Three Sisters Chili 

Three Sisters Chili garnished with hemp seed.

This chilli was a big suprise! I’d never had a squash chili, though after reading recipes with squash and beans, and looking at mouth-watering pictures, I had to try it. The result is a slightly nutty, almost parmesan taste!


  • 1 1/2 cups dry red kidney beans
  • 1.5 pounds yams (peeled and diced)
  • 1.5 pounds acorn squash (peeled and diced)
  • 1 medium onion
  • 3 medium size sweet peppers (red and green)
  • 2 cobs of corn (makes about 2 cups of kernels)
  • 1 can tomatoes
  • 3 or 4 hot habernos peppers, finely diced
  • salt and pepper
  • 1 bay leaf
  • 1 heaping teaspoon paprika


  • Rinse and sort the beans, discarding any broken ones. Then place in a saucepan, cover with cold water, and soak overnight. In the morning, toss the water, give the beans a good rinse, then add enough fresh water to cover the beans, plus about 1/2 an inch. Bring to the boil, then reduce to a simmer and cook till tender. How long that is depends on the beans. Freshly dried beans will cook more quickly than older ones. How do you know they’re cooked? Some say you need to be able to squish the bean between your tongue and the roof of your mouth.  Allow at least 45 minutes. Could take as long as an hour and half. For that reason it’s a good idea to make this dish when you have time or buy a couple cans pre-cooked beans. 
  • While your beans are cooking, peel and dice the yams and acorn squash, into pieces 1/2 – 1 inch.
  • Blend the onion in a bullet.
  • Heat about 2 T coconut oil over medium low heat. I use a non-stick wok for this.
  • Add the onion paste to the coconut oil and when it starts to smell like it’s cooking, add the diced yams and squash.
  • Salt and pepper to taste (I use greshly ground salt and pepper and grind intuitively – about 1/2 tsp-1 tsp salt, and the double the pepper.)
  • add the bay leaf.
  • Cover and let cook over medium low heat until tender. About 20 minutes.
  • While it’s cooking, dice the peppers into small pieces (about 14-1/2 inch). Set the prepped peppers aside. You will these when the yams and squash are almost cooked.
  • Chop 1 bunch of dark green kale (makes about 4 loosely packed cups).
  • Slice the corn kernels off the cobs and also set these aside. This goes in last.
  • Mince the habernos.
  • When the beans are cooked, add them to the yams and squash.
  • If you have a crock pot – transfer everything to that, add the peppers, kale, corn, habernos, paprika and tomatoes.
  • Cover and cook on your crock pot’s best setting to bring this to a simmer, and let simmer a couple hours.  If you don’t have a crock pot, reduce the heat on your stove top and set to simmer there.

Serve garnished with hemp seed.

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