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 To keep tortillas pliable, stack them on a plate and cover with a damp cloth or paper towel. Microwave for 30 to 45 seconds, depending on your microwave.

Air-conditioning or not, it can be a welcome relief to stay away from the stovetop and oven on these dog days of summer.

All recipes make 4 servings.


1 (15-ounce) can lower-sodium black beans, drained and rinsed

4 ribs celery, chopped into 1/4-inch pieces

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1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 mango, cut into 1/4-inch dice

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1 avocado

1 lime

2 teaspoons lime juice

1/4 teaspoon ground cumin

1/4 teaspoon smoked paprika

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1/8 teaspoon roasted ground coriander

1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil

3 ounces Cheddar cheese, thinly sliced

2 light whole-grain English muffins, split

1. Combine the black beans, celery, bell pepper, mango and tomatoes in a bowl.

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2. Halve the avocado, remove the pit and cut 4 thin slices from it. Set the slices aside, rubbing the exposed surfaces lightly with the cut side of a lime. Chop the remaining avocado into 1/4-inch pieces and add to the black bean mixture.

3. In a small bowl, combine the lime juice, cumin, paprika and coriander; whisk in the olive oil. Toss with the bean mixture.

4. Divide the cheese evenly among the 4 English muffin halves and place in the toaster oven to melt. When the cheese is melted, remove from the oven and top each with a slice of the avocado. Serve with the bean salad.

Nutritional analysis per serving 373 calories, 14 g protein, 44 g carbohydrates, 15 g fiber, 19 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 311 mg sodium



2 cups cooked rotisserie chicken breast (cut into bite-size pieces)

1 (8 ounce) whole-wheat baguette, cut or torn into 1-inch pieces

2 peaches, cut into 1/2-inch pieces

8 ounces plum tomatoes, chopped into 1/2-inch pieces

1/3 cup basil leaves, cut into thin strips

1 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 tablespoon plus 1 teaspoon red-wine vinegar

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/8 teaspoon black pepper

3 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1. Combine the chicken, bread, peaches, tomato, basil and onion in a large bowl.

2. In a small bowl, combine the vinegar, salt and pepper; whisk in the olive oil. Toss the dressing with the bread mixture and allow to sit 20 minutes before serving.

Nutritional analysis per serving 416 calories, 30 g protein, 40 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 15 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 572 mg sodium



1/4 cup coconut milk

2 tablespoons lime juice

2 tablespoons fish sauce

1 teaspoon honey

1/2 to 3/4 teaspoon Thai red curry paste

1 pound deli-sliced roast beef, cut into 1/4-inch strips

4 cups shredded napa cabbage

1/2 cup thinly sliced red onion

1 Persian cucumber, cut into 1/4-inch strips

1 red bell pepper, cut into 1/4-inch wide strips

1/4 cup cilantro, chopped

1/4 cup mint leaves, chopped

4 (7- to 8-inch) flour tortillas

2 teaspoons sesame oil

1. Combine coconut milk, lime juice, fish sauce, honey and curry paste in a small bowl; whisk until smooth.

2. Combine roast beef, cabbage, onion, cucumber, red pepper, cilantro and mint in a bowl. Toss with dressing.

3. Brush 1 side of each of the tortillas lightly with the oil and warm according to package directions (or follow tip above). Place one-fourth of the roast beef mixture in a column down the center of the brushed side of each tortilla: fold the bottom inch of the tortilla up over filling and roll tortilla lengthwise to enclose. Serve immediately.

Nutritional analysis per serving 362 calories, 28 g protein, 36 g carbohydrates, 3 g fiber, 12 g fat, 6 g saturated fat, 2,009 mg sodium (to lower sodium, look for low-sodium tortillas and low-sodium sliced roast beef)