Barley and shiitake mushrooms add a nutty flavor to this high-fiber take on rice pilaf.
4 cups water
1 cup uncooked pearl barley
3 (3 1/2-ounce) packages fresh shiitake mushrooms
1 tablespoon olive oil
2 cups chopped onion
1 1/2 cups chopped red bell pepper
3/4 cup chopped yellow bell pepper
1/2 cup fat-free, less-sodium chicken broth
1/4 cup chopped fresh flat-leaf parsley
1 tablespoon chopped fresh or 1 teaspoon dried thyme
1 teaspoon salt
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
3/4 cup (3 ounces) grated dry Monterey Jack or fresh Parmesan cheese
How to Make It
Bring 4 cups water to a boil in a large saucepan. Add barley; cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 45 minutes.
Remove from heat, and let stand, covered, 5 minutes.
Preheat oven to 350°.
Remove and discard stems from mushrooms, and slice mushroom caps. Heat a large nonstick skillet coated with cooking spray over medium-high heat until hot. Add mushrooms, and sauté 3 minutes. Remove from skillet. Heat oil in skillet over medium heat. Stir in onion; cover and cook 6 minutes. Add bell peppers; cover and cook 2 minutes. Stir in the cooked barley, mushrooms, broth, and next 4 ingredients (broth through black pepper).
Spoon half of barley mixture into an 11 x 7-inch baking dish coated with cooking spray, and sprinkle with half of cheese. Repeat layers. Cover and bake at 350° for 45 minutes.