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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The start of a new school year calls for a new batch of easy, healthy and family-friendly meals.

1. CAESAR LINGUINE WITH CHICKEN AND VEGETABLES

1/3 cup light mayonnaise

2 teaspoons lemon juice

1 teaspoon Worcestershire sauce

1/4 teaspoon Dijon mustard

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1/2 cup shredded Parmesan, divided

4 ounces linguine

3 cups broccoli florets

1 tablespoon olive oil

1 pound boneless, skinless chicken breasts cut into 1-inch cubes

1/2 teaspoon salt

8 ounces zucchini, cut into 1-inch pieces

8 ounces yellow squash, cut into 1-inch pieces

1 cup grape tomatoes, halved

1. Make the dressing: Combine the mayonnaise, lemon juice, Worcestershire sauce and Dijon mustard in a large bowl. Stir in 1/4 cup of the Parmesan.

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2. Cook linguine in plenty of lightly salted boiling water for 8 minutes. Add broccoli, cook 4 minutes longer; drain.

3. Heat the oil in a large, nonstick pan over medium high. Add the chicken; sprinkle with the salt and cook 3 to 4 minutes without moving, until lightly browned on the undersides. Toss the chicken, cook 1 minute. Add the zucchini and yellow squash to the pan and cook 4 minutes, until the vegetables are crisp-tender.

4. Toss the linguine with the dressing; add the chicken mixture and the tomatoes, stir thoroughly and dish onto 4 plates; sprinkle with the remaining 1/4 cup Parmesan.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving 394 calories, 33 g protein, 27 g carbohydrates, 4 g fiber, 17 g fat, 4 g saturated fat, 666 mg sodium

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2. BAKED BLACK BEAN BURRITOS

1 chipotle in adobo sauce, finely minced

1/2 cup light sour cream

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

1 cup corn kernels (fresh or frozen)

4 (8-inch) flour tortillas

1 cup salsa

1/2 cup shredded light Cheddar or Monterey Jack

1. Preheat oven to 350. Coat an 11-by-7- inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Combine chipotle and sour cream in a bowl. Puree half the beans in a food processor; add to sour cream mixture with whole beans and corn.

3. Warm tortillas according to package directions. Working one at a time, spoon 1/4 of bean mixture down center of each tortilla; roll tortillas closed and place seam-side down in the prepared baking dish. Spoon salsa over tortillas and top with shredded cheese. Cover and bake 20 minutes, until cheese melts and burritos are warmed through.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving 330 calories, 14 g protein, 50 g carbohydrates, 6 g fiber, 9 g fat, 5 g saturated fat, 906 mg sodium

3. BALSAMIC-GLAZED PORK CHOPS

1/3 cup balsamic vinegar

1 tablespoon honey

1/2 teaspoon dried crumbled sage

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/4 teaspoon ground black pepper

4 (4-ounce) boneless center-cut

pork chops

1 tablespoon olive oil

1. Bring vinegar and honey to a boil in a small saucepan; cook until reduced by half, 4 to 5 minutes. Set aside.

2. Combine sage, salt and pepper in small bowl; pat evenly over pork. Heat oil in large nonstick skillet over medium high; add the pork and cook until lightly browned on the undersides, 4 to 5 minutes. Turn and cook to desired degree of doneness, about another 4 minutes. Spoon the balsamic reduction over the pork and turn the chops over to coat them on both sides with the glaze. Serve immediately.

Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis per serving 220 calories, 19 g protein, 10 g carbohydrates, 0 g fiber, 12 g fat, 3 g saturated fat, 327 mg sodium