|Meat & Barley-Stuffed Bell Peppers
1 pound ground beef or turkey
1/4 cup finely chopped onion
3 tablespoons Italian seasoned bread crumbs
2 tablespoons grated Parmesan cheese
1 egg, beaten
1 teaspoon salt
1 teaspoon ground black pepper
1-1/2 cups cooked pearl barley, cooking directions below
3 bell peppers, cut in half and seeded
2 jars (26 ounces each) prepared pasta sauce
Additional grated Parmesan cheese, optional
Preheat oven to 375° F. In large bowl, combine ground meat, onion, bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese, egg, salt, pepper and cooked barley. Divide meat-barley mixture into 6 portions. Press each portion into bell pepper half, forming mixture to the shape of the pepper. Spray a 9x13-inch baking dish with non-stick cooking spray. Place filled pepper halves in dish. Pour pasta sauce over peppers.
Cover tightly with aluminum foil. Bake peppers for 1 hour and 15 minutes. To serve, arrange peppers on platter, spooning a portion of sauce over each pepper. Pour remaining sauce from baking dish into container to serve at table. Sprinkle additional grated Parmesan cheese over peppers, if desired, and serve. Makes 6 servings.
To cook pearl barley
In medium saucepan with lid, bring 3 cups water to a boil. Add 1 cup pearl barley and return to boil. Reduce heat to low, cover and cook 45 minutes or until barley is tender and liquid is absorbed. Place any extra cooked barley in an airtight container and refrigerate or freeze for up to a week. Add to soups, stews, casseroles and salads for extra flavor and fiber. For best results, bring frozen or refrigerated cooked barley to room temperature before using.