This delicious, comforting and hearty stew is a hybrid stew chili of sorts. Chunks of beef or venison, earthy black beans, wild mushrooms and sage, with spicy chili spices, balanced by the sweet addition of corn and acorn squash.

The name 3 sister's comes from a story. According to Iroquois legend, corn, beans, and squash are three inseparable sisters who only grow and thrive together. This tradition of interplanting corn, beans and squash in the same mounds, widespread among Native American farming societies, is a sophisticated, sustainable system that provided long-term soil fertility and a healthy diet to generations. Growing a Three Sisters garden is a wonderful way to feel more connected to the history of this land, regardless of our ancestry. Corn, beans and squash were among the first important crops domesticated by ancient Mesoamerican societies. Corn was the primary crop, providing more calories or energy per acre than any other. According to Three Sisters legends corn must grow in community with other crops rather than on its own – it needs the beneficial company and aide of its companions. The Iroquois believe corn, beans and squash are precious gifts from the Great Spirit, each watched over by one of three sisters spirits, called the De-o-ha-ko, or Our Sustainers. The planting season is marked by ceremonies to honor them, and a festival commemorates the first harvest of green corn on the cob. By retelling the stories and performing annual rituals, Native Americans passed down the knowledge of growing, using and preserving the Three Sisters through generations.

3 Sister's Chili Stew

Serves 6-7


  • 1 Acorn or 1/2 butternut squash, cubed approximately 4-5 cups

  • 1 cup corn (fresh, canned, frozen)

  • 5 cups black beans, cooked (see below for directions cooking from dried or use canned)

  • 14 grams honey mushrooms (Pidpenky) or morels, or approx 1/3 of a lb fresh mushrooms

  • 1 large onion

  • 2-4 cloves garlic

  • 3-4 T sunflower or corn oil

  • 1 lb stew beef or ground beef

  • 6 cups water or beef/mushroom or bean stock

  • 1/2-1 teaspoon chipotle powder (depending on spiciness level you prefer)

  • 1 T paprika

  • 2 T chili seasoning

  • 2 teaspoons cumin

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • 1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper

  • 1 T sage powder

  • 1/2 teaspoon celery seed.


1. Start by placing mushrooms in 1 cup of hot water to rehydrate. You can use the large pot to boil the water and rehydrate the mushrooms, or put them in a bowl and stack another on top to keep them submerged. Save the water from soaking the mushrooms to add as part of the stock later.

2. Dice onions and start to sauté on medium heat in 3 tablespoons sunflower or corn oil

3. Add garlic and rehydrated mushrooms, sauté 5-10 minutes.

4. Add diced beef stew meat or ground beef.

5. Combine the rest of the ingredients in a large pot.

6. Simmer for 15-20 minutes

7. Garnish with sour cream and whatever greens you have on hand, cilantro, celery, parsley

Options: add traditional chili vegetables like red and green bell peppers, diced tomatoes etc.

Serve with buttered cornbread for an extra treat or with honey for a simple dessert.


This is my all time favourite cornbread recipe. You can even pan fry the batter like pancakes and it's quite good. I premix this for our camping trips and do just that with it.

Preheat oven to 400 degrees Fahrenheit

  • 1 ½ cups cornmeal

  • 2 ½ cups milk (or water)

  • 2 cups all-purpose flour

  • 1 tablespoon baking powder

  • 1 teaspoon salt

  • ⅔ cup white sugar

  • 2 eggs

  • ½ cup vegetable oil

1. Mix dry ingredients together first

2. Mix wet ingredients separately

3. Combine and pour into greased 9x13 baking dish

4. Bake 30-35 minutes, or until fork comes out clean when you insert a fork in the center.

How to cook beans from dried

2 main options:

1. The 'fast way'

Cover beans with 3-4" of water, bring to rolling boil. Cover with lid and turn off heat. Let sit 1 hour. Then bring back to a boil and cook for 1 hour.

2. The 'long way'

Soak overnight to rehydrate, cover beans with 3-4" of water. Once plump and rehydrated (this takes several hours), then boil on medium to medium high so they are at a rolling boil but not boiling over for 1 hour.

Some people also instant pot beans, but I haven't tried that except to can baked beans.

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Serves 6

What you need:

• Medium pot

• Large frying pan or wok

• Large knife

• grater or garlic press


• 2 cups rice

• 3 cups water

• 14 grams dried matsutake (Pine mushrooms) crushed into 1/2" pieces or so

• 1/2 teaspoon Salt

• 2 T rice vinegar

• 2 T soy sauce

• 1 t sesame oil

• 1 T sugar

• 1 teaspoon garlic powder

Stir fry

• 14 grams Wildland Foods pidpenky or morels

• 1 cup hot water (to soak mushrooms)

• 1 onion

• 3 T sunflower oil

• 2 T sesame oil

• 3 T soy sauce

• 1 T rice vinegar

• 3 cloves garlic

• 1 cup broccoli or rapini

• 1 T brown sugar

• 1 red pepper, sliced into strips

• Bean sprouts (optional, I used mung bean)

• Black sesame seeds to garnish (optional)

• 1 cup carrots sliced diagonally into 1/4"-1/2" pieces


》First get that rice, water, matsutake mushrooms and salt in a medium pot and pop a lid on it, turn the heat up to medium high. When it starts boiling, turn to low.

》Now soak your pidpenky or morels in hot water and set aside while you chop your veggies.

》After 10-15 minutes of soaking, strain your mushrooms and save the soaking liquid.

》Heat oil in a wok or large skillet and add onions/garlic, peppers, strained mushrooms, carrots and broccoli. Saute on medium to medium high heat, ensuring you stir regularly.

》Add the mushroom broth, soy sauce, brown sugar and rice vinegar 5 minutes in.

》Now check your rice out, should be basically done. Add your final ingredients and mix well.

》And done. Serve up, garnish with sesame seeds and sprouts and enjoy, serve with beef, chicken, tofu or shrimp if desired!

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Updated: May 26

Morels are a meaty delicious mushroom that is nearly impossible to grow because of it's underground relationship with certain wild plants and trees. So all across the world, every spring, thousands of foragers search the forest floor hunting for the elusive morel mushrooms. Some businesses sell these delicious nuggets dried so you can enjoy them throughout the year.

Marcy Ellis is the talented and experienced woman behind Biggar Bites, a Saskatchewan catering company with a food truck service based out of Biggar, Saskatchewan. Unique, quality food is her specialty.

Morel Risotto

By Marcy Ellis

Serves 4


• 1 cup risotto rice (arborio)

• 1 small onion or half large diced

• 2-3 cloves garlic grated or crushed

• 2 sticks celery diced

• 14 grams dried Wildland Foods morels

• 2 T butter

• 2 T oil

• 1 cup button mushrooms or puffballs

• 3 1/2-4 cups chicken broth

• 1/4 t salt and pepper

• 1/3 cup white wine

• 1/4 cup Parmesan plus some to garnish

• fresh herbs for garnish (parsley, basil, chickweed etc)


》Soak morels in 1 cup hot broth 15 minutes. Afterwards strain and set broth aside to add later.

》Saute onions, celery, garlic, button mushrooms (or puffballs) and morels in oil and butter 8-10 minutes on medium heat, stirring regularly.

》Add dry rice and cook 2-3 minutes, stirring regularly.

》Add wine, broth, salt and pepper.

》Simmer 20-30 minutes until rice is tender. Stir in 1/4 cup parmesan.

》Garnish with fresh herbs such as parsley, sprouts, or basil and parmesan and enjoy.

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