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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ITALIAN WEDDING SOUP

3 large eggs, divided

3⁄4 cup grated Parmesan, divided

1⁄2 teaspoon oregano

1⁄4 teaspoon salt

1⁄2 pound ground beef

1 tablespoon olive oil

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1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

4 cloves garlic, minced

6 cups low-sodium chicken broth

6 cups torn escarole

 

1. Beat 1 egg in a medium bowl; add 1⁄2 cup of the grated Parmesan, oregano, salt and the beef. Use a fork or your fingers to thoroughly combine. Form into 1-inch meatballs. You should get about 20.

2. Heat the oil in a soup pot over medium high. Add the meatballs and cook until browned, turning once, about 5 minutes. Remove from pan.

3. Add the onions and garlic to the pot and cook, stirring, until somewhat softened, about 4 minutes. Add the broth and bring to a boil. Add the greens, reduce to a simmer and cook 4 minutes until wilted. Add the meatballs and cook another 4 minutes.

4. Whisk the 2 remaining eggs and remaining 1⁄4 cup cheese and, while stirring the soup, add the mixture in a slow steady stream. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 297 calories, 24 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 17 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 620 mg sodium

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TIP: Double the meatballs and freeze the extra for an even faster meal another night.

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AFRICAN-STYLE PEANUT SOUP

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

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2 ribs celery, chopped

1 medium carrot, chopped

1 tablespoon minced ginger

3 cloves garlic, minced

2 teaspoons curry powder

4 cups low-sodium chicken or vegetable broth

8 ounces sweet potatoes, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

1⁄2 cup no-sugar-added natural peanut butter

1 (15-ounce) can no-salt-added great northern beans, drained and rinsed

1⁄3 cup light coconut milk

 

1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven over medium-high. Add the onion, celery, carrot, ginger and garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until slightly softened, 4 minutes. Add the curry powder and cook, stirring, 30 seconds. Stir in the broth, potatoes and diced tomatoes; bring to a boil, reduce the heat to medium and simmer, uncovered, 20 minutes.

2. Whisk in the peanut butter until smooth. (It will break at first, then come back together). Add the beans, cover, return to a simmer and cook 15 minutes. Stir in the coconut milk, cover and cook 2 minutes.

3. In batches, transfer the soup to a blender or food processor and puree. Return soup to the Dutch oven and heat over medium heat until hot. (For a thinner soup, whisk in a little warm water or vegetable broth.) Add salt and pepper to taste. Makes 4 servings.

Nutrition per serving: 484 calories, 19 g protein, 52 g carbohydrates, 11 g fiber, 21 g fat, 4 g sat fat, 649 mg sodium

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CHICKEN TORTILLA SOUP

2 tablespoons canola oil, divided

2 corn tortillas, cut into 1⁄4-inch wide strips

1 medium onion, chopped (about 1 cup)

2 cloves garlic, minced

2 ribs celery, chopped

1 teaspoon ground cumin

1 teaspoon dried basil

1⁄4 teaspoon ground chipotle powder

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomatoes

4 cups low-sodium chicken broth

10 ounces (2 cups) cooked diced chicken breast

2 tablespoon fresh cilantro

1 tablespoon lime juice

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1 avocado, cut in thin slices

 

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium high. Add the tortilla strips and cook, stirring, until crisp, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate lined with paper towel.

2. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon canola oil in the pan. Add the onion, garlic, celery, cumin, basil and ground chipotle; cook, stirring occasionally, until the vegetables begin to soften, about 3 to 4 minutes. Stir in the tomatoes and cook 2 minutes. Add the broth, bring to a boil and reduce heat to medium low; cover and simmer 20 minutes. Stir in the chicken and cook until heated through, about 3 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the cilantro, lime juice and salt.

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

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 337 calories, 27 g protein, 16 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 17 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 672 mg sodium