July 27, 2011


My big fat Greek dinner! This recipe was so colorful, it made me smile to see it plated so prettily. Usually, peppers are stuffed with meat, rice and sauce, making a heavy dinner that's better suited for cold weather. These stuffed peppers were light yet flavorful and surprisingly filling!

The one downside to this recipe is that it's a wee bit complicated. The Yiddish word is "ungapatchka", which means that it's busy, ornate, fussy, etc. I used about 5 different dishes in the prep work, creating a whole sink of dirty pots and pans. Maybe if I hadn't been so tired, I could have thought it through to make the process more streamlined, but I was cooking on auto-pilot last night.

However, the end product is well worth it! My changes are noted in the recipe below.


Greek Orzo Stuffed Peppers
adapted from Eating Well

4 yellow, orange and/or red bell peppers
1/2 cup whole-wheat orzo
1 15-ounce can chickpeas, rinsed
1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
1 medium onion, chopped
6 ounces baby spinach, coarsely chopped (I used 10oz frozen, chopped spinach - defrosted and drained)
1 tablespoon chopped fresh oregano, or 1 teaspoon dried
3/4 cup crumbled feta cheese, divided
1/4 cup sun-dried tomatoes, (not oil-packed), chopped
1 tablespoon sherry vinegar, or red-wine vinegar
1/4 teaspoon salt

Halve peppers lengthwise through the stems, leaving the stems attached. Remove the seeds and white membrane. Place the peppers cut-side down in a large microwave-safe dish. Add 1/2 inch water, cover and microwave on High until the peppers are just softened, 7 to 9 minutes. Let cool slightly, drain and set aside.

Meanwhile, bring a large saucepan of water to a boil. Add orzo and cook until just tender, 8 to 10 minutes or according to package directions. Drain and rinse with cold water.

Mash chickpeas into a chunky paste with a fork, leaving some whole.

Heat oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add onion and cook, stirring, until soft, about 4 minutes. Add spinach and oregano and cook, stirring, until the spinach is wilted, about 1 minute. Stir in the orzo, chickpeas, 1/2 cup feta, tomatoes, vinegar and salt; cook until heated though, about 1 minute. Divide the filling among the pepper halves and sprinkle each pepper with some of the remaining 1/4 cup feta.