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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Here are healthier versions of classic Super Bowl party foods, including a New Orleans specialty, the muffuletta.

TIP These dishes may all be made in advance: Prepare the dip a day ahead but bake just before serving.


2 (2.5-ounce) jars pitted green olives, drained and coarsely chopped (about 1 1/4 cups)

1 tablespoon drained capers

1/2 teaspoon dried basil

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2 tablespoons vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1 (12-ounce) whole wheat (or regular) baguette

1 1/2 cups shredded iceberg or romaine lettuce

4 ounces low-sodium sliced turkey

4 ounces low-sodium sliced ham

4 ounces reduced-fat thin sliced provolone

1. In a small bowl, combine the olives, capers, basil, vinegar and olive oil. Let sit 30 minutes.

2. Split the baguette horizontally. Scoop out and discard the center of the bread. Drain the olive mixture and brush all the cut, or inside, surfaces (both the top and bottom of the baguette) with the liquid. Place half the olive mixture on the bottom half of the bread; top with lettuce then turkey, ham and cheese. Spoon the remaining olive mixture over the cheese and close the sandwich. Wrap tightly in plastic wrap and refrigerate at least 30 minutes or overnight.

3. To serve, place toothpicks every inch or so, and cut into 1-inch wide slices. Makes 12 servings.

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Nutritional analysis for each serving 179 calories, 10 g protein, 19 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 7 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 639 mg sodium



1 tablespoon canola oil

4 cups chopped onion

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1 teaspoon sugar

4 ounces Neufchâtel cheese (low-fat cream cheese)

1/2 cup reduced-fat sour cream

1/3 cup light mayonnaise

1/4 cup plus 1 tablespoon grated Parmesan, divided

1/4 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1. Preheat the oven to 350 degrees. Coat a 1-quart baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Heat canola oil in a large, nonstick skillet over medium high. Add the onion and cook, stirring occasionally, until somewhat softened, about 4 minutes. Sprinkle with sugar, reduce the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the onions are soft and deeply golden, about 15 minutes. Remove from heat and allow to cool.

3. Combine the Neufchâtel, sour cream, mayonnaise, 1/4 cup of the Parmesan and Worcestershire sauce in a bowl; stir in the onions and transfer to the prepared baking dish. Sprinkle with the remaining 1 tablespoon Parmesan cheese.

4. Bake until mixture is golden on top and bubbling, about 20 minutes. Serve warm. Makes about 12 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 103 calories, 3 g protein, 7 g carbohydrates, 1 g fiber, 7 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 115 mg sodium



2 tablespoon canola oil, divided

4 cups chopped onion

4 cloves garlic, minced

2 pounds lean ground sirloin

2 tablespoons chili powder

1/2 teaspoon chipotle chili powder

1 tablespoon ground cumin

2 teaspoons dried oregano

2 diced green peppers

2 cups corn kernels

3 (15-ounce) cans low-sodium red beans, drained and rinsed

2 (28-ounce) cans diced tomatoes

1. Heat 1 tablespoon of canola oil in large skillet over medium high. Add onion and garlic and cook, stirring occasionally, until softened, 6 to 7 minutes. Transfer to slow cooker. Heat remaining 1 tablespoon oil in pan; add beef, chili powder, chipotle chili powder, cumin and oregano and cook, stirring to break meat into crumbles, until beef just loses its pink color. Transfer to slow cooker.

2. Add green peppers, corn, red beans and tomatoes; cover and cook on low for 6 to 8 hours.

NOTE: To cook the chili on the stovetop, transfer ingredients in Steps 1 and 2 to soup pot and simmer over low heat, stirring occasionally, for 1 hour.

Makes 12 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving 267 calories, 23 g protein, 32 g carbohydrates, 10 g fiber, 6 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 451 mg sodium