The Happy Pear & Blacksheep Foods Show Us How To Do Work Lunches

We're lovin' lunch all over again with these delish, moreish meals from our favourite foodies.

By the time we’ve scooped the last spoon of cereal out of our breakfast bowl, we’re already thinking about lunch. And nine times out of ten, we’ve failed to bring a hang sang from home. Every day we promise ourselves (and our wallets) that we’ll eschew the lure of shop bought snacks and expensive hipster-y salads… but, sigh, it rarely pans out that way, does it?

Yay then for The Happy Pear  who shared one of the most popular recipes from their best selling book, and our gal pals at Blacksheep Foods for showing us how to make a wholesome hug in a mug from their winter souping delivery service.

Now there’s no excuse for a chicken fillet roll lunch… well, unless you’re hanging, then you’re off the hook.


The Happy Pear

These falafels are low in fat, heart healthy and packed full of fibre,” explain brothers-in-food, David and Stephen Flynn. “Top tip: keep the skins on the sweet potatoes to boost the mineral content.”  This dish might look ingredient-heavy but once you’ve chopped, blended and baked up a storm you’ll have three or four days worth of lunch options.

“Divide the mix into burger-shaped patties and serve one per person, or make small bite-size balls – they end up crispier when smaller – and are perfect for adding to toasted wholemeal pittas and wholemeal wraps along with fresh green salad and hummus.”

Falafels with Red Pepper Relish

Serves 4

500g sweet potatoes

3 cloves of garlic

1 x 400g tin of chickpeas

10–12 scallions or 6 spring onions

1 small red onion

Juice of 1 lemon

1 teaspoon paprika

Pinch of cayenne pepper or chilli powder (if you like it hot, add ½ teaspoon cayenne)

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

1 small sprig of fresh parsley

1 small sprig of fresh coriander

3 teaspoons cumin seeds

2 teaspoons ground cumin

2 teaspoons ground coriander

2 tablespoons sesame seeds

2 teaspoons salt

2 tablespoons tamari, Bragg Liquid Aminos or soy sauce


1 medium onion

2 red peppers

1 x 400g tin of chopped tomatoes

2 tablespoons apple cider vinegar or any white vinegar

1 tablespoon agave syrup or honey

¼ teaspoon chilli powder

1 teaspoon salt

½ teaspoon freshly ground black pepper


Preheat the oven to 180ºC

  • Cut the sweet potatoes into bite-size pieces. Peel and finely chop the onion (for the relish), remove the seeds and roughly chop the red peppers. Peel and finely slice the garlic. Drain the chickpeas and rinse them thoroughly.
  • Put the sweet potatoes on one baking tray and the onion and peppers on another. Put both trays into the oven and bake for about 25 minutes, or until the sweet potatoes are soft. The onions and peppers are even better if you leave them for 5 minutes longer – it dries them out and intensifies the flavours. Leave the oven turned on as you will be using it later.
  • Place the sweet potatoes into a large bowl and add the chickpeas, garlic, lemon juice, cumin, coriander, paprika, cayenne, black pepper, salt and tamari. Either blitz the mix together, using a hand blender or food processor, or simply mash with a potato masher. Make sure everything is mixed thoroughly and that there are no big lumps left.
  • Finely chop the scallions or spring onions, red onion and fresh herbs and add to the mixture along with the cumin seeds. Mix well.
  • Divide the mixture and shape into burgers. Sprinkle the sesame seeds on a plate, then turn the cakes over in the seeds until they are coated on both sides. Place the patties on a baking tray and bake for 15–20 minutes. For extra crisp falafels, flip them over halfway through.
  • To make the relish put the baked red peppers and onion into a medium pan on a high heat along with the tinned tomatoes and the rest of the relish ingredients. Once the mixture starts to boil, reduce the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Blend the mixture together and serve.



Blacksheep Foods

This time of year two chicks, one kitchen are all about souping. “It’s like juicing for the winter,” laugh Julianne and Lydia. “Soups are a simple and easy way to incorporate vitamin-stuffed vegetables into our diets. They’re loaded with fibre which will strengthen your immune system and help remove toxins from the body. When you’ve blitzed up a bowl, swap salt for lemon juice to season – it’s super healthy.”

Why not freeze batches for the week ahead? It’ll save you time and money, and what’s tastes better than that, eh?

Butternut Squash Soup

Serves 8

2 onions

2 sticks celery

2 carrots

4 cloves garlic

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp cinnamon

Pinch of cayenne

2 sprigs fresh rosemary

Sea salt

Freshly ground black pepper

2 kg butternut squash

2 litres vegetable stock

Extra virgin olive oil


  • Put a large saucepan on a medium heat and pour in a good drop of olive oil.
  • Add your chopped onion, celery, carrot and garlic. Throw in the rosemary leaves, spices and a good pinch of salt and pepper too.
  • Cook gently for about 10 minutes until the vegetables sweat and soften. Next, add the butternut squash and the stock to the pan.
  • Bring to the boil and simmer for about half an hour, leaving the lid off.
  • Once the squash is cooked through, blitz the soup with a hand blender or pour it into a liquidizer and pulse until you have a smooth purée.
  • Taste and season your soup.
  • Pour into your serving bowls and garnish with some crispy sage, rosemary, pumpkin seeds and maybe even a dollop of coconut yogurt.
  • This is the basic recipe, you can add whatever you like to this soup. Chilli is great if you want a little extra kick, whereas quinoa or barley add more texture. It’s also a handy way to get your greens in!