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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1⁄3 cup low-fat buttermilk

1⁄2 cup crumbled blue cheese

4 teaspoons red-wine vinegar, divided

1⁄4 cup hot pepper sauce, such as Frank’s

2 tablespoons butter

1 1⁄2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breast halves, pounded to even 1⁄4-inch thickness

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8 cups chopped romaine lettuce, (about 2 romaine hearts)

1⁄2 cup pre-shredded carrot matchsticks

3 ribs celery, chopped

1 Persian cucumber, chopped


1. Heat the grill for medium-high direct heat cooking (about 350-400 degrees).

2. Combine the buttermilk, cheese and 2 teaspoons vinegar in a small bowl; mix well, mashing cheese slightly with a fork; set aside.

3. Combine the hot sauce with the remaining 2 teaspoons vinegar and butter in a small saucepan; bring to a boil and cook until slightly thickened, about 4 minutes. Remove from heat.

4. Place the chicken on the grill and cook until the undersides are well marked and readily release from the grill surface, about 4 to 6 minutes. Turn and cook until an instant-read meat thermometer inserted in the center reads 160 degrees. Brush both sides with the hot sauce and cook another 1 minute. Allow to cool slightly and cut into strips.

5. Toss the dressing with the lettuce, carrots, celery and cucumber. Divide among 4 plates and top each with chicken strips. Makes 4 servings.

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Nutritional analysis for each serving: 287 calories, 41 g protein, 9 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 10 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 714 mg sodium



3 tablespoons olive oil, divided

3 tablespoons lemon juice

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1⁄2 teaspoon Dijon mustard

1⁄2 teaspoon dried dill

1⁄2 teaspoon dried oregano

8 cups shredded romaine lettuce

1 red bell pepper, cut in thin strips

1 cucumber, cut in half moons

1⁄2 red onion, cut in thin rings (about 1⁄2 cup)

1 cup cherry tomatoes, halved

1⁄4 cup Kalamata olives, coarsely chopped

3⁄4 cup crumbled feta cheese

1 1⁄4 pounds shrimp

1⁄2 teaspoon salt


1. Whisk together 2 tablespoons of the olive oil, lemon juice, mustard, dill and oregano.

2. Combine the lettuce, red pepper, cucumber, onion, tomatoes, olives and feta.

3. Season the shrimp with the salt. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon of olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the shrimp in a single layer and cook until they lift readily from the pan surface, about 2 minutes. Turn and cook until just cooked through, about another 2 minutes. Remove from pan.

4. Combine the dressing and salad, divide among 4 plates and top each with one-fourth of the shrimp. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 361 calories, 31 g protein, 13 g carbohydrates, 5g fiber, 22 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 939 mg sodium




1 1⁄4 pounds flank steak

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1⁄8 teaspoon black pepper

4 ounces thin “vermicelli” rice noodles

1⁄4 cup mint, chopped

1⁄4 cup basil, chopped

1⁄4 cup cilantro, chopped

1⁄4 cup lime juice

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon Sriracha (or to taste)

1 tablespoon brown sugar

4 scallions, chopped

1 red bell pepper, cut in thin strips

1 cucumber, thinly sliced

1⁄2 cup prepared shredded carrots

2 cups thinly sliced (shredded) cabbage


1. Coat a grill pan or grill rack with cooking spray. Heat for direct heat, medium-high cooking.

2. Sprinkle the steak with salt and pepper and grill 4 to 5 minutes on each side, or until cooked to desired degree of doneness. Let rest 5 minutes before slicing thinly across the grain.

3. While the steak cooks, bring a pot of water to a boil; add the noodles, turn off the heat, and let them soak in the hot water until just tender, about 3 minutes. Drain and rinse under cold water.

4. Whisk the mint, basil, cilantro, lime juice, fish sauce, Sriracha and sugar; toss with the noodles. Add the scallions, red pepper, cucumber, carrots, cabbage and sliced meat and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 357 calories, 31 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 9 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 992 mg sodium