Meat On The Side Cookbook

Meet Nikki

I am a chef, TV host, cookbook author, blogger, radio host, professional voice over artist and terrace gardener. I cook mostly "Meat on the Side" which makes veggies the star of the plate. 

More about Nikki...



Sign up for my mailing list!
This form does not yet contain any fields.
    Junk Food Flip

    Tuesdays at 9pmET on Cooking Channel

    Food Network Star

    Nikki Dinki on Food Network Star Season 9!! Click here for pics, clips and more from the show


    Caramelized Sweet Potato + Crispy Kale Pizza



    Kale chips are all the rave (they have been for a while now!)--and for good reason.






    The crispiness you can get from kale is amazing, and the texture and flavor are addicting.



    Click to read more ...


    Pumpkin Polenta with Brussels Sprouts + Sausage



    My husband is always a good sport when it comes to being my go-to taste tester.






    He eats random meals made up of four totally different things--recipes I tested earlier that day. 



    Click to read more ...


    Banana Piña Colada Ice Cream



    As the weather warms up you can’t help but think about ice cream.





    However, you also can’t help but think about the fact that soon you'll be wearing bikinis and tank tops…oh my!



    Click to read more ...


    Marshmallow Oreo Brownies



    I’m not a huge baker, so I have found an easy formula to create new recipes that are just plain delicious and highly addictive.





    Here it is: take three things you love AND SMASH THEM TOGETHER!!



    Click to read more ...


    Asparagus Edamame + Scallop Linguine with Spicy Breadcrumbs



    Asparagus season is finally here!





    It's also that perfect time in New York City when you’re no longer bundled up head to toe, but you're not so hot that it feels like the city is actually radiating heat.



    Click to read more ...


    Caramelized Lemon Pasta



    My mother-in-law loves lemons.





    If I’m trying to get in good with her, all I have to do is whip up a dish that includes a burst of lemon and I’m in the running for Favorite Daughter-in-Law. 



    Click to read more ...


    Tomato + Cheddar Sandwich with Lemon Aioli



    When I’m not making lunch at home, I try to find simple, well-crafted, veggie-focused foods to pick up that almost make me feel like I've made them myself.





    One of my favorite go-to sandwiches is a delicious tomato and cheddar number from a local sandwich place.


    Besides the main ingredients, it includes a little mayo, some crunchy greens, and great bread.



    Click to read more ...


    Sundried Tomato + Basil Grilled Cheese




    Soon enough summer will be here and we can start talking about salads and fresh veggies.





    But for now, while there is still a chill in the air, I consider a scarf as important an article of clothing as pants.


    And although spring has officially sprung, that chilly air means it's still the perfect season for grilled cheese.



    Click to read more ...


    Little Baby's Caramel Apple Monkey Bread



    Today I am 36 weeks pregnant with Little Baby.


    This is the point when most women excitedly think about their new baby coming home—and they stress over the imminent labor that is coming and plan for the upcoming months of blissful chaos.


    I am doing many of these things; I feel electric with excitement, I am obsessed with this little lady—but I am also consumed with fear. 





    We lost our first daughter, Willa, at 40 weeks; she was big, strong, perfect. But she passed away.  After a traumatic labor, we came home to a quiet house and were forced to drastically readjust our visions of the future.


    Now, two years later, I am having an intense case of déjà vu.


    I’ve been here before—36 weeks pregnant, waddling around, having everyone and their mother ask when I’m due—but our baby didn’t come home.


    Slowly we put her things away; we repacked and stored diapers, carriers, and bottles. And now, here I am blowing the dust off these things and feeling hopeful, but also a little bit like a fool.


    My baby is coming home, right?




    You might say “of course,” but the only experience we’ve had is one that ended with pictures, a lock of her hair and remembrances of the softness of her cheeks—things that we cherish, but not the lifetime of memories we thought we were promised.


    Click to read more ...


    Carrot Cake Cookies with Cream Cheese Frosting



    Easter is always a fun holiday--it’s relaxed, the weather always seems nice, and most importantly there is carrot cake!






    The fact that I’m such a carrot cake fan is a little odd considering carrots are not one of my favorite veggies.



    Click to read more ...