Singles often have trouble finding useful, tasty recipes. They're either stuck with recipes for one, fit for none, or lots of leftovers that aren't too appealing the second time around.
The two that follow should be a help. Uppuma is an extremely tasty grain dish from South India that's great the next day, too. And the Cream of Broccoli Soup transforms leftover cooked vegetables of almost any sort into a subtly flavored, creamy green soup. UPPUMA (4 servings)
1 cup finely cracked wheat
1 tablespoon oil
1/2 teaspoon black mustard seeds
5 cashew nuts
1 small onion, minced
1/2 tablespoon minced ginger
1/2 green chile, seeded and minced, or 1/4 green pepper, minced
1 1/2 cups boiling water
1/2 teaspoon salt
Leaves of 1/2 bunch coriander
1 teaspoon lemon juice
Toast the grain in a big, heavy-bottomed pan, stirring until the grain is fragrant and just beginning to brown. The toasting ensures that the uppuma will be flaky rather than gummy. Remove from heat.
In the same pot, emptied, or in another heavy and sizable one, heat the oil very hot and add the mustard seeds. Cover the pan and let them pop. As soon as the sound of wild popping slows down a bit, remove from heat, uncover, and add the cashews, stirring quickly until they are golden. Add the onion, ginger, and chile in succession, giving the onion a bit of a head start. Saute' until tender.
Add the water and salt and bring to a boil. Add the grain, stirring as you do to mix evenly. Cover tightly and allow to cook over very low heat until the grain is tender, about 10 minutes.
When the water is gone, the grain should be tender and flaky. If the grain isn't done when the water has evaporated, stir in a quarter cup more of boiling water and cover again, keeping over lowest heat for 5 more minutes. If the grain is tender but gummy, or if the water is not gone, turn up the heat and stir vigorously with a fork while the excess water evaporates.
Chop the coriander leaves and mix them and the lemon juice into the grain just before serving. CREAM OF BROCCOLI SOUP (Makes 2 to 3 servings)
1 leek or small onion
1 stalk celery with leaves
1 tablespoon olive oil
3 cups lightly cooked broccoli flowers and peeled, sliced stems or 4 cups of same, uncooked
2 cups vegetable stock or water
1/2 teaspoon salt
1/2 teaspoon oregano
1/3 cup cooked brown rice or cooked potato
1/2 cup lowfat milk (optional)
3 or 4 fennel seeds (optional)
Slice leek lengthwise and rinse well, immersing completely. Slice crosswise in 1/2-inch pieces (or chop onion coarsely). Chop celery coarsely, with leaves, and saute' leek or onion and celery in olive oil in a 1-quart soup pot until tender.
Add broccoli to pot along with vegetable stock, salt, and oregano. If the broccoli is raw, bring the soup to a boil, then simmer until broccoli is done, but still bright green. If the broccoli was already cooked, just bring the soup to a boil. Blend soup in batches until creamy with the brown rice or potato and milk, if desired.
To be sure fennel seeds get thoroughly ground, blend them with 1/2 cup of the hot soup and then add to the pot. Adjust seasoning