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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MEDITERRANEAN VEGETABLE RAGOUT

Serve over polenta or couscous.

 

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

5 cloves garlic, chopped

1⁄2 teaspoon oregano

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1⁄2 teaspoon smoked paprika

1⁄2 teaspoon ground cumin

1⁄4 teaspoon ground coriander

1 red bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces

1 green bell pepper, cut in 1-inch pieces

1 1⁄2 pound eggplant, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

2 (14.5-ounce) cans diced tomato

8 ounces zucchini, cut in 1-inch pieces

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8 ounces yellow squash, cut in 1-inch pieces

10 ounces baby spinach

2 (15-ounce) cans low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed

 

1. Heat the oil in a Dutch oven or soup pot over medium high. Add the onion and garlic; cook, stirring 30 seconds. Add the oregano, smoked paprika, cumin, coriander and red and green peppers and cook, stirring often, 3 minutes. Add the eggplant, salt and pepper and cook, stirring, until it no longer looks raw, about 4 to 5 minutes. Add the tomatoes, zucchini and yellow squash, cover and simmer 30 minutes.

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2. Working in batches, add the spinach, stirring until wilted. Stir in the chickpeas and cook 2 minutes to heat through. Season to taste with additional salt and pepper. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 262 calories, 12 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 12 g fiber, 4 g fat, 0 g saturated fat, 577 mg sodium

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CLASSIC BEEF STEW

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

1⁄4 teaspoon dried crushed rosemary

1 pound lean beef stew meat, cut in 1-inch pieces

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 cup chopped onion

1⁄2 teaspoon dried thyme

8 ounces sliced mushrooms

1⁄2 cup red wine

1 cup low-sodium beef broth

8 ounces baking potato, peeled and cut in 1-inch pieces

4 medium carrots, sliced

 

1. Combine the flour, salt, pepper and rosemary in a bowl; toss with beef until it is evenly coated.

2. Heat 1 tablespoon of the oil in a Dutch oven over medium heat. Add the onion and cook, stirring, 3 minutes until somewhat softened. Add the thyme and mushrooms and cook, stirring often, until they are lightly browned, about 4 minutes. Transfer the mixture to a bowl.

3. Heat the remaining 1 tablespoon oil in the skillet; add the beef and cook, turning occasionally, until the beef is browned, about 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to bowl with mushrooms.

4. Add the wine to the pan and stir, scraping up bits from the bottom; bring to a boil. Add broth, reduce to a gentle simmer, and stir in potatoes, carrots and beef mixture. Simmer, uncovered, until beef is tender and liquid is thickened, about 1 hour. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 295 calories, 24 g protein, 26 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 497 mg sodium

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QUICK CHICKEN PAPRIKASH

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken thighs cut in 1-inch pieces

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

1⁄4 teaspoon black pepper

1 tablespoon canola oil

1 tablespoon butter

1 clove garlic, minced

2 ribs celery, chopped

2 carrots, chopped

1 cup chopped onion

3 tablespoons all-purpose flour

1 tablespoon paprika

1 1⁄2 cups lower-sodium chicken broth

1⁄2 cup white wine

1⁄2 cup lite sour cream

 

1. Season the chicken with the salt and pepper.

2. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the chicken and cook, turning once, until browned, about 5 minutes. Transfer to a plate.

3. Melt the butter in the skillet; add the garlic, celery, carrots and onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until somewhat softened, about 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the flour and cook, stirring, until the flour is no longer visible; stir in the paprika. Add the broth and wine; bring to a boil, scraping up any bits on the bottom of the pan. Add the chicken, reduce to a simmer and cook uncovered, until vegetables are tender and chicken is cooked through, about 6 to 7 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the sour cream. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 315 calories, 22 g protein, 18 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 15 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 446 mg sodium