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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TIP Low-sodium chicken broths can vary greatly in saltiness and sodium content. These recipes were tested using an organic brand with 70 mg sodium per cup.

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CONGEE (RICE PORRIDGE)

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon canola oil

1 tablespoon minced ginger

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1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs, cut into 1-inch chunks

1 cup long-grain rice

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

2 tablespoons low-sodium soy sauce

4 ounces snow peas, halved

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/3 cup chopped scallions (green parts only)

1. Heat sesame and canola oils in large pot over medium-high. Add ginger and cook, stirring, 30 seconds, until fragrant. Add chicken and cook without moving until it releases easily from pan surface, about 2 minutes. Stir and cook until it is barely pink on outside, 3 to 4 minutes longer. Add rice, stir to coat, and add broth plus 2 cups water. Bring to boil, reduce heat to low, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

2. Stir in the soy sauce, and snow peas; cook 1 minute. Taste and add salt, if needed; stir in scallions and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 388 calories, 11 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 28 g protein, 42 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 623 mg sodium

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AVGOLEMENO (GREEK EGG-LEMON SOUP)

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

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6 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

12 ounces boneless chicken breast, cut into 2-inch pieces

3/4 cup orzo

2 large eggs, lightly beaten

1/3 cup fresh lemon juice

1 teaspoon cornstarch

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 cup fresh parsley, chopped

1. Heat oil in large soup pot over medium-high. Add onion and garlic and cook 3 minutes until somewhat softened. Add broth, bring to a boil and immediately reduce to simmer. Add chicken and simmer 8 to 10 minutes, until cooked through; remove from broth with slotted spoon and transfer to a bowl.

2. Bring the broth back to a boil and add the orzo; cook 8 to 9 minutes, until barely al dente.

3. Whisk the eggs, lemon juice, cornstarch and salt together. Slowly pour the mixture into the broth, whisking constantly until the mixture thickens, about 2 minutes. Shred the chicken with a fork and stir it into the soup. Top each serving with parsley. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 329 calories, 8 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 30 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 478 mg sodium

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SOUTHWESTERN TORTILLA SOUP

3 corn tortillas

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

1/2 teaspoon salt, divided

1 teaspoon ground cumin, divided

3 cloves garlic, minced

1 green pepper, cut into 1/2-inch dice

1 cup chopped onion

12 ounces boneless chicken breasts, cut into 1-inch cubes

4 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1 tablespoon minced canned chipotle in adobo sauce

1 cup frozen corn

1/2 an avocado, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Brush the tortillas lightly on both sides with 1 tablespoon of oil. Cut them into 1/4-inch wide strips and place in a single layer on the baking sheet. Sprinkle with 1/4 teaspoon of the salt and 1/4 teaspoon of the ground cumin. Bake, tossing occasionally, until golden, about 10 minutes.

3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of oil in a large soup pot. Add the garlic, green pepper and onion, and cook until slightly softened, about 3 minutes. Add the chicken, sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 teaspoon salt and 3/4 teaspoon of cumin and cook, stirring occasionally, until the outside is no longer pink, 4 to 5 minutes. Add the broth, tomatoes, chipotle and bring to a boil; immediately reduce to a simmer and continue to gently simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the corn, cook 2 to 3 minutes longer (until corn is heated through).

4. Ladle the soup into bowls and top each with avocado and tortilla strips. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 359 calories, 14 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 25 g protein, 33 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 717 mg sodium