Three Sisters Stew

The aboriginal people grew corn, squash and beans together, and this is where this chili type of dish gets it’s title! This recipe is from a recipe book by Cynthia Lair called Feeding the Whole Family. Some of my favorite vegetarian meals are from this book full of healthy and economical meals with beans, tasty spice combinations, and ideas for cooking with a variety of grains.

A couple tips: I usually double it and use the 24 8 oz (cheaper) can of tomatoes, and I have often used tomato sauce in place of some of the diced tomatoes. My addition of the (homemade, unstrained) pumpkin puree makes it sweeter and creamy. You can puree any squash and add to tomato sauces and many other recipes for a delicious flavor and creaminess. I recommend dark red-orange cinderella pumpkins, turban and butternut squashes, which are all sweet and yummy.

Also, one of the reasons why you don’t want to use canned beans is the BPA lining which is so bad for you, that is found in the canned foods. Plus it’s way cheaper!… and totally not the hassle you think it is, once you’ve done it a couple of times (you can also precook batches of beans, jar and freeze for later).

THREE SISTERS STEW:

1 c dried beans (I use a mixture of pinto, chick peas, and sometimes black beans)
3 c water
2 cloves garlic
2 tsp dried or 2 tbsp fresh oregano
1 tsp cumin seeds
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1 tbsp oil (I recommend coconut or grapeseed)
1 med onion chopped
1 1/2 tsp sea salt
2/3 cloves garlic, minced or crushed
2/3 c sweet winter squash peeled, cut into chunks
1 14 oz can diced tomatoes
1 tbsp chili powder
1 1/2 c corn (organic is a good choice as most corn is GMO now)

Soak beans overnight with a few inches of water covering. Drain and rinse beans. Boil, then cook on med-low heat with water for 1 hour covered (or until soft). You can also slow cook beans on high(sometimes handy).

In large pot quickly dry toast oregano, cumin seeds, cinnamon for about 20 sec. Add onion, salt, minced garlic; saute until onion is soft (about 5 min). Add squash, tomatoes, chili powder; cook until squash is soft (about 20 min). Add up to 1/2 c water if dry.

Add beans to pot, or put the squash mixture into a slowcooker. Add pumpkin puree here, if desired. Add corn, and simmer for at least 20 min.

*Make a meal for baby with some of the squash roasted or steamed with a bit of water, cooking until soft and then blending with water to thin it. Add beans if over 12 mos.

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