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. In her long-standing capacity as a Newsday columnist, Contributing Editor for Cooking Light, author of the blog A Sweet and Savory Life, restaurant critic, recent columnist for several leading magazines (Better Homes & Gardens, Prevention); regular contributor to many magazines, (including Self, More, Coastal Living, and Relish) and frequent guest on television and radio, Perry is an accessible and authoritative guide for anyone who cooks, eats and travels.

In addition to Dinner Tonight, the cookbook based on her daily Newsday column, Ms. Perry has contributed recipes and text to nearly 20 other food and nutrition books. Her articles have been syndicated internationally in magazines and books, and her recipes have appeared on the Television Food Network and numerous television news segments.

Perry teaches cooking and food writing at the Institute of Culinary Education in New York City, food writing at mediabistro.com, and is a guest lecturer at the culinary management graduate school at New York University. Her extensive involvement with the food industry ranges from writing and reporting about cooking and nutrition, chefs, restaurants, growers, producers and manufacturers; restaurant reviewing; menu consulting; consumer trend analysis; and volunteering to bring food and cooking/nutrition know-how to those in need. She is the recipient of numerous awards, including the Libby Hillman Award for Culinary Excellence and the Food Writers’ Symposium scholarship and the Association of Food Journalists Award for Best Food Essay for an ode to her mother and strawberry-frosted cupcakes.

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CAJUN CHICKEN BREASTS

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

2 minced cloves garlic

1 green pepper, cut in ¼-inch dice

1 cup diced onion

2 ribs celery, chopped

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1 tablespoon red vinegar

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

4 (4-ounce) chicken breast cutlets, pounded to even ½-inch thickness

1 teaspoon Cajun spice blend

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil over medium high in a large nonstick skillet. Add the garlic, green pepper, onion and celery and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables are softened, about 5 minutes. Add vinegar and cook, stirring until the liquid is gone, about 1 minute. Add the tomatoes and cook until they are softened and wilted, about 3 to 4 minutes. Transfer the vegetables to a bowl.

2. Season the chicken on both sides with the Cajun blend. Add the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil to the pan and heat over medium high. Add the chicken and cook until well browned and firm on the undersides, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted horizontally in the center of the thickest breast registers 160 degrees, about another 5 minutes. Serve with the vegetable topping. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 215 calories, 24 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 220 mg sodium

TIP: Cajun spice blend can be found with the dried herbs and spices in most grocery stores.

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GOLDEN CHICKEN WITH LEMON AND FETA

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3 tablespoons flour

½ teaspoon salt

¼ teaspoon black pepper

4 (4-ounce) chicken breast cutlets

1 tablespoon olive oil

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1 tablespoon butter

¼ cup finely chopped red onion

½ cup white wine

2 tablespoons lemon juice

½ cup low-sodium chicken broth

? cup crumbled feta

1 tablespoon chopped parsley

1. Combine the flour, salt and pepper on a plate; dredge the chicken lightly on both sides in the mixture.

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the chicken and cook until lightly browned on the undersides, about 5 minutes. Turn and cook until an instant-read meat thermometer registers 160 degrees when inserted into the thickest part of the largest piece. Transfer the chicken to a plate and drape loosely to keep warm.

3. Melt the butter in the skillet; add the onion and cook, stirring, until softened, about 1 minute. Add the wine and lemon juice and boil until somewhat thickened, about 2 minutes. Add the broth, again bring to a boil and cook until somewhat thickened, about 1 more minute. Return the chicken to the pan. Sprinkle the feta, cover the pan and cook 1 minute, until the cheese is slightly melted and the chicken warmed through. Sprinkle with the parsley, spoon the pan sauce over the chicken and serve immediately. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 279 calories, 27 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 0 fiber, 13g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 566 mg sodium

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GRILLED CHIPOTLE- HONEY CHICKEN BREASTS

2 tablespoons plus ¼ teaspoon lime juice, divided

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon lower-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce

½ avocado, mashed

¼ cup canola mayonnaise

Pinch salt (if desired)

4 (4-ounce) boneless chicken breasts cutlets, pounded to ½-inch thickness

1. Coat the grill rack with cooking spray. Heat the grill to medium high (450 to 550 degrees).

2. Combine 2 tablespoons of the lime juice, honey, soy sauce and chipotle in a small bowl.

3. In another bowl, combine the avocado, mayonnaise and remaining ¼ teaspoon lime juice (and salt, if desired), mashing with a fork until fairly smooth.

4. Place the chicken on the grill and cook 4 minutes, until it is well marked and easily releases from the rack surface. Turn and cook another 4 minutes. Brush with the chipotle mixture and cook 1 minute; turn and brush again, this time cooking until the breasts reach an internal temperature of 160 degrees.

5. Serve the chicken with a dollop of the avocado crème. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 284 calories, 24 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 17 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 308 mg sodium