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


    Quinoa Stuffed Endive with Roasted Grapes + Feta



    Let’s face it, quinoa has taken over the grain industry (even though it’s actually a seed). It’s well deserved rise to fame, who wouldn’t want loads of protein and fiber in their starchy side dish, and I do mean LOADS.





    It’s true it really good for you, and since it’s been trending on twitter since 2011 you can now find it almost anywhere (P.S. Amaranth (link to popped amaranth recipe) is trending next, time to buy stock).



    Click to read more ...


    Spaghetti Squash Tacos



    I'm pretty obsessed with spaghetti squash, not as obsessed as I am with cheese, or positioning the fan in my bedroom just right so it cools just my feet while I sleep, but pretty darn close.





    It's so sweet, the texture is awesome and it can be morphed into so many things.



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    A Tour of Nikki's Terrace Garden



    I’ve lived in NYC for 14 years and had always been chasing the dream of having outdoor space when 2 years ago we were lucky enough to move into an apartment with a terrace!!




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    Creamed Corn + Blueberry Pasta



    Summer is my season; I am perpetually cold unless it’s 90 degrees outside and I’m pretty sure that I am a better swimmer than I am a walker sometimes. One of my greatest joys in life is my terrace garden with all my plants and my bird friend Harold.





    Although I don’t like to admit it either, we have to face it, summer is coming to an end (can’t type… crying too much).



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    Chili Spiced Cucumbers



    I’m obsessed with parties, and any party of mine is bound to have an endless array of appetizers. In order to get the variety I want and not lose my mind making my 10th labor-intensive app, I always like to include some appetizers of the “silly easy” variety.





    And these cucumbers are just that, they get a bath of lime juice, a sprinkle of chili powder and sugar, and a hit of salt, resulting in a crisp, tangy, spicy, salty treat that takes minutes to make.



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    Pear + Cucumber Salad with Tuna Croutons



    It’s a Wednesday night, I’ve invited my husband to the terrace for a summer meal and a chance to actually look each other in the eye and talk after an already busy week.





    The weekend was filled with indulgences like Jalapeno Poppers, berry pies and clams doused in oil and bread crumbs.



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    How to Brown Butter



    Browning your butter just makes it special. Think about a pine tree, it’s just a tree until you put some tinsel on it and suddenly it’s the most special tree of them all, a Christmas tree!! (It’s 90 degrees outside and apparently I’ve got Christmas on the mind).

    Butter is the same way, its fine as is, but when you brown it, it becomes nutty, rich and something you will use in EVERYTHING.





    So take a couple minutes and brown your butter before using it in sauces, casseroles or in my Brown Butter Nutella Cookies. It’s simple, easy and this video shows you exactly how it’s done…


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    Parmesan Zucchini Crisps



    If you're a gardener then you have definitely had one of those moments where you look around your garden and think “What the heck am I going to do with all these zucchinis.”





    For my new book Meat on The Side I tackled this question with tons of zucchini recipes including egg sandwiches with squash and crostini's where the zucchini replaced the bread.



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    How to Char Tortillas



    My favorite way to warm up tortillas is by charring them; they look awesome, have an added smoky flavor and it gives them a touch of texture.





    Watch my video to learn 3 different techniques on how to char your tortillas at home, no matter what stove/oven you are working with.


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    Carrot Dog



    Recently (thanks to my new show Junk Food Flip) I have been thinking a lot about how to flip classic dishes, especially the meat heavy dishes.





    As you know by now (because I've mentioned it about a million times) I like to cook in a way I call Meat On The Side; the idea is that veggies are the star of the plate, not the meat.



    Click to read more ...