This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.
Close Banner
This ad is displayed using third party content and we do not control its accessibility features.

Three Sisters Grain Bowl With Corn, Beans & Squash

Hillary Dixler Canavan
Food Writer
By Hillary Dixler Canavan
Food Writer
Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater’s restaurant editor. She is the author of ATER: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes.
Veggie bowl
Image by Laura Murray
We carefully vet all products and services featured on mindbodygreen using our commerce guidelines. Our selections are never influenced by the commissions earned from our links.

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.

Three sisters’ veggie bowl

Serves 4

Wahpepah’s Kitchen

Oakland, California


For the dressing:

  • ¼ cup (60 ml) agave
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) olive oil
  • ¼ cup (60 ml) apple cider vinegar
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper

For the bowl:

  • 1 cup (115 g) diced winter squash, such as pumpkin, spaghetti, or butternut
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil
  • Salt and freshly ground black pepper
  • 1 cup (20 to 30 g) fresh spinach
  • 1 cup (200 g) cooked quinoa, warm
  • ½ cup cooked (175 g) white beans
  • 1 cup (145 g) cooked yellow corn kernels
  • 1 cup (165 g) diced strawberries (or another seasonal fruit)
  • ⅔ cup (85 g) diced purple onion
  • ⅔ cup (75 g) shredded carrots
  • ⅔ cup (80 g) chopped nuts, such as walnuts or pecans
  • Edible flowers (optional)


  1. To make the dressing, combine all ingredients in a bowl and mix well to incorporate. If making ahead, store in an airtight container in the fridge for up to 4 days.
  2. To assemble the bowls, preheat the oven to 350°F (175°C). Toss the diced squash with 1 tablespoon of olive oil and season with salt and pepper. Transfer to a baking sheet, cut sides down, and roast, without turning, for 10 to 15 minutes, until lightly browned. Set aside.
  3. Meanwhile, set a pan over medium-low heat and add the remaining 2 tablespoons olive oil. Add the spinach and sauté until it wilts, 3 to 5 minutes. Season with salt and set aside.
  4. To serve, mix the dressing again if separated and then pour into 4 individual small ramekins or small bowls. To assemble each serving, plate the warm, cooked quinoa in the center of a large, shallow bowl or plate-bowl. Place a portion of the squash, beans, corn, strawberries, onion, spinach, carrots, and chopped nuts around the quinoa, leaving space to place the ramekin of dressing. Garnish with edible flowers, if using.

Editors Note

One serving of this recipe contains around 7 grams of protein. You could up the count by pairing it with a lean protein like chicken, fish, or chickpeas. Find more ideas for adding protein to your meal here.

Excerpted from EATER: 100 Essential Restaurant Recipes by Hillary Dixler Canavan. Text and illustrations copyright © Vox Media, LLC. Text by Hillary Dixler Canavan and illustrations by Alice Oehr. Photography copyright © 2023 by Laura Murray. Published by Abrams

Hillary Dixler Canavan author page.
Hillary Dixler Canavan
Food Writer

Hillary Dixler Canavan is Eater’s restaurant editor. She worked her way up through the New York City restaurant scene before landing at Eater in 2013. As part of the publication’s award-winning editorial team, she defines the scope of Eater’s national restaurant coverage and leads major initiatives including the Best New Restaurant list. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband and daughter.