Tuesday, August 01, 2006

More "Heirloom" Recipes

This afternoon I wanted to do a little baking. I like dates, especially a sugary date loaf candy recipe from my mother, but that recipe is not only time-intensive, but almost pure sugar. So, I looked through my recipes and found a recipe to makeover. The original recipe, which dates back to around 1985, called for sugar, brown sugar, and white flour, so I substituted Splenda, Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, and whole wheat flour. These came out perfectly, and even DH can’t tell there’s Splenda in them. They’re not really low-carb, since the dates are high in sugar, and there are plenty of carbs in the oats and whole wheat flour, but I definitely made them lower carb.

Oatmeal Date Bars

1 c chopped dates
1/2 c water
1/4 c Splenda granular
1 1/2 c quick-cooking oats
1 c whole wheat flour
1/2 c packed Splenda Brown Sugar Blend
1/2 t baking soda
1/4 t salt
1/3 c butter, melted
1 egg white

In a small saucepan, combine the dates, water and Splenda granular. Cook and stir until mixture comes to a boil. Reduce heat; simmer, uncovered, for 5 minutes for until mixture is smooth and thickened, stirring constantly.
In a large bowl, combine the oats, flour, Splenda Brown Sugar Blend, baking soda and salt. Stir in the butter and egg white until blended. Pat half of the mixture into an 8-in. square pan coated with nonstick cooking spray. Carefully spread with date mixture. Gently pat remaining oat mixture over date mixture. Bake at 350˚ for 20-25 minutes or until lightly browned. Cool on wire rack. Cut into bars.

DH’s father, Gene, was a cook in the Army durning the early part of his long career, and from what DH tells me, he was an excellent cook at home. The first time I ate at my in-law’s house, right after our honeymoon in 1981, we had Sausage and Peppers. This is a meal that DH eats until he’s sick, he loves it so. Since there’s just the two of us, I’ve had to cut it in half, and we usually have about one serving of leftovers. Below is the orginial recipe, which serves 4 to 6 people.

Gene’s Sausage and Peppers

8-10 cloves garlic
3-4 T olive oil
2 med. onion
8 -10 green peppers
4 14.5 oz. cans diced tomatoes
1 bunch fresh parsely, chopped, or 1/2 c dried parsley
1 1/2 t salt
1 t ground black pepper
1 T Italian seasoning
6-8 sweet Italian sausages (I’ve never tried the hot ones - they might be good, too)

Slice garlic, saute lightly in oil. Add sliced onion, saute lightly. Add cut peppers, cover and steam about 10 minutes. Add cut tomatoes and coarsely chopped parsley. Season to taste. Cook slowly 3/4 to 1 hour. While the peppers are cooking, cook the Italian sausage in a skillet, then slice into 1/4” slices. Add to peppers and serve in bowls with garlic toast. Serves 4-6


christine said...

I like the ingredients in the oatmeal datebars very much, Cyndi. You've certainly made a high carb recipe much, much lower in carbs. Plus you've increased the fiber by using the whole wheat. I'm going to try this. I might even try to find a lower sugar dried fruit to substitute.
Thanks for the inspiration!

Cyndi said...

Christine, how about dried cranberries? You'd need to snip them so that they'll "melt" like the dates did, but they're pretty low in sugar. The lowest, I think. Or maybe tart dried cherries? I think I"VE got to try it, too!

sher said...

Those date bars look great!! That was one of my favorite treats as a child--but they weren't as healthy as your recipe. Thanks!

Alanna said...

My grandmother made those date bars! I think she called them, hmmm, matrimonial bars??? I'll check!