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. 

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


    Pumpkin Butter



    It’s the day before Thanksgiving, which means my 10-day "Meat On The Side Countdown to Thanksgiving" is officially coming to an end.





    Aw, no need to cry! I know, I know--it’s a sad day--but I promise there will be more Meat on the Side recipes in the very near future!



    Click to read more ...


    Beet Cranberry Sauce



    Cranberries have a zingy tartness that brings all of the other foods on your Thanksgiving Day plate to life.


    And although the canned stuff may be an old staple on your table, consider clearing some space for this simple--but spectacular!--homemade version.





    I start with a traditional cranberry sauce and add some beets that have been put through the blender.


    Then I strain out all of that vibrant juice.



    Click to read more ...


    Acorn Squash Bread



    Banana bread.


    Zucchini bread.


    Pumpkin bread.


    All delicious and easy-to-make moist and flavorful breads, thanks to the fruits and veggies they incorporate.





    So let’s keep the Veggie Bread Train in business!



    Click to read more ...


    Sriracha Honey Brussels Sprouts



    I love that Brussels sprouts have made a powerful comeback in recent days.


    People are excited to learn that a deeply browned, roasted Brussels sprout is much different--and tastier!--than a steamed one.  





    And now that we've all figured out just how heavenly a sprout can be with a little olive oil, salt, and pepper, I’d like to bring us to a whole new level--adding honey for sweetness, sriracha for heat, and pumpkin seeds for crunch!



    Click to read more ...


    Mushroom Gravy



    My “Meat On The Side” philosophy, at its simplest, is about eating less meat and more veggies.





    But if you want to get a little more complex, it's also about infusing vegetables into your meals--not just to make those meals more nutritious, but to elevate those dishes--to make them better



    Click to read more ...


    Pomegranate Glazed Carrots



    Sometimes--like for Thanksgiving--you want to take things up a notch! 





    You really want to spend some time perfecting each dish.


    And in this case, you could start by simmering down some pomegranate juice into a thick molasses-type sauce.



    Click to read more ...


    Rosemary + Garlic Roasted Parsnips



    I think we can all agree that a good Thanksgiving Day table includes a plethora of side dishes.





    I love Thanksgiving because millions of people end up eating a “Meat On The Side” meal without really thinking about it.



    Click to read more ...


    Sweet Potato Casserole with Apples + Cranberries



    A sweet potato casserole is a good thing. 





    The sweet potatoes take on an extra sweetness, complemented by all of those warm fall spices.


    Top that goodness with marshmallows, and you have a comforting side that’s always welcome on my Thanksgiving table.



    Click to read more ...


    Garlic + Parmesan Mashed Cauliflower



    Mashed potatoes are wonderful, am I right?!


    But when you’re looking for a healthier, more nutritious--and also gluten-free option--let’s talk about mashed cauliflower!





    These days, it's not uncommon to have a Thanksgiving Day guest who steers clear of gluten.


    And even if you don't, we all want to cook up something that will have everyone at the Thanksgiving table seriously wanting--maybe even needing--to go back for seconds.


    It just so happens that you can serve your gluten-free friends and get everyone and their brother excited about the same fabulous food--a mouth-watering, velvety, cheesy side dish--your new best friend: mashed cauliflower!



    Click to read more ...


    Brown Butter Garlic Carrots



    If you have read my vegetable-focused cookbook, Meat on the Side, it was probably shocking to learn on page 108 that...I don’t like carrots.





    Because as much as I’m a huge veggie fan, I have to say that not all veggies are created equal.


    In my mind, carrots just fall low on the list.



    Click to read more ...