Marge Perry Newsday columnist Marge Perry

Marge Perry, Newsday's weekly 3 Simple columnist, also writes, broadcasts, teaches and speaks about cooking, food and nutrition.


1 (2 3⁄4-pound) butternut squash

1 tablespoon butter

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon

1⁄4 teaspoon ground coriander

1⁄4 teaspoon dried crumbled sage

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Pinch black pepper

1⁄3 cup shredded Gruyère cheese


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat a shallow baking sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Cut the squash in half lengthwise and scoop out the seeds. Place cut side up on the sheet pan, and use the point of a small knife to make several 1-inch slashes into the squash, taking care to not cut through to the skin. Drape loosely with foil and bake 1 hour 15 minutes to 1 hour 30 minutes, until very tender when pricked with a fork.

3. Use a spoon to scoop out the flesh, leaving a 1⁄2-inch border all the way around. Mash with a large fork and stir in the butter until it is melted. Add the salt, cinnamon, coriander, dried sage, and pepper and stir well. Place the mixture back into the squash shells and sprinkle with the Gruyère. Return to the oven until the cheese is melted, about 3 to 5 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 188 calories, 6 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 6 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 390 mg sodium



1 tablespoon cornstarch

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1 (15-ounce) can light coconut milk

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 (1 1⁄2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and cubed in 1-inch pieces

2 medium onions, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

1 tablespoon minced ginger

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2 teaspoons Thai red curry paste

1 (15-ounce) can low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lime juice

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon fish sauce

4 cups baby spinach

1⁄2 cup peanuts

2 tablespoons chopped cilantro


1. Dissolve the cornstarch in 1 tablespoon of the coconut milk; add the remaining coconut milk, stir and set aside.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the squash and cook until lightly browned, about 6 to 7 minutes; transfer to a plate.

3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet; add the onion and ginger and cook until the onion is soft and golden, about 10 minutes. Stir in the curry paste; add the coconut milk, squash and chickpeas and reduce the heat to medium-low. Cover and simmer until squash is tender but not mushy, about 12 minutes. Stir in the lime juice, fish sauce and spinach and remove from the heat. Stir in the peanuts and cilantro and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 436 calories, 14 g protein, 53 g carbohydrates, 12 g fiber, 22 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 676 mg sodium



1 (2-pound) butternut squash, peeled and cut in 1-inch chunks

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 tablespoon brown sugar

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon cumin

1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1⁄4 teaspoon cinnamon

1⁄4 teaspoon garlic powder

Pinch cayenne pepper


1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Coat a baking sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Toss the squash with the oil in a large bowl; add the sugar, salt, cumin, smoked paprika, cinnamon, garlic powder and cayenne and toss thoroughly.

3. Spread the squash out in a single layer on the sheet pan. (Use 2 pans if needed to keep the squash in a single layer). Roast, turning once, until the squash is tender and golden, about 22 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 131 calories, 2 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 299 mg sodium