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Build A Guilt Free Taco

Because Every Day Should Be Taco Tuesday

Red meat doesn’t have a great rap when it comes to heart health. Fortunately, there are plenty of healthy ways to indulge in tacos by opting for healthier alternatives. Jo Cessna, a certified nutrition expert at Northwestern Medicine Kishwaukee Hospital Leishman Center for Culinary Health, shares some of her favorite taco combos. There are plenty of ways to incorporate fresh produce, from swapping out your wrap to topping with homemade salsa. If you’re a purist who’s not a fan of shrimp, chicken or lentil tacos, just be sure to indulge in beef in moderation.

Smoky Smashed Bean Tacos


  • 1 Tbs. olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup corn kernels (thawed if frozen)
  • A dash of sea salt and black pepper
  • 1 small yellow onion, finely chopped
  • 2 Tbs. taco seasoning
  • 1 15-ounce can pinto beans, drained and rinsed
  • 1/2 cup water


  1. Heat a medium skillet; add 2 teaspoons of the olive oil and add corn. Cook, stirring until browned in spots. Season with a dash of salt and pepper. Remove from skillet and set aside.
  2. Return skillet to stove. Add remaining 1 teaspoon olive oil and the onion with a pinch of sea salt; cook until soft.
  3. Add taco seasoning and cook until fragrant.
  4. Add pinto beans and water. Bring to a simmer and cook until beans are very soft and warmed through.
  5. Using a potato masher, mash beans into a chunky paste.
  6. Spread each tortilla with beans and top with corn, cabbage, avocado, hot sauce, cilantro and cheese. Serve with a lime wedge.
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