Cake, Batter, and Bowl

Eggplant and Orzo Stuffed Red Peppers

Main Dishes

Whenever I ask Apolinaras where he’d like to go out to dinner, he inevitability suggests his favorite BBQ place in Boston, Blue Ribbon. I have to admit that I’m a pretty big fan too, and actually just writing this post is making me crave some pulled pork and burnt ends! But, while their BBQ is amazing, out of all the side dishes I’ve had there, and believe me, I’ve pretty much tried them all, only the mashed potatoes really do it for me. So, I usually order one of their special sides of the day and last time they were featuring eggplant orzo.  I was pleasantly surprised when it was quite addicting! Apolinaras actually immediately requested I try to recreate it at home, which is a first for him.

During one of our big snowstorms this winter, I was craving some summer flavors and finally got around to making the dish. I mixed the orzo with eggplant, zucchini, sun dried tomatoes, and lots of feta, and dressed it with olive oil, lemon juice, and garlic. Then I stuffed the mixture into roasted red peppers – so tasty! I calculated out (yes, I’m a dork!) that the amount of orzo in this recipe makes enough to fill 10 bell peppers, but I actually only stuffed 4 and we enjoyed the rest of the orzo on its own. Red bell peppers are pricey, but I went ahead and included all 10 in the cost below. I think I’m going to try roasting the veggies next time too instead of sautéing them. Can’t wait to make this again!

Eggplant and Orzo Stuffed Red Peppers
Printable Recipe

Ingredients:
10 large red bell peppers, tops cut off and seeded
1 pound orzo
6 tablespoons olive oil
1 red onion, chopped
1 medium eggplant, chopped into 1-inch cubes
2 zucchinis, chopped into 1-inch cubes
4 garlic cloves, minced
Juice of one lemon
1 cup chopped sun dried tomatoes
2 cups crumbled feta
1/2 teaspoon salt

Directions:
Heat oven to 400˚F. Place peppers on a greased baking sheet and roast at 400˚F for 20 minutes or until tender.

Prepare orzo according to package directions, drain, and place in a large bowl.

Place 2 tablespoons olive oil, red onion, eggplant, and zucchini in a very large nonstick skillet (working in batches if needed) and sauté 7 to 9 minutes or until veggies are tender, stirring frequently. Stir in garlic and sauté one additional minute. Mix cooked veggies, lemon juice, remaining 4 tablespoons olive oil, sun dried tomatoes, feta, and salt in the large bowl with the orzo. Stuff orzo mixture evenly into roasted peppers. Makes 10 servings.

Nutrition: 398 calories, 15.9g fat, 7.8g fiber, 13.2g protein per serving
Cost: $2.24 per serving

Sausage and Quinoa Stuffed Acorn Squash

The past few weeks have been a bit more crazy than usual because I’ve been working on a grant with my PI while still trying to squeeze in a healthy number of experiments. Our annual genetics department and lab ski retreats have also been thrown into the mix, and I’ve...

Caramelized Shallot and Crispy Sage Macaroni and Cheese

Happy Halloween! We’re currently putting the final touches on Apolinaras’ costume and I’m hoping I can convince him to let me post a few pictures, but I don’t want to push my luck too much. I’m very excited that I even convinced him to dress up - this is only his...

Mediterranean Portobello Mushroom and Eggplant Stacks

Although I make vegetarian meals a couple times a week, it’s usually because I’m feeling too lazy to really cook. I often whip up simple meals like pizza, tofu fried rice, or breakfast for dinner when I’m super busy, but I rarely put extra effort into making really...

Soba Noodles with Eggplant, Snow Peas, and Tofu

We’ve been so busy lately that I’ve baked more “emergency” frozen pizzas for dinner than I’d care to admit. I have managed to whip up some soba noodles a couple of times though. They’re so quick and tasty, and there’s nothing better than a one pot meal. For this...

Red Curry Risotto

One of my favorite meals to whip up when we’re low on groceries is a red or green Thai curry. We always have coconut milk, Thai curry paste, and rice in our pantry, and even if we don’t have any fresh produce, I can usually at least dig up some frozen veggies to round...

French Onion Mac & Cheese

Umm, so if you’re watching your weight, you may want to click back to the last page you viewed right about now.... I tend to cook healthy dishes most of the time, but decided to go all in on this one and it was so worth it! I was in the mood for some comfort food this...

Spinach Sauce Pasta with Shrimp

Work has been more hectic than usual lately so I was trying to brainstorm ways to be more efficient when a light bulb went off and I realized that I could save a bunch of time if I started running home from work a few times a week! Not only do I get a great workout...

Plantain Crusted Chicken

Nope, this isn’t a recipe for chicken parm, although that’s what you’d think if you just saw the picture, but it was inspired by this Italian favorite. My hubby loves my chicken parm and loudly proclaims to anyone that will listen that he can never order it in a...