Friday, 5 December 2014

#BPBR no. 4 - The Happy Pear

'The Happy Pear' by David & Stephen Flynn, published in 2014

I had heard quite a lot about these guys over the past year or so. They are very on the ball in the social media realm and I had read some great reviews of the excellent, wholesome and healthy food they serve in their renowned Greystones restaurant. I was sent a complimentary copy of this book from their publishers, Penguin Ireland. From my first leaf through this literally "tablet-sized" cookbook, I was eager to get cooking!

1. The photos in this cookbook are fun, attractive and appealing. Uber healthy food (which the book contains in bucket loads) is displayed as appetising and interesting. There isn't even the faintest whiff of boring "diet" style foods and so I found my list of to-try recipes began growing longer and longer as I leafed through the book. Hardly a complaint! It's no secret either that the Flynn twins are very easy on the eye and there are quite a few photos of the two guys throughout the book too. I always find that a cookbook with some people photos featuring among the vast array of food photos, is a good thing. And it's no different in the Happy Pear, where family, friendships and health are put to the forefront. One more lovely thing - you must check out the fabulous sunset photos on page 161 - a lovely interest that formed from the time of the birth of Dave's daughter...and grew legs from social media. Very pretty indeed!
Look at those dips and tasty treats!

2. The writing is interesting and covers a lot more than just your normal spiel and recipes. There is a great section about community, giving you a great insight into the guys' mentality about their community consciousness. The morning porridge story is just lovely. Recipe ingredients and methods are plain and simply written. There is another introductory section describing their arrival at this decision to change their lives and become more health conscious - their 'Two-Man Food Revolution'. Whether you go along with it or not, I feel it makes a lot of sense for them to give a good background on themselves and their motivations. There is a lot of feel good about this book!

3. There is a lot to like about 'The Happy Pear' and I am going to stick firmly to the food here. I tried two of their soups and each, in their own way, were tasty, healthy and super satisfying. I'd go with the Carrot, Cashew and Coriander for an occasion or dinner party. Unusually, I felt it was at its very best the day it was cooked. The Sweet Potato and Chestnut Mushroom Soup really improved with time and it was a welcome warmer in my lunchbox for a couple of days. These soups are really high on the filling power and the extra protein in the cashew soup is a really bonus for veggies/vegans. Then there was the Green Bean Curry, a speciality of Dave's mother-in-law, and this was delcious! Full on real curry flavour and the (pre-frozen) green beans really kept their bite and I must mention that you can't deny the budget friendly appeal of this dish. I am dying to serve it as a vegetarian curry alternative and as a tasty side at a dinner party.
Delicious, super filling soup

Green Bean curry in the making!

4. On to the dislikes, well hands up, I do miss meat but that's what you're getting with this cookbook. It does what it says on the tin and it does it very very well indeed. I am also interested in giving many of the desserts a go, but some of the ingredients would definitely require a trip to a specialist shop or health food store and that's not always possible. I would say that this book will at the very least do one thing, and one very important thing for you...make you think! About the importance of fresh, whole, honest to goodness foods. Your health will thank you for it and your taste buds will surely be pleasantly surprised.
SCORE for 3 & 4 = 8

5. 'The Happy Pear' is definitely worth a look. It will appeal to anyone who is health conscious, but moreover, it makes healthy eating habits very appealing, by means of thought-out, tasty and satisfying dishes. Continued success to Dave and Stephen and I look forward to some warming soup in Greystones some day, sooner rather than later!
Overall score = 16/20 or 80%


  1. Welcome back! I've missed your posts.
    I love this book too, although I have to confess I have not actually made anything from it yet, I just keep reading and bookmarking pages.


    1. Hi Donna, thanks so much! Trying to get back into gear with the blog bit by bit.
      So many nice recipe ideas from this book. Their soups are definitely wintertime winners ;-)
      I am loving your Christmas posts on A Cookbook Collection too. That chutney looks delightful.


  2. Thanks Nollaig. You're very kind! x