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