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. 

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    Junk Food Flip

    Friday's 12pmET on Cooking Channel

    Meat On The Side Cookbook

    Food Network Star

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


    Announcing: Junk Food Flip on Cooking Channel



    I am incredibly excited to announce that my new show Junk Food Flip is premiering June 2nd at 9pm EST on Cooking Channel!!!!!!!!!!!





    On Junk Food Flip, myself and Bobby Deen travel around the country in a massive food truck (I can now add food truck driver to my special talents) and put our healthy spin on some of the best indulgent dishes this country has to offer.


    Click to read more ...


    Brown Butter Cucumbers with Popped Amaranth



    Today was a day full of exciting stuff:  I stole someone’s car and drove out to Long Island to buy plants for my garden terrace, I tried out a new hair color that’s a little less Barbie doll (but still banging blonde), and I made the most delicious and exciting side dish.





    How can a side dish be exciting? Oh now you have opened a can of worms. It's simple; this dish is exciting because I'm preparing a vegetable, in this case cucumber, in a totally different way.



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    Brie + Honey Crostini with Pink Peppercorns



    It wasn’t that long ago that I was huddled up under a mound of blankets watching Hawaii Life on HGTV as I seriously considered packing up and joining those happy people on TV.





    But no matter how never-ending winter might seem,before you know it the sun is shining and the temperature is rising.



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    Roasted Garlic + Broccoli Pita



    I like so many different things in life; I like to have tea on my terrace while the birds are singing and the people on the streets are yelling.  I like to find a spot in yoga class which is far enough away from the smelly man who says his “om” with a bear-like grunt.





    However, the things I like most of all is to make meaty tasting meals, without the actual meat and to stretch a little bit of meat with other hearty, smoky flavors.


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    Cauliflower Alfredo




    Pureeing cauliflower is one of my favorite ways to twist this veggie into something totally new. And this alfredo uses the puree to create an amazing lite pasta that is perfect for this time of year when your clothes go from sweaters that are an inch thick to a dress you could fit in your fist.





    Most days I wake up and try to do yoga or some other form of working out. It’s an important, although at times annoying, part of my day.  

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    Cheesy Matzo Bread



    I like the taste of matzo bread, I know that many people find it dry and bland, I find it flavorful and…no actually, it’s pretty dry and bland.





    However, just because on its own it’s not amazing doesn’t mean we can’t make it amazing. I know that it isn’t bursting with flavor, but it issuper crunchy and it makes a great base to build on.


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    Spaghetti Nests



    Spring has sprung! Growing up in Buffalo you would think that I would be used to the snow and cold, but that was not the case; instead I was simply over it before I even hit middle school.





    So being the kind of person who mumbles obscenities at the weather under my breath all winter long, you can imagine that seeing signs of spring make me a very happy camper.


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    Cheesy Fritatta with Grape Compote



    Many of us can’t imagine having dinner for breakfast, but it seems like we can all get on that "breakfast for dinner" train.





    It may be hard to imagine having steak and potatoes at 7 a.m., but having eggs at 7 p.m. always sounds like a good idea.


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    Announcing: Meat On The Side Cookbook!



    The Meat On The Side Cookbook is coming!!!!!!

    I am beyond excited to announce that my first cookbook will be hitting the shelves in early 2016!!!!! For almost a year now, I have been cooking up a storm testing and retesting (and retesting again) recipes for this book. I have been creating meals that are simple, healthy, come out perfect every time, and are just plain yummy!



    Recipe testing photos



    The book will contain over 100 Meat On The Side meals, which means that these recipes will not have more than 4oz of meat and the vegetable will always be the star of the plate. Meat On The Side is all about vegetable-focused dishes that bend and twist veggies in unique ways to create meals that will make even the pickiest of eaters love their veggies.


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    Buffalo Shrimp Rolls



    I love anything with Buffalo sauce on it.  One time Buffalo sauce landed on my phone and I seriously considered eating it.





    Since I am from Buffalo you would think that this love affair started back when I was growing up, eating some of the best wings in the world. However, in actuality I didn’t even eat a chicken wing until many years later after I left those Buffalo winters behind.


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