
1/8 tsp black pepper
1.5 tsps corn starch
1 10-oz can coconut milk
1/3 cup uncooked rice

Preheat solar oven to 225F   8x8x2 baking pan, lined with foil, and cover.
 
Sauté onions and peppers. Cool, then mix with the ground chicken removed from cheesecloth roll. combine all dry ingredients before adding to chicken mixture and blend thoroughly. Add coconut milk, rice, and corn. Pour into casserole pan.  Cover and bake in solar oven for 1.5 to 2 hours or until center is set and/or inserted knife comes out clean. A delicious stretching of food dollars; that's for sure.



Saturday, September 8

Frittata of Swiss Chard Molokhia Onion and Pepper

Let me just say that there is one ingredient in this frittata that I had never heard of until Midtown MarketMolokhia. Have you? I thought it was an herb; but, no! molokhia is a form of spinach.  It looks like water spinach, to me. The leaves are small and numerous on each stalk -- a lot like purslane.  I had to taste a leaf to make sure. How exciting. It was absolutely delicious and definitely made me think of spinach. My Swiss chard was ready for harvesting and I was looking for a nice brunch recipe for a relaxed Sunday morning. This was so easy to prepare and absolutely delicious. 

Swiss Chard Molokhia Onion Pepper Frittata

4 eggs
1/4 cup water
1/2 cup chard, chopped
1/2 cup molokhia/spinach
1 small onion chopped
1/2 sweet red pepper
1/2 tsp salt
1/4 tsp pepper
1/8 tsp anise
1/4 tsp mild curry
1/2 tsp sweet basil
1/8 tsp stevia


Preheat solar oven to 225°F. Use a lightly-greased casserole w/cover.

Mix all ingredients together. Pour into casserole; cover and bake in solar oven for 1.5 to 2 hours. Serve with toast, hot coffee, and the Sunday paper. This delicious brunch recipe will definitely be repeated.

If you ever find yourself facing this fascinating vegetable, I hope you'll give it a try.


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