Dragons Love Tacos by Adam Rubin, illustrated by Daniel Salmieri (2012).
Sometimes, you just want a good laugh.
Rubin and Salmieri will provide one with the picture books they’ve co-created.
Take Dragons Love Tacos. Everybody loves this book and I just hope I have the privilege of reading it aloud to some kids someday.
You see, dragons love eating tacos, as the title suggests. Which is absurd. And that’s why it’s funny. (It’s also something kids can relate to.)
One caveat: dragons don’t like spicy salsa. In fact, they hate it. It gives them tummy troubles. You know how that goes (fiery breath, etc.).
Visual humor shines in this book (Taco Cave, the dog as sidekick, etc.). Plus, the narrator addressing the dragons is hilarious. Not to mention dragons really liking parties (where tacos are served!). And finally, one party in particular going south due to some, you guessed it, spicy salsa.
All’s well in the end, though, not to worry. The end has non-spicy tacos.
Sometimes, you just want a good taco! Thanks to Tabitha of Eat Up, Buttercup for joining us here to provide a new veggie taco recipe!
She and I first connected over SPARKY, one of my favorite picture books of 2014. Tabitha is a reader, eater, and writer. She blogs about a variety of things, but they’re all infused with creativity, reflection, and joy.
Over to Tabitha!
Cauliflower — in a taco? It might sound weird, but actually the texture is perfect for tacos. Not too soft, but not too crunchy either, and they can stand up to Tex-Mex flavors surprisingly well.
And because cauliflower tacos aren’t crazy enough, I made crispy taco shells with my microwave! There are lots of recipes for how to fry your own taco shells, but all that popping oil is a little intimidating. So when I saw Geoffrey Zakarian make crispy taco shells in the microwave during the Warming Winter Meals episode of The Kitchen, I knew I had to try it. And it works! No popping oil or messy kitchen to clean up. And I have a hunch that you could make a few at once, so they’d be extra great for any taco parties you might be planning.
These tacos are strangely addictive. Don’t be scared by the cauliflower. It’s delicious enough to convert the most meat-loving dragon you know. Just don’t add any jalapeño.
Spicy Pico de Gallo:
– 4 vine-ripened tomatoes, chopped, with seeds removed (should be about 2 cups)
– 1/2 minced jalapeno, seeds removed
– 1/4 cup minced white onion
-1/4 cup loosely packed cilantro, chopped
– juice of 1 small lime
Combine all ingredients in a medium bowl, cover with plastic wrap, and set aside in the refrigerator to let the flavors marry. (This can be made the day before.)
– 2 tsp. ground cumin
– 1 tsp. garlic salt (if you don’t have garlic salt, you can use 1 tsp. Kosher salt + 1/2 tsp. garlic powder)
– 1/2 tsp. chili powder
– 1/2 tsp. ground coriander
– 2 small pinches cayenne pepper
– 1 large head cauliflower
– 1/4 cup minced white onion
– 2 tbsp. Canola or vegetable oil
– 6-8 small corn tortillas
– 1/3 – 1/2 cup chopped romaine
– Your favorite taco toppings
Preheat oven to 350°.
Coarsely chop cauliflower, removing as much of the stem as possible. Add onion to cauliflower in a large bowl and stir to combine.
Stir spices together in a small bowl until they are evenly mixed. Add oil and stir until well combined. Drizzle over cauliflower and gently toss until cauliflower is evenly coated in spice mixture.
Spread cauliflower mixture evenly onto a foil-lined medium baking sheet and bake for 15-20 minutes, until cauliflower is slightly tender.
Meanwhile, lay 1 corn tortilla on a paper towel and insert a microwave-safe mug — the narrower the better. Make sure the tortilla is as skinny or wide as you want your final taco shell to be, then place mug (upright) in your microwave and heat on high for 30 seconds. If tortilla is still slightly soft, heat for an additional 15 seconds. Carefully remove mug from microwave, and then remove paper towel and shell and set your now crispy corn tortilla shell aside on a plate. If there is any excess moisture inside the mug, dry with paper towel before repeating with other tortillas. Note: the mug will be hot after it’s been in the microwave, so make sure you hold it by the handle and be very careful when removing the tortilla shell.
Once your cauliflower is cooked and all your tortillas are crispy taco shells, it’s time to assemble! Layer cauliflower, chopped romaine, and Pico de Gallo, and then add your favorite taco toppings. We like Sargento’s Mexican cheese blend and maybe some hot sauce, but you can add sour cream, guacamole, black beans, corn salsa, or anything else you like. Enjoy!
But remember, if you invite any dragons for dinner, you might want to leave out the spicy Pico de Gallo!
Head over to Eat Up, Buttercup for her complete write-up of cauliflower tacos!