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, 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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TIP The meatballs, pizza and quesadillas may all be prepared in advance and cooked or heated just before serving.



1 large egg

1 pound lean ground beef (93 percent lean)

1/2 cup seasoned bread crumbs

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1/4 cup grated Parmesan

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 ounce provolone cheese, cut in 1/2-inch rounds

1/4 cup sliced green pimento-stuffed olives

1 1/2 cups tomato-basil sauce

6 potato (or regular) hot dog rolls

1. Coat a baking sheet or broiler pan with cooking spray; preheat the broiler.

2. Beat the egg lightly with a fork in a large bowl. Add the beef, bread crumbs and Parmesan; mix thoroughly. Form into 18 round balls (each about 11/2 inches in diameter), press lightly on the top and bottom to slightly flatten.

3. Heat the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the meatballs and cook until browned on the undersides, about 4 minutes; turn and cook until again browned, about another 4 minutes. Transfer to the prepared pan.

4. Top each meatball with a piece of provolone and broil until just melted, about 2 minutes. As soon as it comes out of the oven, top each piece of cheese with an olive slice stuffed with pimento.

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5. Warm the tomato sauce in the skillet; place the meatballs "eyeballs" facing up in the sauce until warmed through. To serve, spoon the sauce in the folds of each roll and top with the meatballs.

Makes 6 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 315 calories, 22 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 12 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 594 mg sodium



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"Hide" pepperoni or other surprise ingredients under the tomato sauce for a tasty Halloween trick.

1 (12-inch) whole-wheat thin pizza crust

1 cup bottled tomato sauce

4 ounces mozzarella, cut in thin 2-inch long strips

2 to 3 pitted black olives

1. Preheat oven to 450 degrees.

2. Place pizza crust on a baking sheet pan and spread the sauce over the surface, leaving a 1/2-inch border free. Form the web using the mozzarella: start in the center and form 8 spokes that extend to about a half-inch from the outer edge. Join the spokes in concentric circles. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, until cheese is melted and crust is golden.

3. Immediately form spider on the warm cheese near the center of the web: cut 1 olive in half and invert one half to form the biggest part of the body; cut the remaining half in half again and use 1 piece for the head. Cut 8 thin lengthwise strips from the remaining olives for the legs.

4. To serve, cut in 8 slices.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 299 calories, 16 g protein, 38 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 12 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 945 mg sodium



8 (6-inch) flour tortillas

1 (16-ounce) can low-fat refried beans

4 ounces (1 cup) shredded reduced-fat orange Cheddar

4 teaspoons canola oil, divided

1. Preheat the broiler; coat a baking sheet pan with cooking spray.

2. Stack the tortillas and, using the point of a paring knife, cut away enough of the top to form a pumpkin stem. Working with 1 tortilla at a time, cut out triangles for the eyes and nose and a big mouth with teeth. Repeat using a total of 4 of the tortillas.

3. Spread each of the 4 tortillas that do not have a face with an even layer of the refried beans. Top with the cheese. Position the tortillas with the cutouts on top.

4. Heat 1 teaspoon of the oil in a medium skillet over medium high; slide 1 quesadilla in the pan and cook until the cheese begins to melt and the tortilla is golden on the underside, about 2 minutes. Slide onto the prepared baking sheet pan. Repeat with the remaining tortillas.

5. Place under the broiler for 1 to 2 minutes until tops are golden; serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 382 calories, 17 g protein, 47 g carbohydrates, 7 g fiber, 14 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 774 mg sodium