Meat on The Side: Review and Recipe

June 2, 2016

Lighter eating, fresh taste, interesting new ways to put familiar foods together, the upcoming book: Meat on The Side, by Nikki Dinki, has all this and more. I was looking for a better way to add more vegetables to my diet and still be able to enjoy the flavors I already loved, and Nikki, the Co-Host of Junk Food Flip, and the Cooking Channel, has written this book just for me. 

The book sets the stage, by explaining the way the recipes are organized. It's not all Vegetarian, and not all meat based. In fact, Nikki shares how to make many recipes either way. She also includes recipes that are particularly child friendly. If you are looking for something scrumptious that also are calorie conscious, there are plenty of choices in this category too. Even if you are pressed for time, Nikki has included a nice selection of what she calls 10-in-20 and 10-in-30 which means 10 ingredient recipes in 20 or 30 minutes. 

My cookbook shelves are overflowing with books on just about any food category you can imagine. What I find myself using again and again, are the cookbooks that offer the widest range of recipes for any occasion and for anyone at my table. Meat on The Side is certainly a keeper. 

Here is just one recipe that can be made from the book: 

Grilled Pattypan Squash + Egg Bagel Sandwiches

10-in-20, less than 500 calories, and Family Friendly

1 Pattypan squash

1 bacon strip

1 everything bagel

4 TBSP Boursin cheese

1/4 tsp salt

1/8 tsp ground black pepper

1 tsp olive oil, plus more if needed

2 large eggs

two 1/2 inch thick slices large tomato

2 TBSP finely chopped scallions


1. Trim and discard the root and vine ends of the squash. Cut two 1/4 inch thick slices crosswise from the middle section (save any scraps for another use).

2. Heat a small nonstick skillet (large enough to fry 2 eggs) over medium heat. Add the bacon and cook until crisp, 6 to 7 minutes, turning once. Transfer the bacon to a paper towel to drain; set aside the skillet with the rendered bacon fat. 

3. Meanwhile, cut the bagel in half. Spread 2 Tablespoons of the cheese onto the cut side of each half and set aside. 

4. Preheat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Sprinkle the squash slices on both sides with the salt and pepper and drizzle with the 1 teaspoon oil, dividing it equally. Add the squash slices to the pan and cook, turning once, until grill marks form and the squash is tender; 5 to 8 minutes. 

5. While the squash cooks, heat the skillet that you cooked the bacon in over medium-low heat. If there is not enough fat in the skillet to fry the eggs, add a bit of oil. Crack the eggs into the skillet and cook to the desired doneness. 

6. To assemble each sandwich, place a squash slice on top of a cheese-spread bagel half. Top it with a tomato slice and then an egg. Crumble up the bacon and scatter half on top of each sandwich, along with half the scallions.