Stuffed Bell Peppers with Wild Rice + Barley

These stuffed bell peppers are a part of my new Weekly Meal Plans  page, recipes that will make a ton of leftovers that you can easily spruce up throughout the week for healthy quick meals. These peppers are really easy to reheat and recreate in different way throughout the week for quick dinners and lunches. You can serve them plain or cut them in half and place over greens and roasted chickpeas.  They are packed with fiber and other vitamins and minerals. Great for company too!

Ingredients
6 bell peppers
2 cups barley
1 cup wild rice
1 1/2 cup walnuts
1 cup dried apricots (diced)
1/2 cup dried cranberries
3 tsp basil
salt (to taste)

Dressing
2 oranges (blood oranges are best)
2 tsp dijon mustard
1/2 tsp salt

Directions
1. Cut off tops of the bell peppers, get rid of the seeds inside, and slice the bottom peaks of the peppers just enough so that they stand up. You don’t want to cut too far into the base of the pepper because the filling will spill out of the bottom.

2. Rinse the barley, and wild rice. Soak the rice and barley in water overnight. You can skip this step if you have to.

3. Add 3 cups of water, 2 cups of barley, and a pinch of salt to a medium saucepan, bring to a boil. Lower heat, close lid and cook for 40 minutes. If you did not soak the barley first, cook for 50 minutes.

4. Add 4 cups of water and a pinch of salt to a saucepan and boil. Add the rice, lower the heat, close lid and cook for 25 minutes.

5. Toast the walnuts in a skillet over low heat for a few minutes, keeping an eye on them and turning occasionally with a spatula. Once ready, chop into small pieces.

6. Dice the apricots into bite-sized pieces.

7. To make the dressing, zest one orange, and combine with the olive oil, juice from two oranges, mustard, 1/2 tsp salt, a couple of grinds of pepper in a bowl and whisk, or use a dressing spinner.

8. Once the rice and the barley are done cooking, drain any excess liquid.

9. In a large bowl, mix the grains, 1 cup of walnuts (leaving the 1/2 cup for the topping), apricots and cranberries with the dressing. Spoon into the bell peppers and top with the remaining chopped walnuts.

10. Bake in a 365° oven for 35 minutes.

Serve them plain, throughout the week or for lunch or serve with roasted chickpeas on top of greens.

Roasted chickpeas
Rinse two 15 ounce cans of chickpeas and pat dry. Toss with 3 Tbls of olive oil, salt and pepper, and your favorite spices (I like a tsp of thyme for this particular recipe). Spread out on a roasting sheet and cook in a 375° oven for 30 minutes, flipping the chickpeas over every 10 minutes. They will have a perfect crunch on the outside, and will be a perfect protein addition to the stuffed bell peppers.

You can find this and other recipes on my recipage

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    My name is Maria and I live in California. I love teaching high-energy Pilates classes, going on long runs, and making connections with all of you! Hope you find a few useful articles, fitness tips, and recipes while you're here.

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