3 Simple family dishes

Pasta with Meat-Tomato Sauce and Zucchini, one of

Pasta with Meat-Tomato Sauce and Zucchini, one of Three Simple Wholesome Family Meals, made at the home of Marge Perry. (9/01/2011) (Credit: Marge Perry)

Marge Perry

Newsday columnist Marge Perry Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts,

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TIP The meat and tomato sauce may be doubled and leftovers frozen or used within three days.

Penne with Tomato-Meat Sauce and Zucchini

8 ounces penne (preferably whole grain)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

12 ounces zucchini, cut in 1/2-inch pieces

1 pound lean ground beef

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 1/2 pounds plum tomatoes (about 7), cut in 1/2-inch pieces

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1/2 cup basil, chopped and divided

1. Cook penne according to package directions; drain.

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 3 minutes. Add the zucchini and cook, not moving it, for about 4 minutes until browned on the undersides but not cooked through. Transfer to a plate.

3. Add the beef, salt and garlic to the skillet and cook, stirring until the meat is broken up. Add the tomatoes, vinegar and about half of the basil and stir until combined. Simmer gently for 10 minutes until tomatoes are broken down and mixture is thick. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper, stir in the zucchini and toss with the penne. Top with remaining basil. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 460 calories, 34 g protein, 52 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 14 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 390 mg sodium

Teriyaki-Glazed Salmon

2 teaspoons cornstarch

3 tablespoons orange juice

2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons minced ginger

1 teaspoon minced garlic

4 (6-ounce) pieces salmon fillet

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Dissolve the cornstarch in 2 teaspoons of water. Add the orange juice, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, ginger and garlic and whisk until the honey is dissolved.

2. Place the fish in the baking dish and spoon the sauce over it.

3. Bake for 10 to 12 minutes, basting occasionally, or until the fish is cooked through. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 353 calories, 35 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 19 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 363 mg sodium

Rosemary-Orange Roasted Chicken Thighs

4 cloves garlic, very finely minced

2 tablespoons fresh rosemary, chopped

1 teaspoon grated orange zest

8 bone-in chicken thighs, about 2 pounds

3/4 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1. Preheat the oven to 450 degrees.

2. Coat a wire rack and a baking sheet with nonstick spray.

3. Combine the garlic, rosemary, and orange zest; rub the mixture under the skin on the surface of the meat. Place skin back over the mixture and sprinkle with the salt and pepper. Place chicken on the rack and roast in the center of the oven until a thermometer inserted into the thickest part of the thigh registers 170 degrees, 25 to 30 minutes. Serve immediately or at room temperature. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 304 calories, 30 g protein, 1 g carbohydrate, 0 g fiber, 19 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 538 mg sodium