When the pressure is on, some fold up like a cheap lawn chair. Others spring to life.
Danny Trejo endured pressures, obstacles and challenges. And that’s putting it lightly. But he crushed them all, his gentle smile always warm and welcoming. His new cookbook, Trejo’s Tacos, details his inspiring life story and offers 75 authentic recipes from his roots deep in the Latino communities of Los Angeles and greater Southern California. The least you can do is to do him right and make one for yourself. But you won’t stop there.
Now, get out of your chair.
Scroll down to see more photos and read more about Trejo’s Tacos.
“Oh, I taste fresh strawberries and lime. The Strawberry Lemonade is nice and tangy. Yummy!”
Our good friend Sue is a huge fan of Danny Trejo. She has always been thrilled by his many movies. But then she discovered that he’s good for wielding more than a machete. Like a cleaver. Or a whisk. Maybe a pen. Danny Trejo has other pursuits besides acting up a storm. He’s good in a pinch on the line. All by himself. Danny Trejo has cooked up 75 recipes that are easy to make, restaurant quality—make that his restaurant quality—and quick, affordable, healthy, and fun. Did I say “delicious?” See what we said.
First, we set the day in motion, some would say the room spinning, with Hibiscus Margaritas. We’re such lightweights. Mom: “I taste hibiscus, but this is a little sweet for me.” Lisa: “I like the Hibiscus Margarita. This might be fantastic frozen. I taste bright lime juice, and orange from the triple sec. On a hot day this would be perfect!” And me: “This smells refreshing. The color is so pretty. And the flavors blend smoothly. This is an easy sipping drink, good for summer!” As everyone was flush with good vibes, we were ready for more.
Strawberry Lemonades were served up next, and glass bottom tours opened up fast. Seconds were a given. Mom: “Oh, I taste fresh strawberries and lime. The Strawberry Lemonade is nice and tangy. Yummy!” Lisa: “Wow. I had never tasted a real strawberry drink. It’s not too sweet or acidic. Squeezing every lemon by hand was worth it, and therapeutic too!” Sue: “This is really smooth. It isn’t zingy like regular lemonade. This is so mellow!” And me: “I taste fresh strawberries. This would not taste as lively if it were simply bottled juice. This reminds me of summer!” We hadn’t even started eating yet.
“This is wonderful. I’m pleasantly surprised by the combination of all the flavors and textures. This is outstanding. And it’s healthy too!”
We sat down to try our first course, Roasted Cauliflower Tacos. Mom: “Mmm. Everything comes together. The acidity from the pickled onions is nice. I like the Vegan Cashew Crema. I don’t miss meat at all. This is very satisfying!” Lisa: “I like all the different textures. The cauliflower is awesome. The corn tortillas are the right choice because the nice texture gives a hint of sweetness. I need three of these with beans and rice!” Sue: “The Roasted Cauliflower Tacos have a nice variety of flavors. Cauliflower is so healthy. If I want a little bit more of something or a little less, I can balance it however I want it!” And me: “I like the smokiness of the cauliflower. Everything goes together so well. Everyone should try these!” These as in the recipes, not ours literally.
Blackened Salmon Bowls were next. Our appetites were warmed up. Things were beginning to hot up. Mom: “I like the texture of the beans, firm but tender. The rice has a nice mild flavor. I like the Orange Crema too. My suggestion is to eat the ingredients individually first before mixing everything together!” Lisa: “The blackened salmon is amazing. This is my new favorite rice. The sweet, crunchy red onions and the zesty Pico de Gallo take this to another level!” Sue: “This is wonderful. I’m pleasantly surprised by the combination of all the flavors and textures. This is outstanding. And it’s healthy too!” And me: “I love the Blackened Salmon Bowl. The flavors are so clean, and the colors and textures really stand out. The rice is excellent. Wow!” We were nearly satisfied, so we took a little break before picking up again.
Grilled Spicy Diablo Shrimp served as the final course. If the Roasted Cauliflower Tacos were the warmup, and the Blackened Salmon Bowls were the meat of it all, then the Grilled Spicy Diablo Shrimp definitely brought the sizzle. Mom: “Marinating the shrimp in the Diablo Sauce brought out the sweetness of the shrimp. The Avocado Crema is light and tangy. Danny Trejo’s food has so many layers of flavors. His style is elevated and authentic. I can’t wait to try more!” Lisa: “The Grilled Spicy Diablo Shrimp are so juicy with a nice sear. The marinade is very complex, a smoky earthiness with a touch of sweetness. The heat is a nice finish. It’s a good heat!” And me: “Wow, this is a great combination of flavors. Like everything we’ve tasted, this is simple, healthy and fantastic. And not hard to make. I think that Danny Trejo wants his food to be good for everyone!” Danny Trejo knows drinks and savory dishes, but how well does he finish with dessert?
Vegan Berry Donuts called my name. My full name. In my mom’s voice. Actually, that was my mom imploring me to ask Lisa to make these. Really, I just wanted them. Mom: “Mmm. This is so good. It’s nice and crispy on the outside. I really like the glaze. I couldn’t wait!” Lisa: “I really like this glaze. It’s not too sweet. I love the crispness of the donut!” Sue: “This is wonderful. It’s not messy like an ordinary cake doughnut. We have another winner!” And me: “The Vegan Berry Donuts are nice and crisp. This is actually light for vegan. I want more!” More of everything.
“The Vegan Berry Donuts are nice and crisp. This is actually light for vegan. I want more!”
After we concluded our evening, I asked everyone for their thoughts. Mom: “Danny Trejo’s food is higher quality than other food we already know. And it’s very healthy too!” Lisa: “The biggest wow were the Roasted Cauliflower Tacos. The Strawberry Lemonade was so worth the prep. The Blackened Salmon Bowl was phenomenal!” Sue: “Everything was special in its own way. The Strawberry Lemonade was a pleasant surprise. The Roasted Cauliflower Tacos were wonderful. The Blackened Salmon Bowl was a great meal. I loved the Spanish Rice. The Vegan Berry Donuts were excellent!” And me: “If Danny Trejo can get his food out there at more locations, his food is going to be on more tables everywhere for everyone!”
I never said, “delicious” because it’s a cliché; and, then you would have read me like a book. Speaking of book, we liked Sue’s copy of Trejo’s Tacos so much that we bought our own. We will most likely go through the entire book as a gustatory experience. In conclusion, Lisa said, “It’s not hard to make something good from this book.” And I said, “The only hard thing about this book is picking something out to make.”
Get Trejo’s Tacos, make something good, and then go back to your easy chair—challenges overcome, and with a whole new perspective.
To learn more about Trejo’s Tacos, and to order or prepare for your visit, take a little trip to Trejo’s Tacos
To buy merch from Trejo’s Tacos, including Danny Trejo’s cookbook, click Trejo’s Tacos Store
If you are on Facebook, like my page at Facebook – The Simple Luxuries
To see more photos, follow my Instagram feed at Instagram – The Simple Luxuries
“My camera is my witness. My blog is my voice.” ©2022