Barley Stuffed Peppers


One of my goals this year is to add more healthy grains to my menus which is not at all difficult. I truly enjoy stuffed vegetables of any variety, and this particular meatless recipe is both healthy and delicious. You could use these peppers as an appetizer, a side dish with roasted or grilled meats, or even as a light lunch or dinner option served along with a crisp salad. I used low fat Mozzarella in my peppers and it worked out just fine. These peppers are best served just warm or at room temperature which really brings out the flavors. You could also use this stuffing in either zucchini or tomatoes which would also be delicious.

Buon Appetito!
Deborah Mele 2011

Barley Stuffed Peppers

A healthy meatless entree or delicious side dish.

Ingredients:

  • 2 Large Red, Orange, or Yellow Peppers
  • 2 Teaspoons Olive Oil
  • 1 Cup Button Mushrooms, Cleaned & Diced Small
  • 1 Small Onion, Peeled & Diced Small
  • 1 Small Zucchini, Trimmed & Diced Small
  • 3 Ripe Plum Tomatoes, Cored, Seeded & Diced Small
  • 2 Cloves Garlic, Minced
  • 1 Cup Quick Cooking Barley, Cooked In Vegetable or Chicken Broth Until Tender
  • 1/2 Cup Homemade Breadcrumbs
  • 3/4 Cup Diced Low Fat Mozzarella Cheese
  • 1/3 Cup Grated Parmesan Cheese
  • 1 Egg
  • Salt & Pepper
  • Pinch Red Pepper Flakes
  • 1/4 Cup Chopped Fresh Parsley
  • Approximately 1 Cup Vegetable or Chicken Broth

Directions:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees F.
  2. Cut the peppers in half lengthwise through the stem, and remove the seeds and membranes.
  3. Place in a oven-proof baking dish and set aside.
  4. Heat the olive oil in a frying pan and over medium heat cook the mushrooms, onions, and zucchini until tender and just beginning to brown.
  5. Add the garlic and tomatoes and cook for an additional couple of minutes until the tomatoes begin to break down.
  6. Add the cooked barley and breadcrumbs, and if mixture seems dry add a few teaspoons of broth.
  7. Season filling mixture with salt, pepper, and pepper flakes.
  8. Add the two cheeses, egg, and chopped parsley and stir until mixed.
  9. Use a tablespoon and stuff the pepper halves, pressing down mixture slightly.
  10. You should be able to use up most of the filling.
  11. Pour about 1/2 to 3/4 cup broth into the bottom of the baking dish, and then cover with aluminum foil.
  12. Bake for 25 minutes, then remove the foil and bake for an additional 15 minutes or until peppers are tender and filling has just begun to brown.
  13. Serve warm or at room temperature.