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By Laura GeeUSstoragesearch.com

Cooking a whole meal for just yourself isn’t something most of us look forward to. There’s a lot of prep work and clean up work that goes into creating a good meal and if you’re like me, you tend to think it isn’t worth the trouble just for yourself. That’s why I’m making it part of my life’s mission these days to find GOOD meals for one recipes that’d don’t require a lot of effort. My first attempt, and miraculously first success, was a Veggie & Orzo Stuff Pepper.

Get a green pepper that would be easy to halve--unlike this one. (Photo from Shutterstock.com)

Prep time: 5 minutes

Cook time: 10 minutes

Yield: 1

Ingredients:

  • 1 half of a green pepper (cut length wise and gutted)
  • 1 cup uncooked orzo
  • 2 cups chicken broth
  • 2 cup water (divided)
  • 2 cups uncooked spinach 
  • splash of vegetable oil

    A close up photo of orzo. (Photo from Shutterstock.com)

  • 1/2 cup marinara sauce (or other favorite tomato based spaghetti sauce)
  • 8oz of rinsed, dried garbanzo beans
  • 1/2 small onion, minced
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1/2 tsp basil (more or less to taste)
  • 1/2 tsp oregano (more or less to taste)
  • Pinch of salt & pepper
  • Feta cheese (to taste)
  • Sliced black olives (optional)

First, mix 1 cup of water and the chicken broth  in a small pot and get it boiling. Then stir in the orzo. Cook for about 7 minutes (or as directed on the package). While this is boiling, saute your garlic, vegetable oil, onion, garbanzo beans, oregano, garlic and your spinach (adding the

I forgot to get close up shots of my culinary experiment, but I did get this one of my dog Duke begging next to my stuffed pepper!

spinach in last) together until it is all blended and the onions are tender. Remove the veggie mixture from the burner and set aside. Your veggies should finish up around the same time as your orzo is finishing. Remove the cooked orzo from the burner and let it set for 1-2 minutes BEFORE draining. Next, put the remaining water in a microwaveable safe bowl and place the green pepper in the water hollow side down into the bowl. Microwave the pepper in the bowl for 1 to 2 minutes–or until tender (NOT mushy soft).

After the pepper is softened, dry it a little and place is hollow side up on your plate. Drain your orzo if you haven’t done so already and stir in your veggie mixture. Fill your pepper to the top (or a little higher if you have extra stuffing). Sprinkle on your favorite cheese, salt, pepper and your favorite pasta sauce and you’re all set!

I was lucky enough to have enough of the “stuffing” to do another pepper the next day for lunch. I’ve done a variation of this for a bigger group using broccoli instead of spinach and mozzarella instead of feta cheese. I like both! What variations have you tried?

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