Every Day is Taco Day in Texas

#tacotuesday #cheftudiefrankjohnson

This is a guest post from Chef Tudi Frank-Johnson, who is an amazing teacher and chef.

Taco Tuesday!

Where did that even come from? I grew up in San Antonio, Texas so every day could be Taco Day. Actually, in our house, it was Wednesdays. My mom made her signature ground beef stuffed in salty, pan-fried corn tortilla shells. She would ask each of us how many we wanted and she’d fill your plate with 2, 5, or even 8. These were always topped very simply with diced tomatoes, shredded iceberg lettuce, and the JUICE from Trappey’s Torrido hot peppers. In Texas, we always had Breakfast Tacos-fat handmade flour tortillas filled with beans, cheese, eggs, pico de gallo, chorizo, ham, bacon, brisket-whatever you could imagine.

Times have changed. My husband had a recent bout with cancer and I too am a survivor. We made the decision to go meatless for our health. We are now Pescatarians, still enjoying fish and some dairy.

Taco Tuesday for us has evolved into many different variations of meat-free tacos. I have made taco “meat” filling from TVP*, Walnuts, Mushrooms, and Plant-Based Burger. I heavily spice these and they taste great. When I make these “meaty” fillings, I will step up the condiments to balance the flavors.

Veggie Fajitas are a staple in our house too. I’ll grill up all kinds of squash, peppers, onions, and mushrooms. These are delicious, marinated, grilled, and stuffed in flour tortillas. Blackened Catfish or Mahi Mahi make delicious Fish Tacos and Grilled Shrimp Tacos are one of my all-time favorites.

Tonight, we’re having Grilled Pineapple Tacos with Guacamole and Black Beans. With these tacos, crisp radishes, cucumbers, and juicy limes are the perfect match.

You just peel and cut the pineapple off the core and into lengthwise wedges. Brush each wedge with a little soy or teriyaki and a bit of olive oil to marinate. Grill till lightly charred over medium heat. The pineapple takes on a “meaty” texture and becomes intensely sweet. These are served in grilled corn tortillas with a little chipotle mayo, shredded cabbage, salty cotija cheese, and hot pink pickled onions. Each bite has all the tastes-Sweet, salty, bitter, sour, and umami.

You could also brush the pineapple spears with BBQ sauce and go Southern vs Mexican. Just stuff in flour tortillas, top with creamy coleslaw and cheddar cheese for BBQ Pineapple Tacos. I love both versions.

I hope you’ll give them a try and be surprised how easy and delicious they are. Tacos...they’s not just for Tuesdays anymore.

Grilled Pineapple Tacos

From Chef: Tudie Frank-Johnson

Serves: 4

Ingredients Amount Measure Notes

Fresh Pineapple 1 large, about 3 lbs

Teriyaki or soy sauce 2 Tbsp

Olive oil 1 Tbsp

Black pepper pinch

Thick corn tortillas 8

Green cabbage ¼ small head shredded finely, about 2 cups

Cotija Cheese ½ cup crumbled finely

Pickled Red Onions* 1 cup drained

Black beans 4 cups Canned or your favorite recipe

Chipotle Mayonnaise ¼ cup Mix ¼ c mayo + 1 Tbsp adobo sauce

from can of chipotle chiles


Avocados 2 48 ct

Roma Tomato 1 each finely diced

Serrano chile 1 each finely diced

White onion ¼ cup finely diced

Cilantro 2 sprigs minced fine