Here is how it looked without the salsa and chili powder added. In this state it was slightly sweet from the corn and squash and really a bowl of comfort food. Some Whole Grain Cornbread Muffins would go well with this dish. It’s called Three Sisters Stew based on Native American Mythology. Squash, corn and beans are known as the Three Sisters. Interplanting these three crops in the same mounds enhances their growth. Corn acts as a trellis for the beans to climb. The beans nourish the soil with nitrogen and squash vines shade the corn and bean roots. Mother nature knows what she is doing!
Since we were craving spicy food yesterday I added a little more cumin, chili powder and some smoky salsa to the stew when I reheated it. We loved these additions and it satisfied our desire for something a little more spicy. The recipe below reflects these changes. If you want the more mild flavors just leave out the chili powder and salsa.
While the stew was reheating I made some home made tortilla chips. Using corn tortillas that I cut into wedges – placing them on a silpat lined baking sheet or you could use parchment paper or foil. Lightly spray the wedges with olive oil spray and sprinkle with Mrs. Dash Salt Free Southwest Chipotle seasoning blend. If you don’t want to use the non stick spray I think you could give them a light squeeze of lime juice instead but I haven’t tried that yet – next time. Bake in a preheated 400 degree oven for about 8 minutes – or until crispy. I have made these chips many times and the timing varies depending on how thick the tortillas are and the kind of pan that is used. Check them at 5 minutes and then every minute after that because they will go from just right to burned in a minute! Yes,I know this from experience – it’s so disappointing to waste a whole tray of these chips!
I doubled the stew recipe so I would have leftovers for the freezer. I figure if I am going to all the work and getting my kitchen dirty it doesn’t take much effort to double recipes and cook ahead. My changes to the original recipe were to double the cumin, add chili powder, add salsa, use fire roasted tomatoes and to add more vegetable stock. It took much longer for my squash to cook than the recipe stated which meant a lot of my original broth cooked away. The recipe below is for a single batch of stew – go ahead and double it!
Three Sisters Harvest Stew
- 1 medium onion, chopped
- 2 cloves garlic, chopped
- 1 jalapeno chili, seeded and minced
- 1 1/2 cups cooked kidney,pinto or black beans or 1 (15 ounce) can low-sodium or no-salt-added beans, drained
- 1/2 cup green bell pepper, diced
- 1/2 cup red bell pepper, diced
- 2 cups corn kernels
- 2 – 4 cups low-sodium or no-salt-added vegetable stock
- 3 cups chopped acorn, butternut or carnival squash, cut into 3/4 inch chunks – smaller pieces will cook faster
- 2 teaspoon ground cumin
- 1 1/2 teaspoons chili powder or to taste
- 1 (15 ounce) can no-salt-added fire roasted diced tomatoes
- 1/2 cup salsa – I like a smoky flavor
- 1 teaspoon dried oregano
- 1/8 teaspoon ground pepper
- 5 ounces spinach
- 1/4 cup raw pumpkin seeds, lightly toasted
Heat 2 tablespoons water or broth in a soup pot, add the onion and saute until tender. Add the garlic and jalapeno and continue to saute for an additional minute or until tender.
Add remaining ingredients except spinach – using 2 cups of vegetable broth to start. Bring to a boil, reduce heat, partially cover with lid and simmer until all the vegetables are tender, about 35 – 40 minutes. Add additional broth – up to 2 cups if needed to achieve desired consistency. Stir in spinach and heat until wilted. Serve hot in bowl and garnish with pumpkin seeds if desired.
Yield: 4 huge servings
Per Serving; 378 calories, 22g Protein, 66 g Carbs, 8 g Fat, 11.8 g Fiber
Recipe adapted from Dr Fuhrmans Eat To Live cookbook