Wednesday, February 8, 2012

Orzo Stuffed Peppers...and a Frosty World

It has been said, that in the same day on the West Coast, you can start your morning off at the peak of a mountain, ski down to the village, have a snack and be on a lush green golf course for an afternoon tee-off.  Our Winter's don't exactly "jive" with the traditional stereo-typed "Winter in Canada".  We don't live in igloos, we don't *have* to take our snowmobiles or dog sleds to the grocery store....  In fact, in order to get a taste of the so-called "Canadian Winter", most of us need to hop in our CARS and drive there!   This past week, we had "spring like temps" on the Coast... but, just a short couple hour drive away, Mother Nature showed us how beautiful a layer of frost and snow...or multiple layers (as you'll see below) can be, especially when twinkling in the sunlight on a bluebird day! 

Of course, after all that picture taking, one works up an appetite!  If you've been following me at all, you should know by now, I love carbs.  I love PASTA.  However, it loves me too...and so, keeping portion control in mind... I wanted to incorporate pasta...veggies - but in a way that will quench my craving for pasta.  Orzo Stuffed Peppers.....  YUM YUM!  (recipe below)

Orzo Stuffed Peppers
 Typically our days during the winter months at the lake involve our sleds.  However, we had one antsy puppy, and with the gorgeous frosty morning, instead of racing off on the sleds, we decided to grab the camera, and go see what Mother Nature had been up too.  Duke was quite happy following along, making friends with whom ever would give "hugs" or throw a stick.  Myself, and Jason...  armed with just a point and shoot camera... we found these...

It was simply stunning to see how the frost seem to be growing off of anything and everything.  Some pieces of frost were the size of small leaves - just way more detailed.

On whatever trees that had some leaves left, it clung to the branches as leaves like sugar crystals and then sparkled in the sunlight.  These pictures don't do it justice!
You could also tell which way the wind had blown, as the frost seemed to grow on one side only
Winter berries even were kissed by the frost, the blast of colour was a brilliant contrast to the layered frost.
Duke's in the background, looking out over the frozen "river" that pours into Allison Lake.  Looking through the camera lens, it was like we were in a whole different world.

Of course, after we returned to the cabin, the sleds were fired up, and away we went - who could resist such a beautiful afternoon out on the sleds!!  Which of course, works up an appetite (well it does for me anyways...all that fresh air!)

Orzo Stuffed Peppers
  • 1 cup favorite pasta sauce
  • 1 small container Ricotta Cheese
  • 1 lb ground sausage  (I used Johnstonville's HOT Italian sausage)
  • 1 cup chopped fresh spinach
  • 2 cloves garlic pressed
  • salt / pepper to taste
  • 4 sweet bell peppers (red or yellow)
  • 1 cup Orzo Pasta
  • 2 cups chicken broth
- In a saucepan, heat chicken broth until boiling, and then pour in Orzo Pasta, stirring frequently so it does not stick.  Cook until almost done, 3-5 mins. 
-Using a strainer, and reserving chicken broth, put semi-cooked Orzo into a medium sized bowl
- Cook ground sausage in frying pan over medium-high heat.  Break apart as best as possible. 
-Once sausage is cooked, add in garlic and chopped spinach, salt/pepper and stir frequently until spinach is wilted.
-Once spinach is wilted, mix in meat/spinach mixture, ricotta cheese, pasta sauce into the orzo.

-Hull out peppers, and cut a thin layer off bottom of pepper if needed so they can stand up straight. ( I used a glass pie plate to cook peppers in. )
- Stuff the hulled out peppers with the Orzo mixture, and place in pie plate.  Pour 1/2 cup of the reserved, hot chicken broth into the bottom of the pan. 

-Wrap tightly with tin foil, and bake in a pre-heated oven for about 45 mins @ 425F
-Remove foil, and turn on your broiler on high, until the peppers start to blister.
-Carefully remove peppers from oven - and enjoy!!  Careful - filling is HOT!

The "stuffing" options for these are endless... If Hot Italian sausage is a little much for your taste buds, try regular ground beef.  Feta cheese, with Greek seasoning would be fantastic as well!


  1. The peppers look amazing...if they taste half as good as they look...I look forward to trying and tasting...Thanks!!!

  2. BTW...the pictures you took are fabulous...just a point-and-shoot eh!!! You are lucky that you have such a beautiful place to go...

    1. Thanks! - We are very lucky to have our little get away! and yes - just a point -n- shoot, canon powershot.... love it