A Salad for the Summer

     Summer is here! Birds are chirping, flowers are blooming, bees are buzzing and fresh produce is pouring through our doors. This time of year, crisp greens, various roots, multi-colored squash, and plump berries are plentiful. This dramatic bump in abundance adds color, flavor, and variety to the recipes and samples available for the children, seniors, and families we serve through our nutrition education program.The summer months are an exciting time here at Food for People. We see firsthand the dramatic impact that a community’s food system can have. We receive thousands of pounds of produce from local farmers, gardeners, florists, arborists and other green-thumbed givers. As Food for People’s Nutrition Education Coordinator, I am lucky enough to create recipes, using what is provided by our amazing community.One of my favorite summer recipes is the three sisters salad. The three sisters are: corn, beans, and squash. Indigenous tribes planted all three in the same plot, creating the agricultural revolution known as companion planting. The sisters benefit from one another and produce nutrient dense, storable food.  I love this dish; it is delicious and has roots in Native American agricultural history.


2 Tbsp. olive oil1 can of black or white beans (15-ounce)1 can or 3 ears of corn (15-ounce)1 small zucchini, chopped1 tablespoon fresh cilantro, chopped1 tablespoon lime juice (about ½ a lime)1 jalapeño, seeds removed and finely chopped (optional)2 garlic cloves, crushed or minced1 tsp. cumin, paprika, and chili powderSalt and pepper to taste

Optional ingredientsRed pepper flakes, green onions, cayenne pepper, butternut squash

The Recipe

Step One: Drain and rinse the beans and corn with colander and place in a medium bowl

Step Two: Add diced cilantro and cubed squash to the bowl

Step Three: Make a dressing with olive oil, lime or lemon juice, garlic, salt and pepper

Step Four: Add dressing to the bowl and mix gently

Step Five: Enjoy! Please follow us on social media for more cooking tips @foodforpeopleinc