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.


1 cup freekeh

1/2 teaspoon salt

3 plum tomatoes, chopped

1/3 cup chopped scallions

1/2 avocado, chopped

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1/3 cup pitted calamata olives, coarsely chopped

1 teaspoon lemon zest

3 ounces goat cheese, crumbled

1. Combine the freekeh with 21/2 cups water in a saucepan; bring to a boil and immediately reduce heat to gentle simmer and cover. Cook until the liquid is absorbed and the grain is tender but chewy, 22-25 minutes. Toss with the salt.

2. Combine tomatoes, scallions, avocado, olives and zest in a bowl; stir in freekah. When slightly cooled (to avoid melting the cheese) stir in the goat cheese. Serve warm or at room temperature. Makes 6 servings.

TIP: Freekah is toasted, cracked green wheat that is now sold in many grocery stores.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 183 calories, 9 g fat, 2g saturated fat, 7 g protein, 23 g carbohydrates, 5 g fiber, 394 mg sodium



1 cup quinoa

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1/4 teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons orange juice

1/2 teaspoon orange zest

2 tablespoons rice vinegar

1 tablespoon sesame oil

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1 teaspoon Sriracha hot sauce

2 cups shredded cabbage

1 cup pre-shredded carrots

1 large mango, cut into 2-inch- long, 1/4-inch-wide strips

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1. Bring quinoa and 2 cups water to boil in a saucepan; immediately reduce heat, cover and simmer until liquid is absorbed, 16 to 18 minutes. Fluff with fork and toss with salt.

2. While the quinoa cooks, whisk the orange juice and zest, rice vinegar, sesame oil and Sriracha together in a large bowl. Stir in the cabbage and carrots and allow to sit until the quinoa is ready. (This softens the vegetables).

3. Stir in the quinoa, mango and cilantro; taste and add salt and/or Sriracha as desired. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 182 calories, 4 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 5 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 312mg sodium



1 cup quick-cooking barley

½ teaspoon salt

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1/2 cup loosely packed basil leaves, thinly sliced

3 ounces fresh (packed in liquid) mozzarella, cut into

1/4-inch dice (about 1 cup)

1. Bring 2 cups water to a boil; stir in barley, reduce to a simmer and cover. Cook until the liquid is absorbed and barley is tender but not mushy, about 12 minutes. Stir in salt and olive oil. Allow to cool 5 minutes.

2. Stir in the basil and mozzarella. Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 167 calories, 8 g fat, 3g saturated fat, 5 g protein, 19g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 202 mg sodium