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): Calories: 320; 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