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Summer salad for parrots (and their people).

summer salad

 

Baby organic kale leaves with broccoli, brussels sprouts, carrots, beets, summer squash, cucumber, red bell pepper and mango. Cooked grains and legumes are quinoa, kamut, buckwheat, mung beans, red and green lentils. Topped with a sprinkle of turmeric, chia and sesame seeds.

No one would want to eat a plain, dry cereal mix for every meal, for every day of their lives. This includes your bird. Nothing beats fresh whole foods for your parrot’s health. A wide variety of grains, legumes, vegetables and fruits provide not only good nutrition, but also is great enrichment for our parrots.  Make meals healthy, fun and interesting for them, even better, eat it with them.

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Spicy Moroccan Chickpea Salad (for pampered parrots)

moroccan salad 1Ingredients:
1 cup cooked grains
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (garbanzo beans)
1/2 of a diced, cooked sweet potato
2 cups diced raw veggies
2 cups chopped fresh organic kale
very small thin slice of diced cantaloup
2 raspberries chopped up finely

1 cup cooked grains: kamut and rye mix (soaked for 12 hours, boiled for 40 minutes. 1/2 cup dry makes 1 cup cooked)
1/2 cup cooked chickpeas (soaked for 12 hours, boiled for 1 1/2 hours.
1/4 cup dry makes a 1/2 cup cooked)
1/2 of a sweet potato (diced, then boiled for about five minutes till tender)
2 cups raw diced veggies (used 3/4 cup raw summer squash, 3/4 cup raw zucchini, 1/4 cup cucumber and 1/4 orange bell pepper)

Spice mixture:

1 tbs fresh grated ginger root
1/2 tsp cinnamon
1/2 tsp cayenne pepper
1/2 tsp chili pepper flakes
1/2 tsp turmeric
3 tbs water
Mix together and gently boil on low heat for a minute or two.

Add the spice mixture to the cooked (and cooled) grains and chickpeas, mix well. Stir in cooked (and cooled) sweet potato. Then mix in the raw veggies, raw kale and fruit. Serve quickly to hungry, squawking parrots.

Fresh quinoa salad for the parrots today

quinoa salad
Tri-colored quinoa, carrots, zucchini, yellow squash, cucumber, tomato, parsley, beet greens, kale, poblano pepper, orange bell pepper, fresh ginger root, sesame and chia seed. All raw veggies, only the quinoa was cooked, and that was only because I didn’t have any sprouted today.

A special spring time suprise for the parrots: colored deviled eggs

deviled eggs

I was preparing a special meal for the family, and thought of the parrots, and what I could make for them too. I was making colored deviled eggs and beets for us, so I used those main ingredients to make make a parrot safe dish as well.

I had been cooking beets so I saved the juice left over from cooking them, poured it into a cup, and added a teaspoon of organic apple cider vinegar to it. I saved three of the hard boiled eggs I was making. I cut the eggs in half and removed the yolks. I rinsed the egg white halves and then soaked them in the beet and vinegar juice. I mashed the egg yolk and added a couple heaping tablespoons of some left over cooked butternut squash I had in the refrigerator. Mashed sweet potato would have worked really well too, but I wanted to use up some of that butternut squash. I minced a couple springs of fresh parsley and added that to the yolk mixture. The whites only soaked about fifteen minutes or so, and they looked beautiful! I set them out to dry on paper towels, and then filled them with the yolk mixture. I sprinkled a teeny bit of cayenne pepper, chia seed and sesame seed on the tops.

With all of the hustle and bustle of the holidays and company over, the parrots see me busy cooking in the kitchen, and I know they enjoy getting something special too.

Happy Spring Everyone!

* Please note that there were NO food coloring or dyes used for this, they were naturally colored eggs with only beet juice and organic apple cider vinegar, so that they are parrot safe.

 I don’t mean to get off topic, but this is where I got the idea for this. I was making a batch of the colored deviled eggs for the family, and I was cooking beets up for our meal too. So I thought of the beet colored eggs idea for the parrots.  The ones for the family came out beautiful too.

colored deviled eggs

Making meals for your parrot fun and interesting.

Try to offer foods in a variety of different ways; cooked one day, raw the next, chunks, shredded, minced or pureed. Stuff the food into peppers, mini pumpkins, squash, or cucumbers. My guys get so excited when they see their little plate coming, always with something new on it.

This batch is spaghetti squash, quinoa, flax seed, leafy greens and chopped veggies, stuffed into cucumber bowls. cucumber bowls

Blueberry Sweet Potato Parrot Treats

Pet treats are so much better when they’re homemade. No questionable ingredients, preservatives, chemicals, salt, sugar or cheap fillers. Plus this way, they’re made with love. ♥

hearts

1 cup of a healthful flour mixture (for this batch I used a mix of quinoa, coconut, buckwheat and almond flours)
2 cups mashed sweet potato
1/2 cup of mashed blueberries

Bake 25 minutes at 350 in greased shallow glass baking pan (organic extra virgin coconut oil)
Cool, then cut into bite sized pieces, or use a cookie cutter. Flip them over and bake the bottoms for another 10 minutes.

* Mix up the ingredients each time, I alternate the base between sweet potato, pumpkin and butternut squash. Add different veggies, leafy greens or berries. I meant to add shredded kale to this batch but forgot to add it at the last minute.

They are Einstein approved.

Einstein

The Landing Mash

Landing Mash

 

The parrots here are thrilled here today, they are eating The Landing Mash from the parrot refuge Phoenix Landing. http://www.phoenixlanding.org/blog/2011/03/the-landing-mash/

Follow the recipe to get you started, then get creative in adding in special ingredients that your parrot loves. For this batch, I exchanged the dried fruit for fresh cranberries, pomegranate and coconut. I also added mung, adzuki and split peas to the garbanzo bean mix. I skipped the frozen veggies. Instead of the pasta, I added millet, buckwheat and wheat berries to the kamut and quinoa mix. Then topped it with a few walnut pieces, sesame and chia seed at serving time. I love the addition of the turmeric and cinnamon, it smell and tastes wonderful. (Yes, I tasted it, but I promise the rest is all for the parrots.) Oh and you can get a beautiful parrot calendar from their website too.

 

Landing Mash close up

 

Here’s the recipe I followed from the Phoenix Landing website
http://www.phoenixlanding.org/blog/2011/03/the-landing-mash/

 

The Landing Mash

by Ann Brooks

Many kinds of birds come and go from The Landing, our adoption and education center in the Asheville, NC area. Therefore, we feed foods that can be enjoyed by a diverse group, but still ensures that each bird is eating a healthy variety of whole foods to complement their pellets, fresh fruits, pumpkin bread, nuts and treats.

Some birds come to us that have not been on a healthy diet or learned to eat fresh foods.  Getting them to try new things can be a challenge, at best.  Feeding a MASH has many positive attributes:
* You can hide things a bird might not eat otherwise by chopping it very small.
* For convenience, you can make large batches, and freeze it in portions.
* Mashes allow you to be creative, adding more or less of certain things to meet your bird’s needs.
* Most importantly, you can cover all the important food groups in one recipe, knowing that your bird will probably be eating the variety needed for a complete meal.

We have had huge success converting birds to better diets using a mash recipe, so we wanted to share it with you here.  We complement this mash with an assortment of fresh fruits, pumpkin bread, and a small amount of egg cooked with palm oil (for vitamin A) and greens.  The birds at the adoption center eagerly await their breakfast every morning, often shuffling back and forth on their perches in adorable anticipation.

THE LANDING MASH (more or less….)

2.5 cups Kamut
A heaping teaspoon of turmeric
2 cinnamon sticks
1 cups quinoa
1 sweet potato cut into 1/2″ cubes (or other winter squashes)
16 oz package organic mixed veggies (peas, corn, carrots)
16 oz package organic mixed greens (kale, collard, mustard greens)
1 cup pepitas (raw pumpkin seeds)
1 can garbanzo beans, drained
6 oz Eden small vegetable shells, whole grain
1/2 cup chopped dried apricots
1/2 cup dried cherries
1/2 cup dried cranberries
(Any dried fruit should be unsulphured, with no processed sugar)

If you don’t have much freezer space, or a small number birds to feed, proportionally reduce these quantities.  If you decide to make the recipe using these quantities, then you’ll want to start with a big soup pot.

To start: bring the large pot of water to a boil.  Add the Kamut, turmeric and cinnamon.  Stir well.   When the water starts to boil again, lower the heat to medium.  Cook for 15 minutes.

Add the quinoa and sweet potato.  Stir well.  Cook another 15 minutes.

Turn off the heat.  Drain or add some cold water.  You don’t want the Kamut to cook much more, birds really enjoy it slightly crunchy.

When the grains are drained and a bit cooled, put these in a super-sized mixing bowl, or divide into several if need be.  Add the remaining ingredients (frozen vegetables, pepitas, garbanzo beans, pasta shells, dried fruit).  Stir together.  Divide into storage containers.  Freeze in 2-3 day portion sizes.  As you finish one container, take one out of the freezer to defrost.

This recipe is versatile.  Add and subtract other things that your bird may enjoy (e.g. broccoli, coconut, fresh carrots, other grains, walnuts…).  If your bird is reluctant to eat a mash,  find the ingredient that is their favorite, and put extra amounts to pique their interest.  After they are eating it regularly, you can change the proportions to insure that they are eating the variety intended.

Thanks to Leigh Ann Hartsfield for her recipe “Franco’s Favorite Breakfast” in the Nourish to Flourish cookbook. We started with this recipe, and the adoption center birds really enjoyed the addition to their breakfast meal. Then Mary Ault discovered that undercooked Kamut was very appealing to the birds, because they use their hookbills as nature intended, and crack open the grains. The Landing Mash continues to evolve as we add new things or change the proportions. And with spring on it’s way, we will take full advantage of the fruits and veggies of the seasons.

If you try this recipe for your birds, let us know how it goes!