Friday, 6 December 2013


With our house build underway and Christmas approaching, our attempts to live cheaply and sustainably are now in full swing. 

As luck would have it, my favourite place to eat out has given us an unexpected hand.  Pillars of Hercules is an organic farm shop and café in Falkland, one of my top places to visit in the area, which serves delicious and healthy home cooked food.

Last time I popped in, they were handing out copies of their Pillars Chilli recipe, a filling winter meal that’s ideally suited to the Starving Artists’ Kitchen.  It shares ingredients with many of the recipes here (saving you money by using up leftovers) and uses the same palate of spices I always keep on my shelves.  So I took it home, and gave it a shot.

It turns out it's a great addition to the kitchen.  Make it in the same week as Sweet and Sour Stay-In, Feast or Famine Bake or Summer Proof Soup, and your food spending should stay low.  Better still, it tastes fantastic on the night it’s cooked, but any leftovers reheat perfectly to serve up with rice, baked potatoes or in pitta bread.

I’ve tweaked it a little from the original, and here’s the result.  For those passing the Falkland area, Pillars is open from 10-5 every day, with Friday and Saturday bistro nights from 15th November.


2 cloves of garlic, chopped finely
1-2 onions, chopped
1 small red chilli, chopped finely
1 teaspoon double concentrate tomato puree
2 tins chopped tomatoes (or plum tomatoes, diced)
1 tin mixed beans, rinsed
2 medium courgettes, chopped
1-2 carrots, peeled and chopped
2 peppers, preferably red / yellow, cut into slices
half a small tin of sweetcorn
2 teaspoons ground cumin
2 teaspoons ground coriander
2 teaspoons paprika
2 teapoons ground ginger
1 tablespoon olive oil (for frying)
Salt and pepper to taste
Natural yoghurt to serve
Grated cheese


1. Fry the garlic and onion in the oil until they begin to turn transparent.
2. Add the chopped vegetables and fry on a medium heat for approximately ten minutes.
3. Add the chopped chilli and spices and cook until the scent from the spices begins to rise (about 3-4 minutes).
4. Add the tomato puree and stir through, then add the chopped tomatoes, mixed beans and sweetcorn.
5. Cover and simmer for approximately 45 minutes, then season with salt and pepper.
6. Serve with rice and warmed pittas, a spoonful of natural yoghurt and a sprinkling of cheese. 

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