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 SAUSAGE AND SPINACH PASTA

8 ounces penne pasta

1 (10-ounce) box frozen chopped spinach, slightly thawed

2 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 cup chopped onion

1/4 teaspoon dried oregano

1/4 teaspoon dried thyme

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1 (12-ounce) package precooked chicken sausage (4 links), cut in 1-inch pieces

1/2 cup crumbled feta

Crushed red pepper, if desired

1. Cook the pasta in plenty of lightly salted boiling water for 5 minutes. Add the spinach and stir to break it into smaller pieces. Cook another 5 minutes, or until pasta and spinach are cooked through. Drain and toss with 1 tablespoon of the olive oil.

2. Meanwhile, heat 1 tablespoon of the olive oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the onion and cook until somewhat softened, about 3 minutes. Stir in the oregano and thyme and add the sausage. Cook, stirring occasionally, 7 to 8 minutes, until the sausage is heated through. Toss with the cooked pasta, stir in the feta and add crushed red pepper flakes if desired. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 497 calories, 28 g protein, 52 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 20 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 709 mg sodium

TIP: Chicken sausage varies greatly by brand, so check nutrition labels to be sure you pick a healthy version.

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TERIYAKI SALMON

3 tablespoons orange juice

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2 tablespoons lower-sodium soy sauce

1 tablespoon honey

1 tablespoon rice vinegar

2 teaspoons minced ginger

2 cloves garlic, minced

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1 tablespoon olive oil

4 (6-ounce) pieces salmon fillet

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees. Combine the orange juice, soy sauce, honey, rice vinegar, ginger and garlic in a small bowl and whisk until the honey is dissolved.

2. Heat the oil over medium high in a large cast iron or other ovenproof skillet. Add the salmon, skin side up, and cook until the salmon is browned, about 4 minutes. Turn the fish over and spoon the sauce over it; transfer to the oven.

3. Cook, basting every couple of minutes, until the salmon is cooked through, about 5 minutes. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 267 calories, 35 g protein, 8 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 10 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 339 mg sodium

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QUICK PASTA FAGIOLI

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 cup chopped onion

2 cloves garlic, minced

1/2 teaspoon dried rosemary

2 ribs celery, thinly sliced

2 medium carrots, chopped in 1/4-inch pieces

4 cups low-sodium canned chicken or vegetable broth

1 (14.5-ounce) can diced tomato

1 1/2 cups small bow tie pasta (about 5 ounces)

2 (15-ounce) cans low-sodium white cannellini beans, drained and rinsed

1/3 cup grated Parmesan

1. Heat the oil in a large soup pot over medium high. Add the onion, garlic, rosemary, celery and carrots and cook, stirring occasionally, until vegetables soften, about 5 minutes.

2. Add the broth and tomatoes and bring to a boil.Stir in the pasta and cook 8 minutes or until nearly al dente. Add the beans and cook another 2 minutes, until pasta is cooked through. Ladle into bowls and top with cheese. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 345 calories, 16g protein, 56 g carbohydrates, 8 g fiber, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 537 mg sodium