Review: The Happy Pear Cookbook

In this book we hope to inspire you to eat more veg. That is it, plain and simple.

It’s a great introduction to a book that is packed with recipes from The Happy Pear in Greystones, Co Wicklow. Much more than that though, the book is full of the philosophy behind Dave and Steve’s journey to becoming vegetable evangelists, and retailers on a mission.

The identical twins (for the shop, and book, are a play on words) are the best advertisement for the way of life that the book espouses. While the recipes are at the heart of The Happy Pear cookbook, woven throughout are experiences of their family, employees, and customers.

I loved this cookbook, the use of vegetables and the desserts that are lower in processed sugar. The section about the Happy Heart course that Steve and Dave have been running over the past year made for a great read too.

Now I don’t live near Greystones, and while I do have a healthfood store chain nearby, finding some of the ingredients used in the cookbook proved problematic. It’s also worth bearing in mind that harder-to-find ingredients don’t tend to come cheap either. In saying that many of The Happy Pear recipes can be adapted and others work very well with cheap ingredients.

There was one recipe from the cookbook that converted my picky husband to green beans and for that one recipe alone, I love it.

So would I recommend The Happy Pear cookbook? If you want to eat more veg, change or life or vary your diet it’s a great book with easy-to-follow recipes. The book is available from bookstores nationwide and has a RRP of €21.

Here’s that recipe that changed my husband’s attitude to green beans, with courtesy of the publishers:

Veronica's Green Bean Curry from The Happy Pear CookbookVeronica’s Green Bean Curry (serves 4)

Ingredients

  • 750g frozen beans
  • 1 onion
  • 1 tomato
  • 5 cloves of garlic
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 1 tablespoon black mustard seeds (optional)
  • 1 teaspoon ground turmeric
  • 2.5 teaspoons curry powder
  • 1.5 teaspoons salt

Method

Take the beans out of the freezer and leave them to thaw gently at room temperature while you prepare the other ingredients. Peel and finely chop the onion. Chop the tomato. Peel and crush the garlic (I chopped it here).

Put the oil into a wide-bottomed pan over a high heat. When it’s hot, reduce the heat to medium and add the onion and tomato. Put the lid on and cook for 5 minutes, stirring every now and then. Stir in the garlic and mustard seeds (if using, I didn’t) and continue to cook for another 5 minutes with the lid on, stirring occasionally. Add the turmeric and curry powder and stir well. Cook for a further 2 minutes, stirring frequently.

Add the beans (they will be thawed enough by now) and the salt and stir well so that they get an even coating of the onion and tomato. Add a couple of tablespoons of water and leave to simmer, covered, on a low heat for 20 minutes.

Wholesome Ireland’s tip is to tip in some steamed potato and stir before serving for a filling meal.

Disclosure: I received a copy of the book from Penguin Ireland for the purposes of this review. My opinions are my own and I am not paid to give them.

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