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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Most squash has between 50 and 100 calories and 2 to 5 grams of fiber per cooked cup and is loaded with nutrients including potassium, Vitamin A, Vitamin C and Vitamin E.

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COCONUT-CURRY KABOCHA

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon minced ginger

1 cup chopped onion

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

1 (3 1/2-pound) kabocha squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks

3 cups coconut water

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons lite soy sauce

2 teaspoons red curry paste (or more, to taste)

1 teaspoon sugar

1/2 teaspoon salt

2 cups cauliflower florets

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

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2 teaspoons cornstarch

1 (15-ounce) can lite coconut milk, divided

1. Heat oil in a Dutch oven over medium high; add the ginger, onion and red pepper and cook until softened, 3 to 4 minutes. Add the squash, coconut water, lime juice, soy sauce, curry paste, sugar and salt; bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to simmer. Cover and simmer until squash is just fork tender, 18 to 20 minutes.

2. Uncover and add the cauliflower and chickpeas; cook until cauliflower is fork tender, about 12 minutes. Combine the cornstarch with 1 tablespoon of the coconut milk; add the remaining coconut milk to the pan and cook 3 minutes; stir in cornstarch, bring to a boil and cook 1 minute. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 319 calories, 14 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 8.5 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 751 mg sodium

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SPICE ROASTED ACORN SQUASH

2 small (4-inch) acorn squash, each cut lengthwise into 12 wedges

1 tablespoon canola oil

1/2 teaspoon ground cumin

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg

1/4 teaspoon ground cinnamon

1/8 teaspoon ground cayenne

1/2 teaspoon salt

1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees. Coat a baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Toss the wedges with the oil until evenly coated. Combine the cumin, nutmeg, cinnamon, cayenne and salt and toss with the squash. Place in a single uncrowded layer on the baking sheet and roast, turning once, until fork tender and lightly golden brown, 20 to 22 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 119 calories, 4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 2 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 298 mg sodium

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ROAST BUTTERNUT SOUP

1 1/2 pounds butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1-inch chunks (5 to 6 cups)

1 medium red onion, cut into 1/2-inch wedges

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon black pepper

3 cups room temperature low-fat milk, divided

1 cup low-sodium vegetable or chicken broth

2 tablespoons toasted pumpkin seeds

1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees and coat a large baking sheet with cooking spray.

2. Toss squash and onion wedges with oil, salt and pepper, and place in a single layer on the baking sheet. Roast until the squash is fork tender, about 30 minutes.

3. Transfer half the roast vegetables to a food processor or blender and puree with about half the milk; transfer to soup pot and place over medium heat. Repeat with the remaining vegetables and milk; stir in the broth and warm over medium heat 5 minutes, or until heated through. Adjust thickness of soup with more broth as desired. Serve topped with the pumpkin seeds. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 258 calories, 9 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 10 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 405 mg sodium