Barley-Stuffed Bell Peppers

Ingredients:
1 cup water
1 cup sliced fresh white mushrooms
2/3 cup quick-cooking barley
1 teaspoon instant vegetable bouillon granules
2 large red, yellow, and/or green sweet peppers (about 1 pound)
1 beaten egg
3/4 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese (3 ounces)
1 large tomato, peeled, seeded, and chopped (about 3/4 cup)
1/2 cup shredded zucchini
1/3 cup soft bread crumbs
1 tablespoon snipped fresh basil or 1/2 teaspoon dried basil, crushed
1 teaspoon snipped fresh rosemary or 1/8 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1 clove garlic, minced
1/4 teaspoon onion salt
several dashes bottled hot pepper sauce
Fresh rosemary (optional)


Serves: Makes 4 servings

Preparation Instructions:
Prep Time: 25 minutes
Cooking Time: 22 minutes

In a medium saucepan combine the water, mushrooms, barley, and bouillon granules. Bring to boiling; reduce heat. Simmer, covered, for 12 to 15 minutes or until barley is tender. Drain thoroughly.

Cut sweet peppers in half lengthwise; remove seeds and membranes. If desired, precook pepper halves in boiling water for 3 minutes. Drain on paper towels.

In a medium-mixing bowl stir together the egg, 1/2 cup of the cheese, the tomato, zucchini, breadcrumbs, basil, rosemary, garlic, onion salt, and bottled hot pepper sauce. Stir in cooked barley mixture. Place peppers; cut side up, in a 2-quart rectangular baking dish. Spoon barley mixture into the pepper halves.

Bake stuffed peppers, covered, in a 350° F oven for 20 to 25 minutes or until filling is heated through. Sprinkle remaining cheese over the peppers. Return to oven; bake 2 minutes more. Carefully transfer peppers to a serving platter. If desired, garnish with fresh rosemary.



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