3 Simple vegetarian recipes

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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1 (1-pound) unpeeled eggplant, cut across in 1⁄2-inch slices

2 (8-ounce) zucchinis, cut diagonally across in 1⁄2-inch slices

1 red bell pepper, cut in 4 panels

1⁄4 cup tahini

3 tablespoons lemon juice

1 (15.5-ounce) can low-sodium chickpeas, drained and rinsed

2 tablespoons water

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

4 ciabatta or sourdough rolls, split horizontally


1. Preheat the oven to 425 degrees. Coat 2 shallow sheet pans with cooking spray.

2. Place the vegetables in a single layer on the sheet pans. Roast as close to the center of the oven as possible, rotating the pans after 15 minutes, and cook a total of 30 minutes. Remove the pans from the oven and turn all the vegetables over.

3. While the vegetables roast, make the hummus. Place the tahini and lemon juice in a food processor and blend, scraping down the sides, until smooth. Add the chickpeas, water and salt and process until smooth and fluffy. (Add 1 to 2 teaspoons of water if the hummus seems thick.)

4. Place the rolls, cut sides down, on the oven rack until lightly toasted. Spread the hummus evenly over the 8 cut surfaces of the rolls. Layer the vegetables evenly over the hummus on the bottom halves of the rolls, close the sandwiches and serve. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 449 calories, 19 g protein, 74 g carbohydrates, 12 g fiber, 11 g fat, 2 g saturated fat, 910 mg sodium



1 tablespoon red-wine vinegar

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil

1⁄2 teaspoon salt

Pinch each black pepper, coriander and cumin

1 1⁄4 pounds plum tomatoes, seeded and chopped

2 Persian cucumbers, chopped

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 green bell pepper, chopped

1⁄4 cup chopped red onion

1⁄2 cup parsley, chopped


Whisk the vinegar, olive oil, salt, black pepper, coriander and cumin in a large bowl. Add the tomatoes, cucumbers, bell peppers, onion and parsley and toss well. Allow to stand 20 minutes before serving. Makes 4 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 116 calories, 2 g protein, 12 g carbohydrates 3 g fiber, 8 g fat, 1 g saturated fat, 304 mg sodium

TIP: To make short work of seeding a plum tomato, cut it in half and squeeze it as you would a lemon.



16 ounces elbow pasta

2 1⁄2 cups 1 percent milk

1⁄3 cup all-purpose flour

1⁄4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes

16 ounces reduced-fat grated sharp Cheddar

4 ounces Neufchâtel cream cheese

4 ounces shredded reduced-fat mozzarella

1⁄2 cup grated Parmesan cheese

2 (4-ounce) jars sliced pimentos, drained and chopped

1⁄4 cup canola mayonnaise

1⁄2 teaspoon onion powder

1⁄4 teaspoon paprika


1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees. Coat a 9-by-13-inch baking dish with cooking spray.

2. Cook the pasta in plenty of lightly salted boiling water until just cooked to al dente, about 6 minutes. Drain.

3. Combine the milk and flour in a large saucepan and (off the heat) whisk until smooth. Place over medium heat and, whisking often, cook to the consistency of heavy cream, about 9 minutes. Remove from the heat and stir in the pepper flakes, Cheddar, cream cheese, mozzarella, Parmesan, pimentos, mayonnaise and onion powder. Stir until the sauce is smooth and creamy. Toss with the pasta and transfer to the prepared pan.

4. Place in the oven, sprinkle evenly with the paprika, and bake until the edges are lightly browned, about 25 to 30 minutes. Makes 12 servings.

Nutritional analysis for each serving: 379 calories, 23 g protein, 39 g carbohydrates, 2 g fiber, 15 g fat, 8 g saturated fat, 562 mg sodium

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