This week, I'm getting in my workouts... I've already brought in my workout clothes to work so no excuses! I need to take my lunch break and clear my head so that I can keep my positive attitude going throughout the day.
I have been cooking at home and packaging up leftovers to take in my lunch, which has been a big reason I'm managing to eat healthy most of the time. I'm even getting My Boys to enjoy some healthier options.
Last week I told you about the Mushroom and Caramelized Onion Barley I made... this week, I made Barley and Sausage Stuffed Peppers... and, as I was putting it all together My Youngest came in and wanted to help.
Would you believe that the idea of eating food in hollowed out bell peppers would entice a couple of boys? They thought it was cool and then enjoyed destroying the peppers - just 'cuz they could.
Now, what's inside the bell peppers is what really matters here today. I cooked up barley while I was helping with homework and listening to music practice... it's amazing what you can do while barley cooks for 40 minutes!
Once we got to a stopping point on all the homework and test studying, I got to work dicing a red onion and a red bell pepper. Do you call them purple onions or red onions? They are purple in color... but, it seems like they are always referred to as red onions... just one of those things that gets me wondering sometimes... anyway, back to the the filling... I let those diced up veggies cook up in some oil until softened and then added some sweet Italian turkey sausage to the skillet.
As everything cooked up, I prepped the bell peppers that would get the tasty filling and set them aside to wait for my sous chef to come and put it all together.
I have to tell you... the flavor of this filling was even better than I had expected. The Italian seasoning punched it up even more since I added 2 teaspoons of it and allowed it to cook into the sausage mixture. The barley added some additional substance so that this could be a the main meal on it's own. The extra fiber doesn't hurt, either.
It takes awhile for the barley to cook, but you could prepare that on the weekend and store it in the fridge until you are ready to add it to the recipe. It's all good... and definitely leans toward the healthy side of life.
How did you do last week with your #EatLiveBe goals for 2013?
Yield: 4 servings
- 1 1/2 cups cooked barley (according to package instructions)
- 1 tablespoon olive oil
- 3/4 cup diced red onion
- 1 medium red bell pepper, diced
- 2 teaspoons dried Italian seasoning
- 1 cup vegetable juice (such as V-8, lower sodium)
- 1/2 teaspoon Kosher salt
- 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
- 4 large green bell peppers (select one's that have flatter bottoms so they will stand up in the baking dish)
- 3/4 pounds Italian turkey sausage (about 4 links), casings removed
- 1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Place hollowed out green bell peppers in baking dish and set aside.
- Heat oil in a large non-stick skillet over medium heat. Add onions and red bell pepper and cook until softened.
- Add sausage and break apart with a wooden spoon as it cooks. Once it is fully cooked, about 5-6 minutes, add the Italian seasoning. Allow to cook an additional 2-3 minutes, then drain.
- Combine the barley and sausage mixture in a large bowl. Add 1/4 cup of the vegetable juice and the Parmesan cheese and mix well. Use a spoon to fill the prepared green bell peppers.
- Pour the remaining vegetable juice in the bottom of the baking dish. Cover with aluminum foil and bake for 20-25 minutes.
- Remove the foil and sprinkle the mozzarella evenly on top of each bell pepper. Bake for an additional 3-5 minutes, until the cheese is melted.
Please note that all photos and content belong to Patsy Kreitman, unless otherwise noted. If you want to use something please ask first.