Meat On The Side Cookbook

Meet Nikki

I am a chef, mom, TV host, cookbook author, blogger, professional voice over artist and terrace gardener. I cook in a way I call "Meat on the Side" which focuses on veggies, making them unique and the star of the plate. 

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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.



    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?!



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    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.



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    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)



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    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.


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    Shepherd's Pie Stuffed Baked Potatoes



    For almost a decade I bartended and ran a bar here in NYC.





    It was a pub: casual, relaxed and the kind of place that welcomed you as much on a Saturday night as it did on a Tuesday afternoon.


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    Sausage Stuffing Stuffed Brussels Sprouts



    My family is big on Brussels sprouts for Thanksgiving (along with a laundry list of other must-haves, we like to eat).





    So as the one normally in charge of anything veggie, I often find myself elbow deep in Brussels sprouts come November.


    Click to read more ...

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