The Three Sisters Go Green

From: The Kick Diabetes Cookbook


Makes 6 cups (1.5 L)

The three sisters––squash, beans, and corn––were the main crops of several Native American nations. These plants benefit each other, so they were grown close together. Not surprisingly, the combination of this companionable trio benefits people as well. Adding greens makes the mix even more powerful. Vary the seasonings to suit your taste. You can replace butternut with other small winter squashes, but the others may be more difficult to peel.


1 cup (500 ml) water or vegetable broth

3 cups (750 ml) peeled and cubed butternut squash

1 onion, diced

2 cloves garlic, crushed

1½ cups (375 ml) fresh or canned diced tomatoes

1½ cups (375 ml) cooked or canned pinto beans or pink beans, drained and rinsed

1 cup (250 ml) frozen or canned corn

1 green chile, minced (optional)

1 teaspoon (5 ml) ground cumin

1 teaspoon (5 ml) dried oregano

½ teaspoon (2 ml) salt (optional)

¼ teaspoon ground black pepper

2 cups (500 ml) stemmed and thinly sliced kale or other dark leafy greens, packed

2 tablespoons (30 ml) minced fresh cilantro or parsley


Put the water, squash, onion, and garlic in a large saucepan and bring to a boil over medium-high heat. Decrease the heat to medium and cook, stirring occasionally, until the squash is tender, about 20 minutes. Add the tomatoes, beans, corn, optional chile, cumin, oregano, optional salt, and pepper and cook, stirring occasionally, for 15 minutes. Add the kale and cook, stirring occasionally, until the kale is tender, 3–5 minutes. Sprinkle the cilantro over the top just before serving.


Three Sisters Go Green