Tempura Stuffed Courgette Flowers on Green Soup

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Preparation time: 30min

Cooking time: 10min

SF, DF, GF, VG

I absolutely love courgette flowers.  They are so unbelievably beautiful and amazing to cook with.  Whenever they come back into season and are available again at the market it is my reminder that we are really heading towards warmer and more sunny days, which always makes me feel happy.  Also, they are beautiful bright yellow flowers, what’s not to love right?

There are so many ways to use these in cooking. You can bake them, fry them, steam them, blanch them or even eat them raw.  I’m going to teach you how to tempura them!

Tempura for me is such a treat.  I don’t eat it regularly but when I do it satisfies me so much and I always feel very nourished and content afterwards.  Although, often people ask me if it is healthy to eat tempura because it is deep fried.  There is such a fear about eating fats in our diets today, so much so, that having anything fried or oily in our diet is so often thought of as bad for our health or will make us fat.  We then avoid it like the plague but somewhere along the line we will start to crave lots of crisps, nut butters and other oily sticky foods like flapjacks, energy balls or even cheese.  Now of course none of these things are ‘bad’ but if we are eating them regularly, maybe even daily,  then it can effect our health and energy.

Having these oily sticky foods daily/regularly can really start to clog up our insides.  Literally creating a sticky/oily quality inside of us.  On a physical level it creates a build up of mucus in our bodies and blocks our bodies natural ability and need to discharge toxins.  On an emotional and energetic level it can also effect how fluidly our emotions flow as well as our creativity and self-expression.  And to balance it out (because naturally our bodies are always trying to balance itself) it’s likely we’ll crave constant high intensity exercise to ‘burn off’ the stuckness, leading you to crave more oily sticky foods etc etc.  and so you can see it begins to be a bit of a see-saw effect.

So for more balance in our lives, I feel it is really important to make sure we have regular good quality oils and rich foods in our diet as well as lots of veggies, fruit, plant-based proteins, wholegrains and sugar/dairy-free desserts.

When I make myself tempura It seems to satisfy my need for richness so much that I notice I don’t crave it again for a while. And my cravings for all the other oily sticky foods described above really dissipate.  Now, eating tempura daily/regularly is also not going to be good for our health and well -being so remember balance, balance, balance.

What oily, rich foods do you crave?  Is it crisps? Energy bars or balls? Flabjacks? Crumbles? How much nut butter do you use in your diet?  Have a think about it and if you want, please let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

My favourites are all of the above!

Also, I often hear my students say they are afraid of making tempura, because they don’t know how, it is too hard, it takes too long.  And I want to show you that none of these beliefs are true.  It is SO EASY, takes a few minutes to do and so unbelievably satisfying.

In this recipe I am going to stuff the courgette flowers first so it is a little more extravagant.  Perfect for a lovely dinner at home or a dinner party or sharing a meal with friends.  But if you just want some quick tempura for yourself, then forget about the stuffing, just make the batter and tempura the flowers.  It will only take you a few minutes! You can tempura slices of whatever veggies you have in the fridge that day.  Broccoli, dandelion leaves, nettles, asparagus, cauliflower, watercress, pumpkin, carrots, french beans, tofu!  The list is endless!

So once a week or 10 days, try and add a little crunch and richness to your plate, just a few pieces at a time, and see how much it satisfies you and helps your cravings.

INGREDIENTS
(Serves 4)

Stuffing

  • 1/2 Cup Cooked Long Grain Brown Rice
  • 1/2 Cup Brown Mushrooms
  • 1/2 Cup Firm Organic Tofu
  • 1/2 Cup Fresh Thyme
  • Sea Salt
  • 1 Lemon (Juiced)
  • Sesame or Olive Oil

Batter

  • 1/2 Cup Chickpea Flower
  • Cold Water
  • Sea Salt
  • Organic Sunflower Frying Oil

Method:

– First to make the stuffing. If you don’t have any cooked brown rice left over to use, then you can either use cous cous or quinoa or whatever wholegrain you have. If you have nothing, then put 1 cup brown rice in a pot with 2 cups water and a pinch of salt. Bring to boil and let simmer for 45min until cooked.
– In the meantime strip thyme leaves off the stalks, cut the tofu into small cubes and slice the mushrooms thinly.
– Heat up some oil in a frying pan and add the tofu with a pinch of salt. Once it starts to go golden brown add the mushrooms. Mix well and stir-fry for about 5-7mintes so mushrooms cook well.
– Add the thyme and rice and mix in well for another few minutes then add another good pinch of sea salt and a good squeeze of lemon juice. Done! Put in a bowl to cool a little.
– Then mix the batter, first add the chick-pea flower to a bowl then slowly add cold water until you get a nice custard consistency. Then add a good pinch of sea salt.
– Mix it a little but not too much – just enough that there are not big lumps of flour. If you mix it too much you will lose the crunchiness of the tempura.
– In a deep pot heat up some good quality organic frying oil. You will know it is hot enough if you stick a wooded chop-stick or skewer or tooth pick in and bubbles form around the wood.
– Once the oil is hot take each courgette flower and with a spoon stuff them gently with the rice mix. Try not to tear them so don’t over stuff them. You only need 1 tbls spoon in each.
– Then twist the end of the flower so it is closed.
– Whilst holding the twisted closed end, dip the rest in the batter until it is well coated and add gently to the frying oil. Continue with the rest of the flowers.
– They only need to fry for a few minutes until the batter starts to turn golden.
– Take out and let it drain on a kitchen towel for a few moments.
– In this recipe I served my tempura stuffed flowers on a beautiful green soup to balance it out with some lightness.
– See recipe for Green Soup!
– If you don’t want it with the soup then serve with a simple green salad or the Asparagus Mint Salad also on this site.

Voila! Enjoy! Eat as soon as possible so they are still crunchy! xxx

 

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