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. 

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    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


    Healthier Gluten-Free Chocolate Chip + Peanut Butter Cookies



    Being pregnant seems to mean two things for me--a love of any task that I can do while fully reclined, and a need for all things sweet.


    As I am trying to keep my sugar intake in check, I made a deal with myself to only have sweets if I make them myself, and to try to dip into my candy drawer only occasionally.





    The only problem is that suddenly I’ll bake up a couple dozen cookies and there is only one place for them to go--my belly!


    So I came up with a cookie recipe that I can feel good about--no matter how many cookies I consume.



    Click to read more ...


    Orzo, Kale + Goat Cheese Salad with Raspberry Vinaigrette



    Many of us start the new year with a resolution to get healthy and maybe lose a pound or two.





    Everyone knows that if this is your resolution and you’re on a diet, then you should be eating salad.



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    Zucchini Chicken Wraps with Balsamic Vinaigrette + Provolone



    When I was younger I used to go out of my way to eat at a place called Mighty Taco, famous in the Buffalo area.





    At that point I didn’t eat meat or beans, so I thought of myself as innovative for putting iceberg lettuce in my taco.


    I ended up with a taco containing lettuce and cheese--and only lettuce and cheese.



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    Beet Pasta with Brown Butter Arugula Pesto



    I’ve been lucky enough to have spent 11 Valentine's Days with my husband.





    Sometimes the older you get--or the longer you've been with someone--you start to think things like Valentine’s Day are silly.



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    Brussels Sprout Poppers



    Super Bowl Sunday is just around the corner and this means you're about to be eating all the Super Bowl snacks your little heart could desire.






    It's a day to sit around, watch TV, crack open a beer, and forget about those New Year's resolutions--while enjoying all the cheesy, fried, Buffalo-flavored things you can imagine.



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    Ramen with Pork, Eggs + Snow Peas



    As a kid there was not much I loved more than a bowl of ramen noodle soup.





    And to my absolute delight Ramen places are popping up all over New York City like beacons of hope in the cold and snowy streets.



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    Announcing: Junk Food Flip Season 2

    Photo Credit: Ze Jucutan






    I’m so excited to announce that Season Two of Junk Food Flip premieres January 19th at 9 p.m. EST on Cooking Channel! As in Season One, we find restaurants with indulgent signature dishes and re-make them to cut the calories by at least half. Then, through a showdown, we use a group of blind taste testers to hopefully prove that our version is not just healthier, but actually tastes better than the original!





    This season we took the truck to the West Coast and found the most outrageous and delicious dishes--including one that weighed in at over 2,300 calories! Check out my scrapbook from the shoot below and be sure to tune in!!


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    Caramel Apple Tarte Tatin



    I’m a big fan of desserts with apples--if I’m at a restaurant and it has some sort of apple-licious dessert on the menu, you can put good money on the fact that it will soon be in my belly.






    With winter in full swing, there have been a plethora of apple pie-inspired desserts at all my local spots and that means I have definitely been having my doctor-recommended apple-a-day.



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    How to Prep + Cook Spaghetti Squash



    Spaghetti squash is definitely in my top five of favorite vegetables (please don’t tell the others, they get crazy jealous!).


    But breaking into this hard gourd can be intimidating.






    The key is to cut off the top (and bottom if it’s not flat) of the squash and cut straight through with a serrated knife.


    Scoop out the insides and you are ready to bake.



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    Deviled Eggs with Coconut Bacon



    Why do they call deviled egg, DEVILED eggs? 





    Are they devilishly delicious? Yes!


    But still, the name sounds a little evil. 



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