Bell Peppers Stuffed with Mushrooms, Beef and Barley, cleaning woes

It’s vegetable stuffing season.

Yes, I realize one can stuff any vegetable any time, but I do it in the fall.

We cook on the grill in the summer, make soups and stews and braises in the winter and stuff vegetables in the fall.

I stuff summer squashes and winter squashes and peppers and onions and tomatoes and mushrooms

I stuff them for first courses and main courses.

I stuff them with anything and everything.

Like lasagne and risotto, stuffed vegetables are a great use for leftover bits from the fridge.

Bell Peppers Stuffed with Mushrooms, Beef and Barley

Total time: 40 minutes


  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking barley
  • 1 cup (8oz, 240ml) beef stock
  • 2 – 3 nicely shaped medium bell peppers, any color
  • 4oz (120gr) ground beef
  • 1 medium onion, chopped
  • 6oz (180gr) mushrooms, trimmed and sliced
  • 2 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbs olive oil
  • 1 tsp chili powder
  • 1 tsp paprika
  • 8 fresh sage leaves, chopped
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120ml) beef stock
  • 2 tsp cornstarch dissolved in 1 tbs water
  • 1/2 cup (4oz, 120gr) Greek yogurt

Bell Peppers Stuffed with Beef Mushrooms, Beef and Barley


  • Cook barley in 1 cup stock until done.
  • Put a large pot of water on high heat and bring to a boil.
  • Cut peppers in half the long way (try to find the best flat sides before cutting so that they will lie nicely) and remove stem end and seeds.
  • When water is boiling drop peppers in and simmer for 5 minutes.
  • Remove (use tongs) and put into a baking dish that will just hold them (if possible).
  • Heat oil in nonstick skillet over medium-high heat.  Sauté chili powder and paprika for 1 minute.
  • Add onion, sauté until tender, 5 minutes.
  • Add garlic, sage and mushrooms, sauté 3 minutes longer.
  • Add beef and sauté until cooked through breaking it up as it cooks.
  • Add stock and heat so simmering.
  • Dissolve cornstarch in water.
  • When stock mixture is simmering, stir cornstarch in to thicken.
  • Remove from heat, add yogurt and stir well to combine.
  • When barley is done stir into mushroom / beef mixture.
  • Spoon into the pepper halves.
  • Cover with foil and bake for 15 minutes at 400F (200C).
  • Remove foil and bake for 5 minutes longer.

Note:Keep any extra stuffing warm and serve on the side.

Print Recipe

I believe I mentioned that I hate to clean.

I believe I mentioned that I have been slowly, but thoroughly, cleaning, starting with the kitchen cabinets.

I figured at the rate I was going, I would have the entire house cleaned by Christmas… Maybe.

Last Thursday I got an email from some friends in the Vendée, asking if they could stop by for a night on their way to Spain.


We’d love to see them!!!!

But, other than the inside of the kitchen cabinets and the shelves in the hall, the house was filthy….

It hadn’t been properly cleaned since mid-summer and, knowing that I was slowly working my way around the house, stuff just got set aside…. The linen closet still wasn’t put back together, herbs were still waiting to be bagged, and so on.

Not only was it filthy, it was a mess.

I had two days.

I decided to be super-woman and continue on with my plan of thoroughly cleaning and organizing. I just had to speed up the time frame.

I decided to get it all done in two days.

I made a plan.

Bright and early Saturday morning I set to work.

After about 4 hours, things were going well and I was on schedule,

Closets tidied, bathrooms cleaned, woodwork wiped down…

It was time to get out the vacuum…. Not just for the floors, but for the tops of the beams and the corners and walls and the ceilings and all the spiderwebs and the spiders that spin them.

It didn’t work.

The switch was broken.

Mon mari was out mowing (which also needed to be done).

I tracked him down and explained the problem.

He said it would take several hours to fix and did I want to wait.

So much for my super powers…..

I had to finish my cleaning the old-fashioned way: with brooms and mops and buckets of water and rags.

I finished (with a bit of help from mon mari) at noon on Sunday.

They arrived at 3:00

Just so you know, the only thing one can’t do with brooms and mops and buckets and rags is suck the spiders off the ceiling and out of the high corners.

You can brush them down, but not suck them up.

They get away.

The webs started to come back a day later.

That’s why I hate to clean…. It just never lasts.

But we had a wonderful time with our friends so it was more than worth the effort.

And the house is clean.

Sort of….

If you want nutrition information for the recipe, try this site: Calorie Count

4 thoughts on “Bell Peppers Stuffed with Mushrooms, Beef and Barley, cleaning woes”

  1. LOL Katie – I am just laughing away at your cleaning bit (love the recipe – printing it up for when I’m back home from boat). I am exactly the same as you (we are like twin Cindrella’s) DETEST house cleaning with a passion (if only we could wave a wand and POOF it’s all done).
    I was told by a friend one time – when they were visiting me – and I was fretting over this/that – that they come to visit US – not the house. So, that little Mr. Herman hanging over their bed in the guest room didn’t make me worry too much 😉
    If I ever make it out to your neck of France (mon mari is mentioning something about trip to France – even maybe a job for himself in France – oh la la) – do not worry about cleaning up before we come – as long as their is good food / wine / company – that’s all that counts the most!!
    Okay – off to clean up my kitchen mess …..

  2. Kate5050, thank you for the tip but – what kind of surface spray? I have outdoor spiders, too, and would love to discourage them. Cleaning spray like 409?

  3. Anna, I agree in theory… but mine was really, really a disaster LOL. What exciting news! You have to come visit us if / when you get to France. And I’m so jealous of your boat… I miss boating…

    Kate, I found a spider spray – I’m going to try that. Have to be careful not to herd them all to my bedroom or something, though LOL

    Zoomie, most of our spiders are in the house…. At least the big ones….

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