Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March with Mazola® Corn Oil
This month's assignment has provoked quite a bit of controversy among the Allrecipes Allstars.  Specifically, the fact that Mazola(R) Corn Oil is made with GMO's (Genetically Modified Organisms).  Does that concern me?  Nope!  Here's why....
I've done some research regarding GMO's on my own.  Frankly, I never even heard of the term until I started reading about it on the Allrecipes Buzz.  As of now, the FDA doesn't require food production companies to label products that contain GMO's.  In order to avoid them, organic is the way to go.  Even then, reports have indicated that there is still a high possibility of cross-contamination in corn crops.  Unless you purchase organic meats, GMO's are present in those products as well because most livestock are fed corn.  I'm betting 90% of the food in my pantry and freezer contain GMO's.
I've been using mostly Canola oil in my cooking for the last several years because of the heart-healthy benefits compared to some other oils.  I do have high blood pressure and high cholesterol, so I try to be at least a little health-conscious in how I prepare food.  Well, guess what?  Canola oil contains GMO's, too, as I've recently discovered.  I've also recently discovered Mazola(R) Corn oil is cholesterol-free and contains no trans-fats.  See the comparison to olive oil here.  I just can't help myself.....I LOVE fried food.  It's one of my guilty pleasures, but does concern me as far as my health restrictions.
If I can indulge my food pleasures with a product that won't hurt my heart or impede my cholesterol-lowering medication, I'm there.  Many people are passionate about the fact that GMO's can be detrimental to health.  I'm just not one of them.  I try to prepare meals that my husband and I enjoy and are well-balanced.  So, that being said, Mazola(R) has asked us to prepare two of their recipes published on the Allrecipes site.  Fortunately, Mazola(R) is flexible as far as diet restrictions are concerned.  One of their recipes, Sweet and Spicy Salmon with Grapefruit Salsa is a no-go for me.  I don't eat seafood, no way, no how, and can't have grapefruit because of my cholesterol medication.  So, I substituted one of their chicken dishes for that recipe.  The other recipe I did make, but with a few modifications.  Mazola(R) has ten recipes published on Allrecipes.  You can find them here.
So, these are the recipes and the verdict on my March assignments!!

First up is their Pork Carnitas recipe.  It was delicious.  The pork was so tender, not dry and nicely spiced.  I was forced to make a couple of changes, though.  I couldn't find fresh tomatillos at my grocer, so I purchased salsa verde and used that instead.  Second, we can't tolerate cilantro, so I omitted that.  Third, we like flour tortillas over corn, so used them instead.  I'll make this one again, but next time may add just a little more spicy heat to the meat.

Next up is a chicken dish that was really tasty, especially if you love lemon.  So easy I had dinner served in 30 minutes (after the marinating time, that is).  I used thin-sliced chicken breasts, so no pounding was necessary.  Also, I marinated for about 3 hours in a plastic bag.  I used my stove-top grill pan since our outside grill was covered with 8 inches of snow!  We both enjoyed this one.


So that's the deal for March.  A successful one for my family!!  See you in April with Johnsonville sausages.


Disclaimer:  Mazola® sent me a bottle of their cholesterol-free corn oil for these dishes.  I was not compensated in any other way.  The opinions expressed here are solely mine.