3 Sisters Harvest Bowls

Holiday time is always feast or famine around here. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve found myself in the throes of Thanksgiving prep, mixing pie dough, simmering cranberry sauce, and baking cornbread for dressing, only to realize there’s nothing to actually eat around here. All the food is earmarked for our feast. It doesn’t make any sense to be surrounded by this much food and be so hungry.

Will anyone notice if a slice of pie is missing?

But this year I’m making the components of these healthy harvest bowls so I can throw them together in minutes even when my kitchen is a wreck. They’re inspired by a Native American farming technique called “3 sisters” that’s still practiced today. Corn, beans, and squash are planted in the same bed. The corn provides a trellis for the beans, the beans add nitrogen to the soil, and the squash shades out the weeds. This companion planting allows all three plants to thrive.They taste good together, too. Three sisters harvest bowls combine all three with savory herbs, along with caramelized onions, celery, and peppers for loads of flavor. I used cranberry beans, but use any type of beans you like, even canned. The squash is roasted in the oven while the vegetables and beans cook on the stovetop. This is going front and center in my fridge the week of Thanksgiving. There will be no question of what to eat. I love it hot, over wild rice or quinoa, or straight-up cold on arugula or kale for a satisfying salad.
And I will try my best not to slice into the pie.

3 Sisters Harvest Bowls
For the squash
  1. 2 cups Seminole pumpkin or kabocha squash, peeled and cubed
  2. pinch of salt
  3. 1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar
  4. 1 tablespoon olive oil
For the beans and corn
  1. 1-2 tablespoons olive oil
  2. 1 Vidalia onion, diced
  3. 1-2 stalks celery, diced
  4. 1 red pepper, diced
  5. 2 tablespoons chopped parsley
  6. 1 tablespoon chopped sage
  7. 1 teaspoon minced rosemary leaves
  8. 1 teaspoon thyme leaves
  9. 2 ears corn
  10. 1 1/2 cups pre-cooked or canned beans
  11. salt and pepper, to taste
  12. Serve with: wild rice, quinoa, arugula, or kale
  1. Preheat the oven to 425.
  2. Toss the squash cubes with salt, vinegar, and olive oil. Spread on a baking sheet. Roast for 20-30 minutes, stirring every 10 minutes or so, until tender all the way through when you poke them with a fork.
  3. Meanwhile, sauté the onion in a large Dutch oven for a few minutes, stirring. Add the celery. Cook until both are soft and translucent. Stir in the red pepper and herbs.
  4. Slice the corn off the cobs and add it to the pot. Give it a good stir. Gently fold in the beans. Simmer, and add salt and pepper to taste.
  5. Build your bowl with wild rice, quinoa, kale, and/or arugula. Top with the corn and beans mixture and roasted squash. Garnish with some fresh herbs if you're feeling it.
Suwannee Rose https://suwanneerose.com/







11 Comments 3 Sisters Harvest Bowls

  1. Pat Deas November 16, 2019 at 5:06 pm

    Oh my goodness! That’s about yummy looking and healthy to boot! Being born and raised in the South we don’t normally eat healthy around the holidays. This will definitely be on my to fix list for Thanksgiving company visiting a few days before Turkey Day. Love the colorful photos that accompanied this post.

    1. suwanneerose November 16, 2019 at 5:17 pm

      Thanks, Pat! Haha. We don’t make any other attempts to eat healthy around the holidays. Quite the contrary. There are bragging rights awarded to whoever uses the most butter!

  2. Julie November 16, 2019 at 5:56 pm

    These look so healthy and tasty! Should definitely keep you sated. I can’t believe it’s almost Thanksgiving!

    1. suwanneerose November 17, 2019 at 8:26 am

      I can’t believe it, either! I’m taking the year off of hosting. We’re heading to the Fort for Thanksgiving at Mom’s house. 🙂

  3. Juliet November 16, 2019 at 8:06 pm

    Didn’t read every ingredient but if this isn’t vegan it could be! Thanks for teaching about the 3 sisters farming method. Juliet

    1. suwanneerose November 17, 2019 at 8:17 am

      You’re right! I should have mentioned it absolutely is vegan.

  4. Evangelia November 17, 2019 at 3:07 pm

    Delicious and looks so healthy. Thanks for sharing the 3 sisters idea, that is very interesting.

    1. suwanneerose November 18, 2019 at 1:11 pm

      Yes, I’m trying to be healthy in between festivities!

  5. mary shambach February 12, 2020 at 8:05 pm

    This is a great healthy winter meal. Have been enjoying this with a variety of the winter squashes. You have such creative culinary delights!

  6. Barbara November 13, 2021 at 6:33 pm

    I made this and it was delicious! I added some raw apple and kept some of the herbs and red pepper raw for added texture. I also added some ginger and a drizzle of maple syrup at the end. So good!

    1. suwanneerose November 14, 2021 at 7:42 am

      I love all these additions, Barbara! Thank you!

Comments are closed.