When I was a little girl, I didn't like stuffed peppers.
I remember only eating the inside, and looking for some way to get out of eating the outside.
Now, I love them!
I must have begun to like peppers when I started to have dinners with the Fujimotos, since grilled peppers are a staple item at their barbecues.
You can fill them with anything you like--
A savory bread stuffing, chile verde topped with cheese, pizza pot pie with a little fitted crust on top, or, like I'm making today, a barley and quinoa mixture.
Stuffed peppers are actually a good way to make something new out of leftovers, too!
Start out with some colorful bell peppers.
Having different colors really adds to the presentation and gives the dish a certain attractiveness.
It also poses the question:
Which one shall I eat first?
Here's what I used:
5 bell peppers
1 cup quinoa
2 cups barley, cooked
1 chopped onion
2 ribs celery, chopped
2 cups mushrooms, diced
2 cloves garlic, minced
Cheese for topping
Garnish with dried oregano or chopped fresh basil
Cut them in half, going right through the stem.
Then cut away the inside, so you have a nice shell.
Do that to each one.
Place them cut side down onto a baking sheet.
Roast them in the oven at 325 degrees F for about 30 minutes until they're a little bit wrinkled.
My stuffing was already cooked, so I roasted the peppers, but if you're using a filling like a meatloaf filling that's uncooked, you can skip this step since that type of filling takes longer to cook.
Take them out and let them cool.
You can see they've started to wrinkle a little.
While your peppers are roasting, make the filling.
Start with a tablespoon or so of olive oil, and sauté some chopped garlic, onions, celery and mushrooms.
Sauté the vegetables for a few minutes and add the cooked barley.
I bought this quinoa at Nijiya Market.
I pronounce it "keen-wa", but in Japan, they say "ki-no-ah".
I know because I can read the katakana on the label.
I learned something in Japanese language school!
Add the quinoa, and if there's not enough liquid from the vegetables, add a little bit of water, so there's about a cup of liquid, or a little less.
Cover, reduce heat to low and steam for about ten minutes.
I made half vegetarian and half with meat.
I browned 1/2 lb. ground turkey with 1/2 pork sausage and mixed it with the barley/quinoa mixture.
Then fill the peppers.
I added a sprinkling of cheese on top.
That looks like more than a sprinkling, doesn't it.
Put the stuffed peppers in a 350 degree F oven for about 20 to 30 minutes, or until the cheese is melted and the peppers are hot.
They make a great dish or side dish.
The peppers have so much water content, they're not dry at all.
Just in case you were thinking they might need some kind of sauce.
Chiffonade some basil and sprinkle on top.
It always makes my eyes light up when I bite into a piece with basil!
Meet my parents.
Alice and Ted.
And their dog, Daisy.
They love Daisy.
I should say, they adore Daisy.
Whenever they go out, they always bring Daisy a treat to give her when they come home.
They're always thinking of her.
It never ceases to amaze me, how attentive my dad is to Daisy.
Good for Daisy.
But better for my dad.
The other day my parents went out to dim sum for lunch.
When I went to see them in the afternoon, my mom saved me a few tidbits from dim sum.
A sesame ball, an egg tart and a piece of rice noodle.
I must be special.
Just like Daisy.
No printable recipe for this one yet.