A Veggie Bowl Inspired By The “Three Sisters:” Corn, Beans, & Squash

Crystal Wahpepah’s restaurant, Wahpepah’s Kitchen, picks up where her work as a Bay Area caterer left off: making and serving Native American cuisine that both nourishes and educates diners, with the goal of fostering Indigenous food sovereignty. Her menu is intimately tied to the provenance of the Ohlone land she grew up on in Oakland, California, and the food traditions of her multi-tribe community there (Wahpehpah is an enrolled member of the Kickapoo nation of Oklahoma). Tribes throughout North America tell the legend of “the three sisters,” the story of how corn, beans, and squash help each other to grow and sustain the community. Wahpepah’s eponymous nod to these Indigenous staple crops is a fixture on her menu: This veggie bowl leaves plenty of room for you to adapt, just as the restaurant does. Use whatever fruit is in season or suits your preference, if not strawberry, try blueberry or pomegranate seeds; use the nuts you like best; feel free to play with the greens you use. It’s essential, however, to use corn, beans, and squash. Even better if you take a page from Wahpepah’s book and also use this recipe as a chance to seek out connections with your region’s Indigenous farmers.

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