For over 20 years, Marita studied the way in which food interacts with both the emotional and physical bodies. She has worked as a nutrition and wellness counselor and operated The Traveling Gourmet School of Cooking. She created her cookbook, The Light Body, in response to the need for a comprehensive cookbook that would meet the necessary criteria for attaining optimal health. In her words,
My philosophy on eating is not about denial, but rather an awareness of how fresh, whole foods can benefit us both in regaining, and maintaining, health and wellness. I believe that what we put into our bodies has a direct effect on our health, our moods and the quality of our lives.
Fortunately for us, Marita attended last month’s Eating Without Meat gathering and brought with her a most delicious Three Sisters Stew. She graciously has agreed to allow us to share the recipe.
Three Sisters Stew
2 teaspoons expeller-pressed canola oil
1 1/2 cups sweet onion, coarsely chopped
2 large cloves garlic, minced
2 pounds butternut (or other variety) squash, peeled, seeded and cut into 1/2 inch cubes
4 large ribs celery, diagonally sliced into 1 inch pieces
1 cup vegetable stock
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
1 1/2 teaspoons ground cumin
1 teaspoon curry powder
1/2 teaspoon dried summer savory
1 cup dried Great Northern beans or black-eyed peas, cooked
1 1/2 cups fresh or frozen corn kernels
1/4 cup fresh cilantro, chopped
In a large, wide-bottomed skillet, heat oil. Sauté onion and garlic until soft, 3 to 5 minutes. Add squash and next 6 ingredients with sautéed veggies. Cover and cook over medium heat until squash is tender, 20 to 25 minutes. Add all remaining ingredients, simmer 3 minutes. Serve warm with a side of cooked quinoa. Serves 4 to 6.
The “three sisters”—beans, corn and squash—were more than just food to Native Americans. Daily life was steeped in magic and mystery to the early people of the world. These three staples were part of myth and religion as well as food and were revered as “gift givers and caretakers of the People”. Bursting with flavor, this dish makes a quick, satisfying meal, ready in 30 minutes.
Our next gathering will be this Saturday. We hope you can join us for more wonderful and nourishing dishes.