Spooky season and magic food robots

Time to read:

2 minutes

Autumn is the best time of year.

And Autumn is officially here! Time for spooky season, nights drawing in, leaves turning to gold and grass crunching underfoot in early frosts.

Autumn gets pumpkins, autumn gets Halloween, autumn gets fingerless gloves and oversized scarves. And given how strange and stressful and horrendous 2020 has been, given that the world feels like it’s disintegrating, I fully intend to dive into Autumn like it’s a huge, heavy comfort blanket. Hello sofa, I’m here to hibernate, fancy watching some creepy movies with me?

It’s the time of year for re-watching classics like The Exorcist or The Shining, tucking into spooky reads like Shirley Jackson’s The Haunting of Hill House or Silvia Moreno-Garcia’s Mexican Gothic, and sticking the slow cooker (aka MAGIC FOOD ROBOT) on to do all the work while you curl up under a blanket with cats sitting on your feet.

But what could you possibly get your Magic Food Robot working on while you’re lounging in spooky town? Well consider this officially random recipe day here at the Dust Lounge as today I’m throwing this mighty fine chilli recipe your way because spooky season requires hearty, easy food (and it’s veggie too, as an added bonus). I can’t remember where I first came across this recipe (somewhere in the culinary wilds of the internet), but over time it has made its way to the trusted pile of post-its and papers in the corner of my kitchen. Stick this on now, thank me later (in approximately eight hours). Whack it with rice, wraps, chips, potatoes, or all four—depending on how many times you go back for seconds you can probably get about six portions out of this.


  • 1 x onion, chopped
  • 1 x red pepper, chopped
  • 2 x garlic cloves, chopped
  • 1 x 400g tin kidney beans, drained
  • 1 x 400g tin black beans, drained
  • 1 x 400g tin chopped tomatoes
  • Dried red lentils, rinsed (about enough to fit in one of the 400g empty tins above)
  • 500ml vegetable stock
  • 1 or 2 tablespoons hot chilli powder (spice it how you like it)
  • 1 tablespoon soy sauce
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • ½ tsp chilli flakes


Dump it all in the Magic Food Robot, stick it on to cook for 8 hours at the low setting. Eh voila.

Enjoy, give thanks to your mighty Magic Food Robot overlord, and turn down the lights for some spooky time with your favourite horror media vibes.

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