My California Kitchen

Cooking, baking, traveling, life

    Tabasco Grilled Veggie Skewers

    Gupta Rishi August 14, 2015 California Kitchen No Comments

    If the meat world goes down well with the grill, vegans have their own delight with veggie skewers. This easy to make and great on the healthy recipe on the grill is bound to make a perfect day for any vegetarian. With ingredients that include nutrient rich vegetables and fruits, this recipe would keep you going on your fitness drive. Not to mention, the vegan world is pregnant with aesthetically pleasing food and this food serves right to your eyes with its rich colors and aroma. So without blabbering much in praise for a recipe that corroborates itself, let us find out how it is brought to your plate.

    The time required

    It is vegan and delightful and requires a minimal amount of time on and off the grill. This easy to make recipe takes a total time of 15 minutes. Out of which, preparation time is 10 minutes while cooking time is a meager 5 minutes. In a way, your platter would be ready in the blink of an eye.

    The required ingredients

    To pack this recipe with more and more health, you need to pour in a lot of veggies and if possible, some fruits too. There is a bunch of things that you may require on your kitchen shelf to bring about this recipe. And they are:

    • 3 tablespoons of minced cilantro
    • An eggplant, large chunks of it
    • A pint of cherry tomatoes
    • Half a teaspoon of sugar
    • A quarter teaspoon of pepper
    • A quarter teaspoon of salt
    • A teaspoon full of Tabasco Original Red Sauce
    • 3 tablespoons of extra virgin olive oil

    Once you collect these items and place them by your side, you are totally ready to proceed further with the procedure of cooking.

    The cooking procedure

    This is arguably the easiest part of the recipe. When done right, it could pull off great results. To get just that, stick to the steps that follow:

    1. Fire up your grill and let it reach a considerable temperature for preheating.
    2. As the grill continues to heat up, place wooden skewers in water in order to prevent them from burning.
    3. Grab a little bowl and in it, blend together olive oil, Tabasco sauce, cilantro, sugar, pepper, and salt.
    4. Now come back to tomatoes and eggplant. Place these two onto the skewers. Ensure some space between the items.
    5. Apply the marinade you just made on the vegetables.
    6. Transfer the veggies on to the grill. As grill marks begin to appear, turn them over.
    7. When turned over, grill until marks appear on the other side too.
    8. Preferably, continue the grilling process until the veggies turn tender.
    9. Take them off the grill and serve.
    10. If you feel creative enough, you may consider complementing the recipe with some meat or seafood.

    Hence, a simple process approaches an end. Garnish your platter as you may like it to be. Now don’t waste much time thinking about it. It is hardly a matter of 15 minutes. Go make it count!

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    Mixed Berry Oat Muffins with Lemon Sugar

    Gupta Rishi April 2, 2015 breakfast No Comments

    These muffins are packed full of berries—a berry in every bite!  The flour used for these is comprised entirely of gluten-free oats.  You would think they would be dense, but they come out of the oven nice and fluffy. The sweet and tart lemon sugar topping pairs perfectly with the sweet and tart berries inside. These are a great weekend morning welcome into spring!

    As the weather begins to get warmer here in southern California, I start to crave berries! Does this happen to you? The berries here aren’t quite ready, though, so frozen berries make a great substitute.

    I’ve been itching to try more muffins made with oat flour, and these were the perfect opportunity. The idea for the lemon sugar came from the bowl of giant lemons I stole off my parents’ lemon tree. Thanks, Mom!

    The berry mixed I used had blueberries, strawberries, raspberries, and blackberries! I partially thawed them before adding to the batter.

    The lemon sugar gets sprinkled on top…

    …and when they come out of the oven, the sugar creates a crackly top.

    For muffins

    1. 1/3 cup canola oil
    2. 1/2 cup (4 oz) plain Greek yogurt (I used 2%)
    3. 1/3 cup sugar (64 g)
    4. 1 egg
    5. 1 tsp vanilla extract
    6. 1 1/2 cup oat flour (gluten-free, if desired)
    7. 1/2 tsp baking soda
    8. 1tsp baking powder
    9. 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    10. 1 1/4 cup frozen mixed berries, partially thawed
    For topping
    1. 2 tbsp sugar (24 g)
    2. 2 tsp lemon zest
    1. Preheat oven to 350°F and either spray muffin pan with cooking spray or put liners into the muffin pan.
    2. Combine oil with yogurt. Add in egg and vanilla and stir until well mixed. Add in sugar and mix. Add oat flour, baking soda, baking powder, and salt and stir to combine fully.
    3. Gently fold in berries.
    4. Scoop batter into muffin pan so cups are full (they don’t rise as much as gluten-containing muffins, so go ahead and fill them up).
    5. Make lemon sugar by placing sugar and lemon zest in a small bowl and rubbing between your fingers until the zest is fully incorporated into the sugar.
    6. Sprinkle sugar mixture evenly over the muffins.
    7. Bake 25 minutes or until a toothpick inserted into the center of the muffins comes out clean and tops are a golden brown.
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    Greek Yogurt Egg Salad

    Gupta Rishi February 23, 2015 salad No Comments

    Yeah, egg salad is kind of boring, but this one is the best! So good you can have it a couple times a week like my husband does.  And it’s made with Greek yogurt instead of mayonnaise, which makes it a little bit lighter-tasting and healthier than your regular egg salad.  And it’s more tangy, too, which I think pairs perfectly with the mustard (and you know how much I love mustard). I may be a bit biased though, because…

    I hate mayonnaise!! Please tell me I’m not the only one?  There’s something about its consistency (so thick and jiggly) and texture..yeesh.  In high school some of my friends used to plop whole packets of mayonnaise right on top of their tacos (yes, TACOS!!!)  Such a beautiful thing ruined by mayonnaise.

    For the past few years, I have been experimenting with replacing mayonnaise with Greek yogurt and I haven’t really had any complaints from my mayo-loving family yet.  However, even if I loved mayonnaise, I would like to think that I would still love this egg salad more than the original.  I dare you to give this to someone and see if they notice.  I bet not!

    Besides the Greek yogurt, my favorite egg salad also has some hot sauce and paprika to give it some spice!

    1. 6 large eggs
    2. 1/4 cup Greek Yogurt (about 60 g)
    3. 1 tsp Dijon mustard (5 g)
    4. 1/2 Tsp yellow mustard (about 2 grams)
    5. 2 tsp lemon juice
    6. 1 tsp hot sauce
    7. 1/8 Tsp paprika
    8. 1/4 Tsp kosher salt
    9. Freshly cracked black pepper, to taste
    1. Put eggs into a small saucepan with enough cold water to cover them by about an inch. Over high heat, heat saucepan uncovered until water is boiling. Once water has reached a rolling boil, cover and reduce heat to the lowest it can go. Set timer to 11 minutes.
    2. Once the timer goes off, remove eggs from heat and immediately drain hot water and fill with cold water and ice.
    3. After eggs have cooled a bit, remove, peel, and place them into a medium bowl.
    4. Add yogurt, Dijon and yellow mustard, lemon juice, paprika, hot sauce, and salt and pepper.
    5. Mash and combine.
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    Pizza Baked Potato Skins

    Gupta Rishi December 13, 2014 dinner No Comments

    Are these baked potatoes? Are they potato skins? Who cares!  These potatoes are a fun and easy twist on pizza night that everyone will love.  I already had most of the ingredients for these in my kitchen and they turned out to be the perfect easy, cheesy, Friday night dinner.

    Do you have any Friday night dinner traditions? Now that I’m an old married lady, Friday nights aren’t wild and crazy (I guess they were never either of those things, but sometimes they got close).  After a long week, my husband and I usually like to eat in and cozy up on the couch to catch up on DVRed shows.  Typically on Fridays, I cook something a little less healthy than what we typically eat during the week and sometimes we even split a SODA with dinner (I know, right? We are really living on the edge these days).

    I love baked potatoes, but I also love the crispiness of potato skins so I decided to combine them for this recipe.

    For potato skins
    1. 4 large Russet potatoes
    2. 3 tablespoons olive oil
    3. 1 teaspoon kosher salt
    4. 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
    5. 1/4 teaspoon freshly cracked black pepper
    For stuffing
    1. 1/2 cup shredded Italian cheese blend or parmesan cheese
    2. 4 oz cream cheese, room temperature
    3. 1/2 tsp Italian seasoning
    4. 1/2 tsp kosher salt
    5. 1 1/2 cup marinara sauce
    6. 1 1/2 cup shredded mozzarella
    7. Pepperoni slices, sliced olives, or other pizza toppings
    1. Preheat oven to 375°F. Pierce potatoes a few times with a fork and wrap each potato in foil. Bake for an hour.
    2. Spoon out the centers of each half into a large bowl, leaving some of the potato in the skin to keep the structure. Mix and mash potato flesh with cream cheese, Italian seasoning, salt, and shredded cheese, making sure there are no big chunks of potato left.
    3. Increase the oven heat to 475°F. Spray a baking sheet lined with foil with cooking spray. Combine oil, salt, garlic powder, and pepper and brush over both sides of potato skins. Bake for 4 minutes; turn over and bake for 5 minutes more.
    4. Scoop potato mixture into skins (if you pat down the mixture so that it’s a bit indented like a shallow bowl, the sauce will sit on top easily), spoon 3 tbsp of sauce and 3 tbsp mozzarella cheese on top, and layer pepperoni slices on top of cheese. Lower heat to 375 and bake potatoes 20 minutes. Top with additional parmesan cheese if desired. Serve.
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    Smoked Whole Hog on Pellet Grill

    Gupta Rishi November 9, 2014 California Kitchen No Comments

    The goodness of pork is not a hidden fact. It is loaded with protein and other nutrients. It is ubiquitous in the meat lovers’ world. A whole hog ensures that all guests arriving at a party have something to gobble up and be highly thankful when they leave. Now if you add that pleasing flavor of smoke to your whole hog, its essence is elevated to an unimaginable high and is ready to mesmerize anyone. Here, in this recipe, we look to achieve that on a pellet grill. Without talking about it much, let us take a look at the recipe.

    The time required and other things

    We are looking at an entire pig; consequently, there would be much time that goes into the smoking procedure. And, so it is. This recipe requires a staggering cooking time of 7 hours but a meager preparation time of 15 minutes. Good to know that this recipe when done, can feed up to 100 people. Also look out for the degree of difficulty in it since it is not considered to be pretty easy to pull off.

    The ingredients required

    There are a few things that have to be on your kitchen shelf or your outdoor shelf for the smoked whole hog. Those items are:

    1. A 65-pound whole hog
    2. At least 2 bottles of your favorite barbecue sauce
    3. Half a cup of pepper
    4. Half a cup of salt
    5. Half a cup of onion powder
    6. Half a cup of garlic powder
    7. Half a bottle of yellow mustard

    When these items are ready, you may reach for the instructions to proceed further with this recipe.

    The procedure of cooking

    The preparation would not be much to worry about but the smoking process might test your patience. In case you are calling people over, it is recommended that you prepare your whole hog well in time. Let us sneak a peek into the process involved:

    • You should ensure that your whole hog brought from poultry has been thoroughly cleaned and there are no traces of hair. Also, it should be gutted.
    • Cut off the feet from the body of the pig in order for it to fit the grill grates.
    • Use your yellow mustard to rub on the entire body of the hog. Mustard will help the rub to stick with the hog.
    • Blend together onion powder, garlic powder, pepper, and salt. This is your rub.
    • Use a third part of the rub to apply on the pig. Keep the rest aside for later use.
    • Fire up your pellet grill and let it heat up to a preheating temperature of about 250 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Shut the lid and allow the grill to heat up for about 10-15 minutes.
    • Chuck the pig on to the grill.
    • Let it be there for about 5 hours, smoking at a temperature of 250 degrees F.
    • After this time, let the temperature rise to about 325 degrees Fahrenheit to sign off.
    • Now give 2-3 hours more to the pig until an inserted thermometer reads a temperature at 205 degrees Fahrenheit.

    Your whole hog is now ready to crash the party. What are you waiting for? Call them all over now!

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    Sirloin Steak on Electric Grill

    Gupta Rishi September 1, 2014 California Kitchen No Comments

    Sirloin is essentially a high-quality meat of beef that has been cut from the loin of the animal. Beef, as is known, is pregnant with nutrients. Proteins are heavily loaded on the meat and it is pretty popular with the foodies. Grilling a sirloin would significantly enhance its flavor and give it a tinge of texture so beautiful that it would be irresistible in all of its aspects. To make some great beef steaks with a pleasing flavor, we will have to take a look at this recipe. Without talking about it further, let us get into it.

    The time required

    Sirloin is a heavy meat and so it will be assumed to be time-consuming. However, the final product of cooking would be ready to soothe your senses in a total time of 30 minutes. Out of this, the time required for preparation is 15 minutes. This recipe would feed 4 people and is pretty easy to make.

    The required ingredients

    There is a little bunch of ingredients that are supposed to be ready on your kitchen shelf before proceeding further with the cooking procedure. And, that bunch includes:

    • 4 sirloin steaks, preferably ¼ to one and a half inches in thickness
    • Some kosher salt
    • Some pepper, freshly ground
    • 2 tablespoons full of either olive oil or canola oil

    As you prepare these ingredients and find them at hand, you may look forward to preparing your electric grill and thus to proceeding further with the recipe.

    The cooking procedure

    This process is fairly easy and remarkably less time-consuming. To pull off perfectly grilled sirloin steak, go through the guide that follows and try to stick to the steps listed down. Here they are:

    1. Allow your steaks to sit for at least 20 minutes after taking them out from the fridge. This has to be done at normal temperature.
    2. Fire up your electric grill to a high flame.
    3. Use oil, pepper, and salt on both the sides of the steaks, seasoning them liberally.
    4. Transfer your steaks on to the grill.
    5. Continue cooking until they appear golden brown or slightly charred. This should take about 4-5minutes.
    6. After this, flip over the steaks.
    7. Go on to grill the steaks for about 3-5 minutes or note the temperature reading of an inserted thermometer. At 135 degrees Fahrenheit, the steaks would be medium-rare. At 140, medium and medium-well at 150 degree F.
    8. Determine the type of cooking you would be interested in and grill accordingly.
    9. With that done, you may place your steaks on a chopping board and serve.
    10. However, do allow the dish to rest for about 5 minutes before you move into slicing.

    Hence, an easy beef recipe comes to an end. Now we know that “easy beef” is not an oxymoron but s reality. We discussed the recipe quite enthusiastically and so we recommend that you shove aside lethargy and move on, over to this recipe. Let us go!

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    Grilled Artichokes

    Gupta Rishi August 3, 2014 California Kitchen No Comments

    If the market is flooded with nonvegetarian delicacies, vegan delights are soon catching up with their seemingly unique flavor. When combined with the goodness of grill, their flavors are highly underscored and a herby tinge is rendered scrumptious. Artichokes are such delights that delve into the tasty world of vegan food and have found an irreplaceable place in the hearts of kids. When adults come across artichokes, they are immediately reminded of their favorite childhood cuisine. By grilling artichokes, we tend to enhance their flavor. Let us discuss how we are going to do it on a household grill.

    The time required

    Being a vegetarian recipe, artichokes do not take up much of your cooking time and a dish serving 4 people is pretty easy to cook. To mention, grilled artichokes require a total time of about an hour. Out of this time, 15 minutes are spent in preparation while the remaining 45 minutes is the cooking time.

    The required ingredients

    There is a little lot of things you may need to keep ready in order to savor great artichokes. Occupy your kitchen shelf with the items that follow:

    1. A tablespoon filled with fresh chopped herbs could be thyme, oregano, rosemary
    2. Some salt
    3. About 2 to 3 globe artichokes, large
    4. A lemon that has been cut
    5. A bay leaf
    6. Cut 2 garlic cloves in half
    7. 1/3 of a cup full of extra virgin olive oil

    As you collect these ingredients and bring them together in your kitchen, you may gear up for further process of this recipe.

    The cooking procedure

    You are required to stick to a series of steps to bring about perfectly grilled artichokes. Here are the steps that are to be kept by your side:

    • Grab a little bowl and mix together the fresh chopped herbs in it(exclude bay leaf).
    • Pour olive oil into the contents of the bowl.
    • Transfer this to microwave at full power for about 30 seconds.
    • In a large pot, pour one-inch water. In this, place the garlic cloves and the saved bay leaf that has been saved.
    • Get a steamer rack and place in this pot prepared above.
    • Grab one of those vegetable peelers and use it to cut out the thick layer on the outside of your artichoke.
    • Cut off the stems of the artichokes at 2 inches from its base.
    • Discard the upper half inch part of the artichokes.
    • Cleave the artichokes into two halves.
    • Heat up the water under the steamer rack. Transfer the artichokes to the steamer rack.
    • Continue to steam the artichokes for about 20 minutes.
    • Now fire up your grill to high heat.
    • Now use the oil with herbs to apply on the artichokes.
    • Transfer them on to the grill with their cut sides facing downward on the grates.
    • Cover them and continue to grill for about 5-10 minutes or until when grill marks begin to appear on the sides facing downward.
    • Pour lemon juice onto the artichokes and serve onto the platter.

    Hence, your recipe of grilled artichokes is ready. In reality, this would only happen when you get down to work. So, get up!

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    Succotash Barbequed with Chicken Wings

    Gupta Rishi May 13, 2014 California Kitchen No Comments

    Succotash is native to America and is essentially a dish that consists of lima beans and sweet corn that has been boiled together. It doubles up as a flavor intensifier when added to other recipes. Now, here, that we discuss barbecue with succotash, the intensity of the resulting recipe can be conceived. It would surely be a surreal experience. Here, we look to combine all time favorite chicken with a blend of succotash and barbecue. We feel our hunger touching new highs while delivering such a blend to you. Let us dive a tad deeper into this recipe to find out how succotash marries barbecue.

    The time required

    This recipe is pretty easy on everything. It would not keep you engaged for much longer and so would never keep you waiting to drool. Ideally, succotash barbecued with chicken wings requires a total time of 40 minutes. 10 minutes of this time period is utilized in preparation while the rest goes into cooking. This 40-minute delicacy would serve 4 people.

    The required ingredients

    There is a little bit of rush here. You will need a pretty long list of items to embellish your kitchen shelf with. Here is that list:

    1. 8 chicken wings, bone in and skin on
    2. 10 ounces baby lima beans, frozen and packed
    3. 10 ounces of corn, frozen and packed
    4. A chopped bell pepper, preferably red
    5. A bunch of chopped scallions
    6. 3 tablespoons full of unsalted butter
    7. A tablespoon and teaspoon filled with Dijon mustard
    8. 2 tablespoons worth of Worcestershire sauce
    9. A quarter cup of ketchup
    10. Half a cup of apple cider
    11. Some kosher salt
    12. Some pepper, freshly ground

    Once done with collecting these items, you are ready to rock and roll.

    The cooking procedure

    This recipe is one of those rare easier ones and so is its procedure. However, it is recommended that you stick to this guide in order to come up with near perfect barbecued chicken wings with succotash. Here are those steps:

    • Grab a rack and place it in the oven. Fire up the oven to reach a preheating temperature of 425 degrees Fahrenheit.
    • Use pepper and salt to season the wings and chuck it on a baking sheet. Place in the oven and roast for about 30 minutes.
    • In a saucepan, blend together a tablespoon of mustard, Worcestershire sauce, ketchup, and cider. Simmer the mixture for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally.
    • Grab one large skillet and in it, melt some butter with pepper, salt, bell pepper and scallion whites.
    • Place this mixture over heat and stir occasionally. It would take up to 5 minutes for the veggies to soften slightly.
    • To this, add a quarter cup of water, the remaining mustard, lima beans, and corn. Place the mixture over a simmer.
    • Continue to cook until the veggies appear tender. This should take up to 10minutes.
    • Now add the scallion greens.
    • Fire up your broiler.
    • Apply the barbecue sauce you prepared on the chicken wings.
    • Give about 3 minutes to the chicken to cook. By this time, the sauce should be thick.
    • Once done, serve these chicken wings with succotash.

    Hence, this brings us to the end of this recipe. If you wish to see such a surreal experience around you(we know you do), get moving!

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    Chipotle Sweet Potato Chili with Chicken and Bacon

    Gupta Rishi March 2, 2014 lunch No Comments

    A few years ago, a gastroenterologist diagnosed my husband with non-celiac gluten sensitivity after a particularly bad bout of fatigue, achiness, and stomach issues. For those of you who are curious about gluten sensitivity and would like to know more,

    Since then, I have been learning about gluten-free baking and cooking and experimenting with different recipes for him. I have found that the easiest baking recipes to make gluten-free are those that aren’t traditionally ‘bready’ in texture or where flour is not the main ingredient. The blueberry crisp made below is made with an all purpose gluten-free flour and gluten-free oats to create a crispy, crunchy topping. I promise that nobody will know it is gluten-free!IMG_6774

    I made a pretty basic crisp recipe and I decided to add some coconut. As the crisp bakes, the coconut gets toasted and it adds a nice crunchy texture with a subtle coconut flavor. I don’t like coconut very much but I actually loved it in this. Big coconut fans could definitely bump the coconut in this recipe up to a half cup.  This crisp comes together super quickly and easily.  The most time consuming part is cutting in the cold butter.  I usually start out pressing the cubes into the mixture with a fork and then just using my fingers to smush everything together until the there are no big chunks of butter and most of the mixture has become slightly moist with the incorporation of the butter.


    As noted in the ingredients, you could absolutely replace the butter here 1:1 with coconut oil (for more coconut flavor!!) or a neutral vegetable oil like canola if you can’t have dairy. Instead of cutting in the butter, you would just stir in the oil to the crisp mixture. If you try it, let me know how it turns out!


    You don’t NEED ice cream with this (I definitely caught myself sneaking plain spoonfuls of this straight out of the fridge…) but it sure was delicious with a scoop of vanilla bean on top. how tasty would dairy-free coconut milk ice cream be on this? Please somebody try it and send me reviews (and pictures and drop by my house with some!)

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    3 Egg Recipes for your Charcoal Grill

    Gupta Rishi February 13, 2014 California Kitchen No Comments

    You cannot deny the nutrient richness of eggs. You cannot further deny how health freaks are in love with eggs and how often they fall back on this food. One fact about eggs is commendable and that is that eggs can be tweaked according to your taste. There could exist a very personal egg recipe close to you. Furthermore, if you look to combine eggs with grill, you look into one of the easiest things in the culinary world. In this article, we try to narrow down to 3 egg recipes that you might consider making for a relaxed out weekend. Let us see what those are.

    Grilled Scrambled Eggs

    This recipe, serving 4 people can be pulled off in a matter of just 20 minutes.

    You just need:

    1. About 10-11 large eggs
    2. A cup full of cheddar cheese, coarsely shredded
    3. A small diced onion
    4. 2 tablespoons full of butter
    5. Some pepper, freshly ground
    6. Some kosher salt
    7. A quarter cup of milk

    Directions are as follows:

    1. Bring together milk and eggs. Sprinkle pepper and salt over it.
    2. Melt your unsalted butter on medium heat. To it, add some onion and continue to cook for about 5-6 minutes.
    3. To this, add milk and egg whisked together and give another 3 minutes to cooking.
    4. Shred the cheese on this and continue cooking, while stirring frequently.
    5. Serve right away.

    The easiest recipe in town is now ready.

    Cambodian Grilled Eggs

    This is another very quick recipe, ready in 20 minutes.

    You need:

    1. 12-14 whole eggs
    2. ¼ teaspoon of pepper
    3. A tablespoon of brown sugar
    4. A teaspoon of fish sauce


    1. With a needle, carve a ¼ inch diameter hole at an end of all the eggs.
    2. Make another tiny hole at opposite end. Blow air through this hole to shove the egg and pour it in a bowl.
    3. Let the evacuated shells stand in a rack of the steamer.
    4. Blend together all the ingredients and carefully push them into the shells.
    5. Keep these eggs in the fridge overnight.
    6. Skewer these eggs and chuck them onto a grill and cook until they are properly warmed.

    Here is another quick egg recipe on your platter.

    Simple Grilled Eggs

    This is by far the quickest of the quick recipes.

    You need:

    1. Some pepper
    2. Eggs, of course
    3. Some vegetable oil
    4. Aluminum foil


    1. Fire up the grill on medium heat and let the temperature rise to about 350 degrees F.
    2. Show some creativity to carve out some little rounds tray with the aluminum foil.
    3. Pour an egg into each tray, lining the bottom with some oil.
    4. Place these trays on to the grill and give about 2-3 minutes for cooking on the charcoal grill.
    5. Take the trays off the grill and season with some pepper.

    So the easiest of the easy has also been brought to you.

    Thus, your charcoal grill is ready to be a hub of healthy food. Don’t just look at the recipe, go cook!

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