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

    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 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!!


    Click to read more ...


    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.



    Click to read more ...


    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.



    Click to read more ...


    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. 



    Click to read more ...


    BBQ Chicken Pizza



    My husband used to be obsessed with the BBQ chicken pizza from California Pizza Kitchen. 





    That is, until he had my version.



    Click to read more ...


    Ramen Tacos


    At 10 years old my mom had had enough of my shenanigans.


    I was the pickiest of picky eaters and this picky eater never went down without a fight.





    So she gave up, and I was allowed to make my own dinners, whatever my little heart desired.


    Well, both my heart and stomach were ramen noodle addicts.


    Click to read more ...


    Creamed Spinach Garlic Bread



    Sure, you could have regular old garlic bread.


    Yes, it is warm, garlicky, and of course, buttery.





    But why not throw some creamed spinach into the mix, creating a garlic bread with a creamy, spicy base that also gives you a Popeye’s dose of spinach?!



    Click to read more ...


    Brown Butter Arugula Pesto



    I’ve been obsessed with traditional basil pesto for a very long time.






    When I first tried it I was at a point in my life when green things still made me feel a little queasy--but once I closed my eyes and took a bite, I realized how crazy flavorful and addicting pesto can be.



    Click to read more ...


    Ricotta with Chili Honey




    Ok, time to come clean, everyone has done it, I’m talking about that time that you took a store bought cake, pie or appetizer, gussied it up a bit and passed it off as your own.





    Hey, we don’t all have the time to make a 6 layer cake to bring to Thanksgiving! And sometimes, even when you do, your beautiful creation doesn't make it through the cab ride to your in-laws, and by the time it reaches the dessert table it an official #FoodFail (I only cried a little)



    Click to read more ...


    Egg In A Squash Hole



    Some chefs will tell you that presentation is everything.





    Well that’s not exactly true, though yes, we eat with our eyes first, it’s really all about the taste.


    Click to read more ...