Three Sisters Harvest Stew & Home Made Tortilla Chips

Are you sick of Thanksgiving leftovers yet? After a few days of eating mild flavors both hubby Tom and I wanted something spicy on the menu. There was a batch of this Three Sisters Stew already prepared in the freezer – I love cooking ahead! This is one of those recipes that is super easy but the end result is a stew that is bursting with flavor. You won’t believe how good it is with such simple ingredients such as  beans, bell peppers, a jalapeno pepper, corn, squash, onion, garlic,cumin,spinach, tomatoes and oregano. You probably have everything on hand to make this right now.

Three Sisters Harvest Stew

The basic recipe turns out a wonderful stew that is hearty and flavorful.

Three Sisters Harvest StewHere 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!

Three Sisters Harvest Stew

 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.

Home made tortilla chipsWhile 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

Nutritional Information

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.

Nutmeg Notes

How was your long weekend? As usual I felt like it went by too fast. We are supposed to be getting some really cold, below freezing night time temperatures here later this week so yesterday we harvested a lot of our Meyer Lemons. We moved the lemon tree which is in a planter box closer to the house. Hubby Tom hooked up a light bulb to place at the base of the tree to keep it warm on those cold nights. On the advice from the local nursery we strung a strand of the big old fashioned(non LED) Christmas lights around the rest of our patio potted plants to keep them warm as well. Last year we lost a few patio plants do to below freezing night time temps. We don’t usually get a lot of nights below freezing here but it only takes one or two to kill our plants and bushes.

Meyers Lemon Tree

Today I will be juicing Meyer Lemons and freezing the juice in ice cube trays – transferring the frozen cubes to freezer bags. It’s easy but time consuming. The Meyer Lemons are sweeter than regular lemons – and super juicy. They don’t travel well so you don’t very often see them in the produce department unless you live near where they grown. My tree produces fruit twice a year and this time it was really loaded with over 70 lemons. Love it!

Before I get started on that project I have to go net leaves out of the pool – again! Our trees are almost done shedding their leaves and I am happy about that – although I must admit that raking and netting leaves out of the pool has been a good upper arm work out for me.

Make it a great week!


Add Your Comments

I am shopping for a new camera – I like a smaller point and shoot one that I can easily carry with me hiking and bike riding and of course use to photograph food pics – do you have any recommendations for me? I currently have a Nikon Coolpix and it has had issues from day one. Sometimes the off/on button won’t work – now sometimes the shutter sticks and it has issues when I try to load the photos onto my computer. Time to replace it.


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  1. Andrea@WellnessNotes says:

    The stew sounds delicious, especially with the extra spices! I’ve also been craving some spicier food.

    I love your Meyer lemon tree! We have a lemon tree in a planter, too, but I know we didn’t treat it right the first couple of years, and it has only had very few lemons. I think I’ll look into getting a Meyer lemon tree as I love Meyer lemons.

    1. Tami says:

      I hope you give this recipe a try Andrea – it’s so good! Lemon trees do require good watering and fertilizer. I buy an organic fertilizer for citrus trees at our local nursery and I guess I am doing something right as this tree is a real producer! 🙂

  2. Cammy@TippyToeDiet says:

    I’ve been making my own taco chips for a few years now and I like them best baked on a pizza stone. I usually just have mine with a little oil misted on them and a sprinkling of sea salt. Such a treat!

    1. Tami says:

      Cammy I never thought to make the chips on my pizza stone – thanks for the great tip. I will try that the next time I make them. I love making my own and it is built in portion control!

  3. Renee'sKitchenAdventures says:

    mmmmm….a bowl full of comfort! Yum. I made some turkey vegetable soup from our Thanksgiving leftovers…I’m about all leftovered out though. 🙂 I am in the market for a new camera as well. I want to upgrade from point and shoot to a DSLR one. BUT…I currently take all my photos on a Canon Power Shot Elph 300 hs point and shoot, and I have to say, it takes really pretty awesome pics and I’ve not ever had an issue with it. I’m going to stick with a Canon, I think. My mom has a Nikon Coolpix, but my camera takes much better pics than hers. LOVE that myer lemon tree! Um..if you have too many lemons, feel free to ship some to me in Ohio! lol

    1. Tami says:

      I also thought about going to a DSLR camera but I really like the portability of the point and shoot camera for our hikes and bike rides. I had a Cannon Power Shot when I first started blogging and it took awesome photos but it didn’t have a zoom for outdoor photos. So I gave it to my daughter and got a Nikon Coolpix and it doesn’t take nearly as good pics at the Cannon did. I think I am going to get another Cannon Power Shot as they have made some improvements on what was already a good camera. It will fit in my pocket for hiking and biking and still take good food shots for the blog. Let me know what you end up getting. Later I might invest in a DSLR for the blog. 🙂

  4. Jody - Fit at 56 says:

    I want to live next door! 🙂

    So glad you had a good one. We had amazing weather but cold front started to day thru the weekend for sure – I am a baby! 😉

    1. Tami says:

      I am a weather wimp too Jody! That same cold front is headed our way. I will be breaking out the electric blanket, scarves and gloves! 🙂

  5. Dr. J says:

    lol! I did the same with my Meyer lemon tree with the resent freeze here!

    Your link at Mizfit does not work due to a misspelling. I think I’ve seen that before, and perhaps it is incorrect on your commuter if it automatically uses that one.

    1. Tami says:

      Thanks for the heads up on that link issue Dr J – I will watch for that in the future. I am afraid the citrus crops in CA are in danger with this cold front that is moving through.

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