The Happy Pear brothers share three recipes to treat yourself to this weekend — healthy waffles, a quick and hearty veggie burger and flapjacks to get excited about

Saturdays and Sundays are made for lazy brunches and handy dinners you can throw together — but that doesn’t mean you have to opt for greasy, boring fast food. These colourful dishes from the lads at The Happy Pear will satisfy your craving for a treat while still being packed with nutritious ingredients.

Healthy waffles

This is a great recipe that works perfectly for pancakes too.

Ingredients:

250g buckwheat flour/ other flour of choice

2 teaspoons baking powder (1 ½ teaspoons if using white flour)

1 teaspoon sea salt

3 tablespoons maple syrup

½ banana or 2 tea tablespoons ground flax seeds

3 tablespoons almond butter

400ml rice milk

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

Method:

1. First step, turn on the waffle iron.

2. To make the batter, whiz all the ingredients together in a blender until smooth.

3. Once the waffle iron is hot, spray it with vegetable oil to prevent the waffles from sticking. Pour in the batter, ensuring that you have added enough to cover the full iron, and leaving a bit of room for the waffles to rise slightly.

4. Cook in the waffle iron until they turn nice and brown. Remove and add toppings of your choice.

Ultimate 15-minute ‘burger’

This recipe makes three good-sized burgers. Make sure to whip up a side like sweet-potato fries too!

Ingredients:

For the burgers:

  • 1 x 400g tin of kidney/black beans
  • 1 red onion
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 150g oyster mushrooms (or any other mushrooms)
  • 3 tablespoons oil
  • 3 tablespoons tamari/soy sauce
  • 100g breadcrumbs
  • 2 tablespoons nutritional yeast

To serve:

  • Hummus/vegan mayo
  • Sweet chilli ketchup/pesto
  • A couple of slices of vegan cheese (optional)
  • Lettuce leaves
  • Tomato slices
  • Red onion slices
  • Ripe avocado slices

Method:

1. Drain and rinse the beans. Peel and finely chop the onion and garlic. Chop the mushrooms very finely.

2. Put 2 tablespoons of oil into a frying pan on a high heat. Once hot, add the onion and garlic and cook for 1–2 minutes, stirring regularly. Add the mushrooms and cook for a further minute. Now add the tamari, and fry for 2 minutes. Remove from the heat.

3. Put the breadcrumbs, beans and nutritional yeast into a bowl and mix well. Add the mushroom mixture to the same bowl and mix. Leave to cool for a minute, then use your hands or a wooden spoon to mash and mix everything together. Shape this mixture into 3 burger-shaped patties, making sure to really compress them so as to remove as much moisture as possible.

4. The patties are now ready to cook. We usually fry them in the pan in the remaining tablespoon of oil for 2 minutes on each side, until they go golden. You can also bake them in the oven at 180°C/350°F/Gas Mark 4 for 10 minutes, or throw them on the barbecue.

5. Serve in toasted burger buns with hummus/mayo on the bottom of the bun, sweet chilli ketchup/pesto on the top and any of the other topping options you fancy.

Not Your Average Flapjacks

This recipe makes 16 flapjacks that are far from boring and packed with tasty superfood ingredients.

Ingredients:

50g dried apricots

50g dried mango

100g pumpkin seeds

50g desiccated coconut

70g chia seeds

100g walnuts

100g pitted dates

50g goji berries

1 teaspoon vanilla extract

70g cocoa butter/coconut oil

200g dark chocolate

Method:

1. Finely chop the dried apricots and mango into small pieces to make it easier on your food processor. Put them into the processor with the pumpkin seeds, coconut, chia seeds, walnuts, dates, goji berries and vanilla extract, and pulse until the nuts and seeds are well chopped and broken up but there is still some texture to them. Pour the blended mixture into a large bowl.

2. Melt the cocoa butter in a bowl over simmering water, the same as you would melt chocolate. Once melted, pour it over the nut and seed mixture and mix well.

3. Line a flapjack tray with baking parchment and spread the mixture evenly so that it is about 3cm thick. Using the back of a spoon, smooth the top level.

4. Now melt the chocolate in the bowl over simmering water and spread over the nut and seed mixture.

5. Put into the fridge and leave for 20 minutes to set. Once cooled, chop into 4 x 4 pieces, to make 16 flapjack bars. Store in an airtight tin for up to a week.

Recipes for Happiness is published by Penguin Ireland and is out now.

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