Three Sisters Salsa Recipe

Volume X No. 1: November 2020

Three Sisters Salsa

Dr. KO, Naturopath

Dr. KO, Naturopath

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The three sisters - corn, beans, and squash - work as well together in the garden as they do on the plate. This fresh and delicious seasonal dish has exceptional protein and nutrient density for salsa, thanks to these three powerhouse foods.

When preparing three sister salsa, it works best to dice all the ingredients to roughly bean size, so it mixes well and you get good variety in each bite. This recipe yields a lot - it has a good shelf life in the fridge, tastes even better the next day, and pairs well with a wide variety of options to make a quick and easy meal. Think: baked chicken breast; scoop of brown rice and a handful of bitter greens; a piece of skillet cornbread and a few slices of cheese.

You can read more about the three sisters and creating a three sisters garden in Robin Wall Kimmerer's excellent book Braiding Sweetgrass, check it out in our Bookshelf collection.
Yields16 Servings
Yields16 Servings
 ½ butternut squash, peeled and diced
 1 tsp olive oil
 ½ tsp sea salt
 1 ½ cups black beans (1 low/no sodium can, drained and rinsed)
 1 ½ cups garbanzo beans (1 low/no sodium can, drained and rinsed)
 1 ½ cups black-eyed peas (1 low/no sodium can, drained and rinsed)
 1 ½ cups frozen corn
 3 Roma tomatoes
 1 green bell pepper
 ½ red onion
 1 bunch cilantro
 1 jalapeño pepper
 2 avocados
  cup olive oil
 ¼ cup red wine vinegar
 ½ tbsp honey
 1 tsp sea salt
 ½ tsp black pepper
 ½ tsp ground cumin
 ½ tsp garlic powder
 1 lime, juiced
Prepare and bake squash

Preheat oven to 450°F.


Cut neck of butternut squash, save half for later. For ease of chopping, use the half without seeds for this recipe.


Peel and dice raw squash into small pieces (about 1/4-1/2 inch cubed), similar to the size of a bean.


Toss cubes with 1 teaspoon olive oil and 1/2 teaspoon sea salt, and arrange into a single layer on a baking sheet.


Bake for 10 minutes. Flip with spatula, and broil for an additional 5 minutes. Squash should be firm but tender when pierced with a fork. Remove from heat and set aside to cool.

Prepare dressing

While squash cools, in large bowl, add all dressing ingredients. Whisk vigorously to emulsify oil and vinegar.

Prepare salsa

Add squash into bowl with dressing and toss; it's ok if it's still a bit warm.


Drain and rinse beans and corn if needed, add.


Dice tomatoes, bell pepper and red onion, add.


Finely chop cilantro and jalapeño pepper, add. You can remove seeds from the jalapeño to reduce the heat of the salsa, but it isn't necessary.


Mix well to distribute dressing.


Dice avocados, add. Stir in gently, so the small chunks don't get mushed.


Enjoy with corn chips, on its own, or as a side for almost any meal. This salsa gets even better after sitting overnight in the fridge.

Nutrition Facts

Serving Size 1 cup

Servings 16

Amount Per Serving
Calories 170
% Daily Value *
Total Fat 8g13%
Saturated Fat 1g5%
Trans Fat 0g
Cholesterol 0mg
Sodium 290mg13%
Potassium 420mg12%
Total Carbohydrate 21g8%
Dietary Fiber 6g24%
Sugars 4g
Protein 5g10%

Vitamin A 130%
Vitamin C 30%
Calcium 4%
Iron 8%
Vitamin D 0%
Vitamin E 10%
Vitamin K 15%
Thiamin 10%
Riboflavin 6%
Niacin 8%
Vitamin B6 10%
Folate 20%
Vitamin B12 0%
Pantothenic Acid 10%
Phosphorus 8%
Magnesium 10%
Zinc 8%
Selenium 2%
Copper 15%
Manganese 20%

* Percent Daily Values are based on a 2,000 calorie diet. Your daily value may be higher or lower depending on your calorie needs.

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