Food For Belly Dancers: Native American Three Sisters Wraps
In Indian Country, girlfriends call each other, "sisters." Once upon a time, three friends could hardly bear to say good-bye when their families had to break camp. They played for the last evening as a bright moon shone, privy to their sadness. The sisters whispered a final prayer together. The next morning, no one could find them. What happened?
Creator's compassion had beamed in—and rescued the sisters. Because they didn't want to be separated, one gal became Bean, waving her curly tendrils around Corn who was tall, lanky and staked to the ground, while pudgy Squash was firmly planted at their feet.
That's how the Three Sisters cuisine found its way home as nourishing comfort food at the dinner table. You can watch America's top Native chef, Loretta Barrett Oden, tell this story on her Emmy award-winning PBS-TV series, Seasoned with Spirit.
Beans are treasured not only here, but also by ancient civilizations in the Middle East, Asia and Africa. Recognized by the USDA's food pyramid (www.mypyramid.gov) as:
- a major protein source along with meat
- beans are excellent for carbo-loading
- while being cholesterol-free.
Bean cuisine helps dancers' neuro-body movements and provides endurance energy for fluid movements on the floor. A symbol of abundance, fertility and longevity, the Corn Maiden waves her culinary wand in the USDA's pyramid as a grain with corn tortillas and cornmeal. No less endearing, squash is a complementary vegetable in the Three Sisters cuisine.
Warm 12 corn tortillas before serving. Serve with refried beans, calabacitas and condiments.
- 1 tablespoon of olive oil
- 1 large onion, chopped
- 4 cloves garlic, chopped
- 2 large squashes, sliced
Heat olive oil. Sauté chopped onion till transparent; add garlic and fry till a light golden brown. Add squash and fry 6-8 minutes till soft; season with sea salt to taste.
If not using canned organic refried beans make your own. Boil 3 cups water for every cup of beans. When soft and almost mushy, add sea salt—not earlier as salt toughens uncooked beans. Black-eyed peas cook the fastest.
"Free-style" as you wish with a selection of fresh chopped heirloom tomatoes, lettuce, shredded cheddar and mozzarella, fat-free sour cream or yogurt, fresh salsa, chopped green onions.
Guests can make their own Three Sisters Wraps. How cool can eating with your fingers get?