I love when my blog affords me the opportunity to meet fabulously talented people like Nikki Dinki!
You know her from "Food Network Star" and now Dinki is back as the host of her own Cooking Channel show! Nikki and Bobby Deen hit the highway in June to seek out delicious and fattening local favorites in the new original series, JUNK FOOD FLIP, airing every Tuesdayat 9:00 pm ET/PT. The dynamic cooking duo is seeking out the country's favorite guilty pleasure foods, and then do their best to recreate the delicious items in a healthier way.
Major applause to these guys. I should have asked how I might acquire a taste for kale.... YUCK. But enough scrunching up your nose, folks. We're here to smile and meet this charming lady:
Q: Have you come across any meals or foods you can't "flip" yet? What are the unflippable foods you stay away from altogether?
A: You always want to stay away from deep fried food -- sure it adds a nice crunch but the calories that come with it are crazy. I like to find crunch in other ways, maybe with an extra crunchy breading using pretzels or by adding a crunch element on top of the normally deep fried item.
There is nothing I can’t flip. There are always places to take away calories and add nutrition. And that’s what we really try to prove on Junk Food Flip, is that we can make healthy food that is actually better than the original full-fat version.
Q: When you want to indulge in something "naughty," what do you reach for?
A: Cheese and cinnamon rolls. Not together of course! ;) I haven’t meet a cheese I didn’t like.
Girl, ME TOO.
Q: What are your non-food indulgences? (Because these are the things that keep us mentally healthy, right?!)
A: I’m a good sleeper, I tend to get 8-9 hours a night, unless I'm shooting, then I suddenly get 6 hours or much less. There is nothing like a soft bed with cool sheets and a great foam pillow. Some of my best ideas for new dishes come while lying in bed or sleeping; it’s my other office.
A: It was really challenging having no access to my family or friends and really the outside world in general. I’m a strong person but I need my support system and the system was missing. In the beginning I felt insecure and was really over analyzing myself, but luckily I snapped out of it, and by the end I think everyone was able to see the person I am outside of the competition. But it’s never easy to watch those tears I cried when my journey on the show was over, I was devastated, this was my dream, but luckily if you keep working hard there is never just one way to accomplish a goal.
Q: Which blogs do you read and enjoy or get inspiration from?
A: I like How Sweet It Is and Smitten Kitchen. I tend to get inspiration in the oddest places, though. Most of my food is a totally new concept that probably has not been done before, so thinking up these ideas takes a lot of time and patience.
Well this was delightful! THANK YOU, NIKKI!