Today someone told me that they have never had Eggplant before. And that they hadn’t tried asparagus until they were 23. That just blows my mind! I am 23 and couldn’t imagine my life without eggplant or asparagus or any other type of vegetables (except peas). I was pretty shocked when I found out many other bloggers did not try many “exotic” vegetables till later in life. Many of them found it to be completely normal. Well, I don’t think it is normal. And if it is, I don’t want it to be normal. Vegetables do not mean only corn or green beans. There are so many amazing vegetables out there! I am so thankful to have been exposed to vegetables growing up. And I am extremely thankful that I have a husband who enjoys vegetarian dinners and trying new things with me. And so over the next couple of weeks, I have scheduled a lot of vegetarian meals to show up here on the blog . Hopefully I can convince some readers to broaden their horizons beyond cupcakes.

So to start, we have Orzo Stuffed Peppers. You normally would not see stuffed peppers on this blog, because I don’t like them. Wait, er, well…until today. Most stuffed peppers are greasy…and I am not a fan of anything greasy. However, these Orzo Stuffed Peppers are nothing like the usual stuffed peppers. Instead you get the full flavor of the bell pepper mixed with the delicious, cheesy, spinach and orzo inside. These smelled amazing while baking and I kept fighting off Jorge while I was trying to photograph them. Next time I get a good deal on bell peppers at the farmers market you can bet I will be making these babies again!

Orzo Stuffed Peppers

Yield: 4 stuffed peppers

Ingredients:

1 tablespoon olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups fresh spinach leaves, roughly chopped
1 (15 ounce can) can diced tomatoes
1 teaspoon dried oregano
Salt and pepper, to taste
1/2 cup shredded mozzarella cheese
1/3 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese, plus more for sprinkling on top
4 cups vegetable broth
1 cup orzo
4 large yellow/orange bell peppers

Directions:

Preheat oven to 400 degrees.

In a medium skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat. Add the onion and cook until tender, about 3 minutes. Add the garlic and cook for two more minutes. Stir in the spinach. Cook until spinach is wilted. Remove from heat.

Pour the tomatoes into a large bowl and stir in the spinach mixture. Set aside.

Meanwhile, bring the vegetable broth to a boil in a medium saucepan. Add the orzo and cook for five minutes. The orzo should be only partially cooked because it will finish cooking in the oven. Strain the orzo pasta, making sure you save 1 cup of the vegetable broth.

Stir the orzo into the tomato spinach mixture. Stir in the cheese, oregano and season with salt and pepper.

Pour the vegetable broth into a medium sized baking dish. Slice the tops off the peppers and remove all ribs and seeds. Cut a very thin slice from the base so the peppers will stand up in the baking dish.

Place the peppers in the baking dish and spoon the orzo mixture into the peppers. Cover the dish with foil and bake for 40 minutes. Remove the foil, sprinkle the top of each pepper with additional Parmesan cheese and continue baking until the cheese is golden, about 5 minutes.

Remove from the oven and let peppers sit for five minutes. Serve warm.

Adapted from: Two Peas and Their Pod