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Did you know that February is Heart Health Month? It’s such an important aspect of maintaining good health that we don’t focus on enough, so I think having a month dedicated to it is a great way to gain awareness of it. Going into February, I have been trying to make some of my favorite recipes lighter and better for my heart by replacing just a few ingredients with ones that are better for me. A clinical study showed that Mazola® Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil so I wanted to give it a try. To learn more about this claim, see Mazola.com. Once I heard about the study, I knew it was time to switch and give it a go in my next dinner recipe.
Mazola Corn Oil is an all-purpose, cholesterol free oil that is a smart heart-healthy* choice for your family. *See Mazola.com for more information on the relationship between corn oil and heart health. It has a variety of uses including baking, grilling, sautéing, stir frying, or mixing up a marinade or dressing. It’s smoke point is 450°F which helps with its versatility. Something many cooks don’t realize is that if you exceed the smoke point of an oil, it can negatively affect the food’s flavor and nutritional value.
With the American Heart Association recently putting out a presidential advisory on dietary fats and cardiovascular disease (CVD), it is strongly advised to replace saturated fats in your diet. This can include those found in things such as coconut oil while corn oil, which has polyunstaturated fat, is shown to reduce the risk of CVD by 30%. A clinical study showed Mazola Corn Oil reduces cholesterol 2x more than extra virgin olive oil. To learn more about this claim, visit Mazola.com. These kind of dietary substitutions can be as simple as substituting in Mazola Corn Oil in a recipe instead of butter!
For my recipe for Heart Health Month, I wanted to make a healthier spin on classic spaghetti and meatballs. For my version, I was envisioning using lentils instead of a blend of beef and pork along with substituting in Mazola Corn Oil for the olive or vegetable oil and using zoodles (zucchini noodles) instead of normal wheat noodles. Click here to see more recipes with Mazola Corn Oil.
This recipe is great because it is vegetarian and can even be made vegan by using a flax egg instead of a normal egg and by using vegan parmesan instead of traditional parmesan. The meatballs are easy to make and you can even make a double batch and freeze them before cooking if you want to have them a different day!
I like to top my lentil meatballs with a bit of homemade marinara sauce and a bit of parmesan. Zoodles are my favorite thing to serve them over but you can try out other spiralized vegetables too such as butternut squash, carrots, or even beets!
- 2 tablespoons + 1/4 cup Mazola® Corn Oil
- 2 tablespoons shallots (chopped)
- 3 cloves garlic (minced)
- 1 egg
- 1 1/2 cups cooked green lentils
- 2 tablespoons italian seasonings
- 1/4 cup fresh parsley
- 1 tablespoon tomato paste
- 1 tablespoon breadcrumbs
- 1/3 cup parmesan cheese (shredded)
- 1/2 teaspoon salt
- 1/4 teaspoon pepper
- Heat a large skillet over medium heat with 2 tablespoons Mazola® Corn Oil. Add in garlic and shallots and cook until fragrant (about 2-3 minutes).
- In a food processor, combine the cooked garlic and shallots, egg, green lentils, italian seasonings, parsley, tomato paste, breadcrumbs, parmesan cheese, salt, and pepper. Blend until combined, but not fully pureed so that there is a little texture left.
- Roll into balls that are 1" across and set aside.
- Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
- Add the remaining 1/4 cup Mazola® Corn Oil and the meatballs into the same skillet. Place in oven for about 15 minutes, pulling out every 5 minutes to give them a stir so they cooked on all sides.
- Serve topped with marinara over zoodles (or any other vegetable or wheat based noodles).