46. Summer Squash with onions and tomatoes

(a repost from the delightful days of summer. sigh.)

 

So, the GoSun, that magical looking tube with the shiny sides, makes food. I have proof now.

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To ease into all the hubbub, I cut up a yellow squash, green onions, and cherry tomatoes, enough to fill the long tube but not over fill it. I spritzed it with veggie oil spray and put a generous shaking of italian seasoning on it, and in the tube it went!

I’m quite pleased with the result, which was more like steamed than roasted after a little over an hour in medium sunshine. Next time, I will angle the dish toward the sun better, as well as add a bit more on the salt-and-pepper side of spices, but overall, a rousing success.

In other news, my friend N is thinking of holding a meatball competition, to have us all make and try different kinds of meatballs (meatless and meat-ful)… any favorite meatball recipes? I have one from a previous commenter but more are always welcome, the weirder the better!

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The Unexpected Pleasure of Veggie Side Dishes, brought to you by GoSun

The GoSun oven provides for my cooking of veggies what Pokemon Go provides players for walking: an extra pleasure, a delight above the regular benefit of the action. Walking and eating veggies are their own reward, but that’s sometimes not enough to make us do those things. The GoSun makes me cook more veggies than I ever thought I would this summer, and I thought I’d share my four favorite combinations:

  1. bell peppers and onions: This mix is especially great for breakfast, right alongside scrambled eggs and biscuits. You barely need to season a good onion recipe, and as long as you cut the bell peppers ahead of time and let them air-dry for an hour or two. Also nice on top of burgers!
  2. yellow squash and zucchini – It only takes a little longer to put these in the GoSun than in a roasting pan, so if you spice them up with red pepper flakes and some garlic, this can make for the best possible side-dish and also use up some of that squash piling up during this part of the summer.
  3. cut cherry tomato halves – to roast up cherry tomatoes before putting them in pasta or a casserole, throw them in the GoSun with a little olive oil! I have been doing this in order to make it not feel like we have too many tomatoes coming out of the garden – sure, they’re good on salads, but this packs so much flavor into other dishes.
  4. Green beans with a little bacon grease – I am not a huge green bean person, but putting a bunch of these in the GoSun with a little pan dripping from a batch of bacon makes them full of flavor and, as long as you don’t go overboard, still quite healthy!

Obviously, I need to get more adventurous with my cooking of other things besides vegetables, but these are just so easy to clean up after, so tasty, and such a good mid-summer run.

 

By the way, I get nothing from GoSun for these posts – I just really like this product and think that people will like it if they get it and use it regularly. Just letting you know, this ain’t an ad. 🙂

GoSun Herb Potatoes

If you are a brunch fan, you’ve probably run into a really good pile of home fries here or there: maybe they were deep fried, with the soft outside and the creamy inside, or just set to sizzling on a stovetop with a generous supply of butter and garlic, but fried potatoes have got to be one of my favorite foods. They definitely are in Husband’s top 5 list, which includes mostly simple dishes. After a few weeks of complex dishes (and a harvest of modest potatoes), we decided to see if the GoSun could get a nice crust on a pile of potatoes.

I cut up the littlest of the potatoes into quarters and piled them in alongside sea salt, black pepper, and oregano, as well as some sizable pats of butter. I think butter is going to be a final frontier for me; so many of the best and most delightful dishes of my childhood were heavily buttered, so while I feel pretty proud of my ability to add veggies and more plant-based proteins into my diet, I think a lot of things may still be cooked in butter. I welcome alternatives and often throw olive oil in things instead, but I don’t see myself changing soon… oh well!

The GoSun started in bright sunshine, but quickly was shrouded in cloudy afternoon, so I left the potatoes out there a very long time – actually went to a neighborhood organizing meeting while I waited! When I returned home, the butter was melted and everything was hot, but the potatoes were still raw-crunchy, not fried-crunchy. Husband generously let me go take a bath while he gave them the last edge of cooking in his cast-iron skillet, but I still count it as a win because it took much less time than just cooking them straight-out would have taken. I’m still figuring out how to use the GoSun in a busy work-filled life, but I’m going to keep trying!

 

Also, huge shout out to everyone who has submitted a recipe! I am going to try to write them out on recipe cards and add them to my list but I still welcome more!

New GoSun Veggie technique

So, I have figured out that my favorite dish in the GoSun, for now anyway, is a healthy sauteed set of veggies to accompany something Husband is grilling or some leftovers; it’s easy, and while it takes a long time to cook, you don’t have to tend it except after half an hour or an hour, depending on sun or shade. The one problem is that the last two sets of veggies came out almost swimming in the water that boiled out of them, so they tasted more boiled and bland than crisp and roasted.

My technique involved cutting all of the veggies I was going to roast and letting them sit for two hours on a clean towel, leaching their water content or evaporating it or something until it was time to cook them. When I cooked them, I still added salt, pepper, and oregano to the green beans and peppers mix, but when they came out, they were steamy but not soupy! They went great with barbecue pork chops and I hope to do this again.

This technique was especially important for the green beans, which were frozen and had a lot of water holding them in weird clumps – I would have had to break them up a lot just to get them to fit into the GoSun’s tube, but this also meant that none of that external water went into the tube with the beans. As my tomatoes start coming in during the next two weeks, I think I’m going to experiment more with drying some of them in the GoSun – it gets really hot, so it may not be ideal, but I am excited to see what I can figure out. Last bit of news: the butternut squashes are very green but you can see them on the vines! Every day I check on them and they are a tiny bit plumper… YUM.

GoSun Veggies!

As the veggies are coming in in the garden, I’m even more excited to use the GoSun. I asked recently on their community forum about how to dry tomatoes in it; they said it probably wouldn’t work unless I artificially lowered the temperature by putting something over part of the parabolic dish, but I’m hopeful. It’d be so cool if my dried tomatoes in future pasta dishes were actually sun-dried tomatoes. 🙂

This batch was from canned tomatoes (the variety that comes with oregano and garlic already in it) mixed with chopped peppers and zucchini. I would say that in the future, I might want to leave them out for a little while or press them between paper towels, because these particular veggies generate so much liquid that I get a stewed flavor rather than a roasted flavor. Another option I’m considering is putting some nice long-grain rice with a little oil down at the bottom of these high-water-volume veggies so that it can cook along with the veggies and make a nice veggie rice dish.

I have yet to see a successful bell pepper plant in my garden this year, since all the plants I thought were going to unfurl as pepper plants turned out to be tomatoes. We’re going to have the world’s best crop of tomatoes, it looks like, but I’m a little worried that it will be no peppers for us, which is sad. At our grocery stores, a dollar a pepper is a good deal for fresh green peppers, so it’d be quite easy to recoup the money spent on seeds and soil if our pepper plants were to grow up big and strong, but so far, nothing doing. Maybe they are hiding in the jungle; we’ll just have to wait and see. This morning I found more masquerading carrots, so we have a few more of those coming. 🙂

 

GoSun Fun: Kettle Corn Popcorn?

So, I enjoy the combo of sweet and salty, and kettle corn does that quite admirably. When I looked on the GoSun Community Kitchen page, I saw that popcorn is doable in the GoSun, despite also coming with a caution: you need to put a small amount of kernels in there to leave space for the expansion. I could handle that, so I whipped up some butter, cinnamon, and sugar and coated the kernels in it, and slid the tube into the GoSun on a blazing summer day.

The results were… well, not spectacular. The sugar burnt before the kernels popped, but I have to tell you: kneeling beside your solar cooker while you hear corn pop inside the tube is pretty amazing. I am once again stunned that someone figured out how to make such an elegant, simple no-fuel cooker.

However. Don’t put the sugar on the corn before you make it, okay? I stopped the process early (as you can see by all the unpopped kernels) but it was working, just burning pretty bad; I knew I had a hard job of cleaning the tube even with the level of char I’d already gotten.

So I call this a mistake, but it does reveal a pretty amazing capacity inside that vacuum tube! Will be back to regular, stove-top foods for a little while though; back to the GoSun later in the week. 🙂

46. Summer Squash with onions and tomatoes

So, the GoSun, that magical looking tube with the shiny sides, makes food. I have proof now.

IMG_4098

To ease into all the hubbub, I cut up a yellow squash, green onions, and cherry tomatoes, enough to fill the long tube but not over fill it. I spritzed it with veggie oil spray and put a generous shaking of italian seasoning on it, and in the tube it went!

I’m quite pleased with the result, which was more like steamed than roasted after a little over an hour in medium sunshine. Next time, I will angle the dish toward the sun better, as well as add a bit more on the salt-and-pepper side of spices, but overall, a rousing success.

In other news, my friend N is thinking of holding a meatball competition, to have us all make and try different kinds of meatballs (meatless and meat-ful)… any favorite meatball recipes? I have one from a previous commenter but more are always welcome, the weirder the better!

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