My three kids love this recipe for Mini Calzones, which I created for CanolaInfo’s “Home is Where the Heart is” Recipe Collection in honor of World Heart Day a few years ago. They are so simple to prepare and tasty, your kids won’t even know just how heart-healthy they are.
Like other busy moms, keeping my family healthy is on the top of my list. For me, it’s about making small changes, like using canola oil in a dish as opposed to butter or other oils. I’ve always used canola oil in my kitchen, but have learned so much more during this campaign. Here is some of my favorite info:
1. Everybody needs a little fat in their diet. Fat is a part of every cell in the body. It’s a valuable source of energy, and it aids in the absorption of fat-soluble vitamins. It also slows digestion so that you feel full longer.
2. Not all fats are created equally. Unsaturated fats are healthy and saturated and trans fats are unhealthy. The type of fat consumed is as important as the amount.
3. Canola oil is one of the healthiest oils in the world. It has the least saturated fat of any cooking oil (half that of olive oil) and is free of trans fat and cholesterol. Canola oil also has the most omega-3 fat of any cooking oil and is a good source of vitamin E.
4. Canola oil can help protect the heart for just pennies a day. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorized a qualified health claim for canola oil on its potential to reduce the risk of heart disease when used in place of saturated fat. About 1.5 tablespoons of canola oil a day is enough to help keep the cardiologist away.
5. Canola oil is extremely versatile. Its light and neutral flavor make it ideal for almost any culinary application. In addition, the smoke point is extremely high at 468 F, making it ideal for sautéing or frying.
Also, if you haven’t already, check out the new interactive cooking game at Facebook.com/CanolaInfo, which features my recipe collection! You become the chef and try to beat the clock!
8 servings (serving size 1 calzone)
8 ounces lean ground beef
1/2 small yellow onion, diced
1 cup sliced mushrooms
1 clove garlic, minced
4 teaspoons canola oil
1/4 teaspoon dried Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
14 ounces prepared pizza dough
1/2 cup shredded reduced-fat mozzarella cheese
1 cup reduced-sodium marinara sauce, warmed
1. In large non-stick skillet, brown beef over medium heat until beef crumbles; drain and set aside. In separate large skillet, sauté onion, mushrooms and garlic in canola oil over medium heat 3 minutes or until tender. Stir in Italian seasoning and pepper. Add to ground beef and set aside.
2. Preheat oven to 450F.
3. Divide dough into eight pieces. Roll each dough piece into 3-inch circle. Spoon beef mixture equally over half of each square, leaving 1/2-inch border. Top equally with cheese.
4. Fold dough over filling until edges almost meet. Bring bottom edges over top edges and crimp dough with fingers to form rim. Prick tops of calzones with fork to allow steam to escape. Place on large baking sheet lightly greased and floured. Brush each calzone with additional canola oil, if desired.
5. Bake in preheated oven for 10 to 12 minutes or until lightly browned. Serve with warm marinara sauce.
Tip: You can make these one day ahead of time and heat before serving the next day. Lightly brush calzones with canola oil before placing in the oven for a nice golden color and crisp texture. These calzones will keep in the refrigerator as leftovers.