It’s not as hard as you may think to eat healthy for your heart, but it often means ditching microwaved and canned foods saturated in sodium. It’s a bit shocking the first time you start to read labels by watching for sodium — you’ll find that canned green beans, black beans, and even corn and tomatoes can add way too much sodium to your diet.

When we talk about heart-health, it’s often in the month of February, which is the month that chefs and foodies make it a point to put out their favorite heart-healthy recipes. The saddest part of this is that sodium needs to be watched and regulated year-round, just like fat. A lot of us thought we were eating healthy when we took shortcuts like veggies in a can, but those types of foods are often deceptive.

American tradition (and other countries with rich food traditions) often includes fatty, salty foods that just aren’t great for the heart. Celebrity Chef Ingrid Hoffman proves we don’t have to live this way. Here shares her feel-good stuffed zucchini for Heart Health month, courtesy of Mazola oil.

feel good stuffed zucchini

Feel Good Stuffed Zucchini Recipe


  • 4 medium (6-inch long) zucchini
  • 2 tablespoons Mazola® Corn Oil
  • 1/2 medium onion, finely chopped
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped button mushrooms
  • 1 clove garlic, finely minced
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • Black pepper to taste
  • 4 ounces firm tofu, diced small (optional)
  • 1/2 cup finely shredded mozzarella cheese
  • 1/4 cup fine dry breadcrumbs
  • 1 teaspoon paprika
  • 1 tablespoon chopped flat-leaf parsley



Preheat oven to 350°, and line a rimmed baking sheet with aluminum foil and set aside. At the same time, prepare an ice water bath by placing ice cubes into a large bowl of cold water, and bring a large pot of water to a boil. When boiling, add zicchini and boil for 6-8 minutes, until zucchini has softened slightly.

Remove zucchini from boiling water; plunge into ice water bath to cool. Now its time to remove zucchini from the ice bath and place on a paper towel-lined plate.

Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat and add onion, mushrooms, garlic, oregano, salt and pepper; sauté until soft, 5 to 7 minutes. (Stir in tofu, if desired.) Remove from heat and set aside.

Create a “boat” by cutting the zucchini in half lengthwise, and using a teaspoon to scrape out seeds.

Chop pulp and place in a fine-mesh sieve; use a spoon to press out excess liquid.  Mix pulp in with the onion-mushroom mixture.

Finally, it’s time to stuff them! Place zucchini halves on the prepared baking sheet and stuff with the onion-mushroom mixture. Top with cheese.  Combine the breadcrumbs and paprika and sprinkle lightly over zucchini.

Bake until golden brown, about 12 to 15 minutes and serve topped with chopped parsley.

More Heart-Healthy Cooking Ideas from Ingrid Hoffman

Check Out Ingrid Hoffman’s Cookbooks

Food Network and Galavision/Univision cooking star Ingrid Hoffmann has two cookbooks that are full of simple recipes with a Latin twist. Using bold, bright flavors. Ingrid’s passion is turning every meal into a fiesta.

Latin d’Lite: Delicious Latin Recipes with a Healthy Twist

Simply Delicioso: A Collection of Everyday Recipes with a Latin Twist