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The Happy Pear: Healthy, Easy, Delicious Food to Change Your Life Hardcover – 2 Oct 2014
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About the Author
Until well into their twenties twins, David and Stephen Flynn, were typical meat-eating, pint-swilling, girl-chasing jocks. Until - entirely independently - they tried a vegetarian diet. It transformed their lives. They developed a passion for good food and health that was both addictive and utterly infectious. The Happy Pear café, shop and brand have become iconic and their food has an ever-growing legion of fans. Their first cookbook The Happy Pear was a No 1 bestseller and has sold over 100,000 copies. Their next book, The World of the Happy Pear, has also been a No 1 bestseller..
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I cooked the lentil moussaka for my parents and two friends recently (it's my favorite) - my parents LOVED it and our other dinner guests asked for the recipe to try the next weekend they liked it so much.
My husband and I aren't vegetarian or vegan, but, these meals taste so good and typically go over and above what I'd expect from a meat dish every time. You can tell that the Happy Pear have spent a huge amount of time constructing the recipes to taste amazing every time - really interesting and clever mix of spices, herbs and flavors often without any oil or fat.
Some of my favorite recipes (I've added pics)
- Winter squash, leek, kale and fennel gratin (had this for dinner tonight, actually)
- Aubergine parmigiana (roasted garlic in the tomato sauce is amazing)
- Banana bread (my husband is from the US and extremely particular about banana bread (!), this passed with flying colors and is now a staple in our house, it uses sunflower oil, spelt flour and honey so is much better for us than the regular butter / sugar style)
- Lentil moussaka - absolutely amazing
- Falafal (the sesame seeds are great on the outside to make the falafel crunchy without frying)
- Vietnamese sweet almond curry - very hearty and delicious with squash, eggplant, black beans, turmeric...... and a lot of other good stuff. The almonds and scallions on top also add a ton of texture and flavor! (I add sweet potato instead of butternut squash out of season!)
Why do I like the book?
- Everything tastes amazing - really thoughtful and clever recipes that come out great every time
- Very well written - nothing is ambiguous but also doesn't feel over explained
- Has really helped us to "eat more veg", the twins' motto. When I go to the store now I feel like I really am making the most of the fresh and seasonal food - eggplants, fennel and sweet potatoes, raw beetroot etc. and we have cut down dramatically on processed food (frozen pizza, ready made tomato sauce) without even really noticing it was happening
- Very hearty and substantial food so you never feel unsatisfied - my husband and I are very active and seem to eat a TON - sometimes it's hard to find recipes that will see us well fed with healthy food and also with leftovers for the next day or couple of days for lunch
- Great mix and variety of options and ingredients - I like to go back through the book every now and again to see what I've missed!
- Really good education about all the different ingredients and techniques - I'm by no means a novice in the kitchen but really feel like I've learned so much more by reading the book and watching the YouTube videos about different food choices (different types of oil, grains, flour, etc.) and also how I can be more creative by switching things in an out so a recipe isn't the same every time (e.g., coconut milk vs. cream etc.)
- Did need to buy some new ingredients upfront (spelt flour, cumin seeds, tamari, etc.) but they have lasted a really long time and worth the investment
- Some of the recipes take longer than others - I wouldn't try them all on a week night, but it's very clear from the recipes which ones are good for that.
- I often reduce the recommended amount of salt a little
I was expecting just a recipe book, but this is quite a lot about these 2 guys & their life, with lots of pictures of them. Although that’s quite interesting to read I really just wanted a recipe book :(