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.

These salads are hearty and satisfying enough to make a complete meal, and all may be served chilled or at room temperature.

TIP These salads may be made a day ahead, although the greens in the black bean salad should be dressed just before serving.


Serves 4

1 pound boneless chicken breasts, pounded to 1/4 inch thick

1/2 teaspoon salt

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1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1/4 cup extra-virgin olive oil

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon lemon juice

2 hearts of Romaine (each about 12 ounces), halved lengthwise

4 (1-ounce) slices bread (preferably whole grain)

12 ounces strawberries, sliced (about 2 cups)

1/4 cup thinly sliced scallions

1/4 cup shredded Pecorino Romano cheese

1. Coat grill rack with cooking spray; heat grill.

2. Season the chicken on both sides with salt and pepper. Place on the grill and cook until the chicken reaches an internal temperature of 160 degrees, about 5 minutes on each side.

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3. While chicken cooks, whisk olive oil and lemon juice together and brush about 1 tablespoon of mixture lightly over both sides of romaine and bread. Grill until lightly marked on both sides; about 2 minutes on each side. Remove from grill; cut bread into 1-inch cubes and place a romaine half on each plate.

4. Cut cooked chicken into 1/4-inch strips and toss with the strawberries, scallions and 2 tablespoons of the dressing.

5. Divide the chicken salad and croutons among the 4 plates; sprinkle with the cheese and drizzle with the remaining dressing. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving 384 calories, 29 g protein, 25 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 19 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 549 mg sodium


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Serves 4

1 1/2 pounds medium shrimp, peeled

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 teaspoon curry

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 pound asparagus, cut into 1-inch pieces

1/3 cup light mayonnaise

1 teaspoon lemon juice

1/2 teaspoon lemon zest

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup sliced almonds

1. Toss the shrimp with the salt, curry and black pepper. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook 2 minutes on each side, or until no longer translucent. Remove from the pan; add the asparagus and cook, stirring, 4 minutes until bright green and crisp-tender. Toss with the shrimp and set aside. Remove pan from the heat and allow to cool slightly; do not pour off pan juices.

2. Add mayonnaise, lemon juice, zest and cilantro to the pan, stirring to incorporate bits and juices in the pan. Toss the sauce with the asparagus and shrimp and chill, if desired. Just before serving, top with the almonds. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving 278 calories, 27 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 15 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 1,380 mg sodium


Serves 4

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

16 ounces grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered

1 avocado, cut into 1/3-inch pieces

1 mango, cut into 1/3-inch pieces

1/2 cup crumbled feta

1 tablespoon sherry vinegar

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon cayenne

1/4 teaspoon ground coriander

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

8 cups arugula

1. Combine the beans, tomatoes, avocado, mango and feta in a bowl.

2. Whisk together vinegar, cumin, cayenne, coriander and olive oil. Toss 2 tablespoons of the dressing with black bean mixture; toss remaining dressing with the arugula. Divide arugula among 4 plates; top each with one-fourth of the bean salad. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving 364 calories, 10 g protein, 34 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber, 23 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 298 mg sodium