Choose peppers with a square shape that sit level. If a pepper isn’t level, trim a small amount off the bottom without cutting through to the inside.
4 large sweet peppers (any colour)
1 tsp (5 mL) canola oil
1 cup (250 mL) chopped onion
2 cloves garlic, minced
2 cups (500 mL) chopped cremini or button mushrooms
1 cup (250 mL) chopped zucchini
1 tsp (5 mL) chili powder
1 tsp (5 mL) ground cumin
1 tsp (5 mL) Italian seasoning
1 cup (250 mL) cooked pearl or pot barley
1 cup (250 mL) canned black beans, drained and rinsed
1 cup (250 mL) grated aged cheddar cheese, divided
Preheat oven to 400°F (200°C).
Cut a 1-inch (2.5 cm) slice off the top of each pepper; reserve slices. Carefully remove membranes and seeds inside each pepper. Place peppers in an 8- or 9-inch (20 or 23 cm) square baking dish, with cut sides up. Trim pepper from around stem on reserved top slices; chop pepper into pieces.
In a large skillet, heat oil over medium heat. Add chopped pepper, onion and garlic. Cook for 3 minutes, stirring frequently. Add mushrooms, zucchini, chili powder, cumin and Italian seasoning. Cook, stirring frequently, for 2 minutes. Remove from heat. Stir in barley, beans and 3/4 cup (175 mL) cheese.
Spoon mixture into peppers. Cover with foil and bake for 25 minutes. Remove from oven; remove foil and top each pepper with some of the remaining cheese.
Return to oven and bake, uncovered, until cheese is melted and peppers are tender, about 15 minutes.
Makes 4 servings.
Nutritional Information (per serving):
Protein: 15 g
Carbohydrate: 41 g
Fibre: 9 g
Sugars: 10 g
Fat: 12 g
Saturated Fat: 6 g
Trans Fat: 0 g
Cholesterol: 25 mg
Sodium: 421 mg
Potassium: 712 mg