Healthy Eating: Smart Recipes for a Healthier You-Three Bean Salad and Tacos

Smart Recipes for a Healthier You will be an ongoing series on Healthin30 recognizing healthy smart simple recipes to help empower you to take charge of your health.  The goal is to help provide you with inspiration to make cooking simple and healthy.

My friend John La Puma, MD, professionally trained chef, a board-certified internist and New York Times best-selling author kicks off the series with a meatless healthy taco.

Category: Healthy Eating and Smart Recipes for a Healthier You

Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free

ChefMD - Dr. John La Puma Vegan Recipe Healthin30

“Sassy, fiber-rich make once serve twice recipe helps lower LDL “lousy” cholesterol and lower cancer risk.” – John La Puma, MD

Preparation Time: 15 minutes
Cooking Time: 20 minutes
Servings: 6
Calories: 167 per serving
Percent from Fat: 26%
Cuisine: Vegetarian, Mexican
Course: Salad – Side, Salad – Meal, Lunch, Dinner
Diet: Vegetarian, Vegan, Gluten Free
Food as Medicine(SM) Ingredient: Pinto Beans or Black Beans


Ingredients (Three Bean Salad):

  • 1 (16 ounce) can each: no salt added black beans, pinto beans and garbanzo beans, rinsed and drained
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped poblano or banana chili peppers (1 large poblano or 2 to 3 banana chili peppers)
  • 1/2 cup finely chopped red onion
  • 3 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil
  • 2 tablespoons balsamic or red wine vinegar or more to taste
  • 2 teaspoons kosher or coarse sea salt
  • 1 teaspoon each: cumin seeds or ground cumin and celery seeds
  • Large red leaf lettuce or radicchio leaves (optional)

Ingredients (Three Bean Tacos):

  • 2-1/2 cups reserved Three Bean Salad
  • 3/4 cup guajillo or jalapeno salsa, such as Frontera brand
  • 2 cups shredded cabbage or packaged cole slaw mix
  • 8 corn tortillas, warmed
  • 1/2 ripe avocado, peeled, seeded, diced
  • 1/2 cup chopped cilantro


Preparation (Three Bean Salad):
Combine beans in a large bowl. Add chili peppers, red onion, oil, vinegar, salt, cumin and celery seeds; mix well. Reserve 2-1/2 cups salad for Three Bean Tacos (recipe follows); chill up to 3 days. Refrigerate remaining 3 cups salad 30 minutes for flavors to blend. Serve over lettuce as a side dish or as a base for broiled or grilled fish.

Preparation (Three Bean Tacos):
Combine bean salad and salsa in a medium saucepan. Bring to a simmer over high heat. Reduce heat; stir well and simmer 5 minutes or until heated through. Stir in cabbage; heat through. Serve in warmed tortillas with avocado and cilantro.

Nutritional Analysis

Total fat (g): 4.74 – Fat calories (kc): 42.62 – Saturated fat (g): 0.63 – Fiber (g): 6.72 – Carbohydrates (g): 23.49 – Sugar (g): 1.55 – Protein (g): 7.47 – Calcium (mg) 50.93 – Sodium (mg): Salad: 401.6 – Tacos: 451.8

(This recipe and information is posted with permission from John La Puma, MD.)

More healthy eating on Healthin30

Your turn

What’s your favorite smart healthy recipe?  Please share them with us in the comment section below. As always, thank you for your very valuable time.

About John La Puma, MD

John La Puma, MD

John La Puma, MD is the leading physician voice for healthy eating as part of health, and a wellness, ethics and lifestyle expert. Both a board-certified practicing internist and professionally trained chef, he is a New York Times best-selling author twice, on healthy aging and diet. He currently hosts the nationwide PBS Special “Eat and Cook Healthy!” and is medical director and host of “Chef MD” on Lifetime TV. He is the first physician to teach a cooking and nutrition course in a U.S. medical school (SUNY-Syracuse), with Dr Michael Roizen of the Cleveland Clinic. Dr. La Puma specializes in weight management in Santa Barbara’s Chef Clinic.

To learn more, please visit Dr. John La Puma.

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