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, 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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1 tablespoon lime juice

1⁄2 teaspoon honey

1⁄4 teaspoon ground cumin

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

6 cups arugula

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1⁄2 cup thinly sliced red onion

2 Persian cucumbers, thinly sliced

4 cups diced watermelon

1 avocado, cut in 1⁄2-inch pieces


1. Whisk the lime juice, honey, ground cumin and salt in a large bowl until the honey is dissolved. Whisk in the olive oil.

2. Add the arugula, onion, cucumber and watermelon. Toss thoroughly and gently stir in the avocado. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 146 calories, 3 g protein, 15 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 10 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 110 mg sodium

TIP: To make the salad heartier, add small cubes of fresh mozzarella.


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2 tablespoons chili powder

1 tablespoon plus 2 teaspoons brown sugar

1 tablespoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon smoked paprika

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1 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 teaspoon garlic powder

1⁄4 teaspoon cayenne (or to taste)

3 pounds chicken thighs


1. Prepare grill for indirect medium-heat grilling (350-450 degrees).

2. Combine the chili powder, brown sugar, ground cumin, smoked paprika, salt, garlic powder and cayenne in a bowl. Pat the mixture evenly on the chicken.

3. Place the chicken skin sides down on the grill (away from direct heat). Cook 15 minutes, until skin is browned and crisp. Turn and cook until an instant-read thermometer inserted parallel to the bone registers 175, about another 15 minutes. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 336 calories, 32 g protein, 6 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 20 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 646 mg sodium



1 cup orzo (about 6 ½ ounces)

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1⁄2 teaspoon salt, divided

1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

Corn from 2 large ears

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1 red pepper, diced

2 Persian cucumbers, diced

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

1 tablespoon chopped fresh mint

1 cup crumbled feta cheese


1. Cook the orzo in plenty of lightly salted boiling water according to package directions; drain.

2. While the pasta cooks, whisk the lemon juice, Dijon, 1⁄4 teaspoon of the salt and pepper in a small bowl. Add the oil in a steady stream while whisking. Toss with the drained pasta.

3. Stir in the corn, tomatoes, red pepper, cucumbers, basil, mint and remaining 1⁄4 teaspoon salt. Gently stir in the feta. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 8 (side dish) servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 209 calories, 8 g protein, 28 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 8 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 334 mg sodium