Hi! I am an Eclectus parrot owner and I love to cook! Why not be able to share your meals with your fids? I hope these ideas will encourage you to eat healthier as well as enrich the lives of your parrots. Enjoy and happy cooking!!

These recipes are designed to be made for you and your family AND be safe to share with your parrot. Special consideration has been given to the unique Eclectus diet. Please be aware that, where noted, some ingredients should be added ONLY to the human servings. If you have questions or suggestions feel free to add them in comments for that recipe!

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Pumpkins - A Super Food!!!

I thought this would be the perfect time to get to work on this blog again - just in time for the Fall season when squashes and gourds of all kinds are hot decoration - and MENU - items!  Pumpkins come in many varieties and are not only fun to carve, they are nutritious.  The fruit is low-calorie, free of saturated fats and cholesterol... RICH in fiber, anti-oxidants, vitamins (lots of vitamin A!) and minerals.  The seeds are high in fiber, protein and heart-healthy amino acids.

When selecting, look for fully-developed pumpkins that sound "woody" when tapped, are heavy in the hand and have a stout stem.  Avoid those with wrinkled or bruised skin.  You can store them for weeks in a cool, well-ventilated area but once cut, should be refrigerated and will only last a few days.

Since you're probably getting ready to carve up a jack-o-lantern or two for Halloween, be sure to share a scoop of seeds, guts and all, with the fids - mine love it! - and here's how to make a tasty toasted snack that everyone can enjoy!

Roasted Pumpkin Seeds

1. Clean your seeds - annoying but necessary!  Try dumping them in a bowl of water and use your hands to get the stringy pumpkin "guts" off.  Pat them dry on a towel.  Return to a clean bowl.
2. Preheat your oven to 325 degrees.
3. Give your seeds a very light drizzle of olive oil (or coconut oil) - doesn't take much!  Toss to coat then spread out in a single layer on your baking sheet.
4. Bake for 8-10 minutes then stir.  After another 5 minutes, test one to see if they're done.  The shell should be crispy and easy to bite through and will be just slightly golden.  The seeds inside will burn if you bake too long so keep a close watch!
5. That's it!  But keep reading for some tasty flavor ideas!

After the olive oil step you can add some flavor if you wish.  My favorite is salt but I don't share those with the fiddies.  Just remember to use bird-safe ingredients for the seeds you intend to offer your parrot.

*Sub coconut oil above and toss with cinnamon.
*A splash of pure maple syrup and a bit of pumpkin pie spice and ground clove.
*Spice them up with with a little cayenne pepper.
*Go Italian with parmesan and oregano.
*Try a blend of equal parts ground cumin, cinnamon, ginger, plus a pinch of cayenne.  (Add a couple tablespoons of sugar to a batch for humans with a taste for sweet and spicy!)
*Sweeten them with cinnamon and sugar for humans only!

KITCHEN TIP: Use tin foil to bake separate flavors on the same pan.



Do you have a favorite flavor?  Please comment and share!!


Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Zucchini Boats with Quinoa Stuffing


There is nothing tastier than zucchini, any way you cook it - if you ask ME.  I love it grilled, sauteed, stuffed...  so here's a healthy spin on stuffed zucchini that you can share with the fids!  Enjoy!

Ingredients:
1/2 C quinoa, rinsed
4 medium zucchini
1 15-ounce can cannellini beans, rinsed
1 C grape or cherry tomatoes, quartered
1/2 C almonds, chopped (about 2 ounces)
2 cloves garlic, chopped
3/4 C grated Parmesan – the real stuff, preferably!  Grated cheese topping is generally too salty for the fiddies.
3 T olive oil

Directions

1. Heat oven to 400° F. In a large saucepan, combine the quinoa & 1 C water, bring to a boil. Reduce heat to medium-low, cover, simmer until the quinoa is tender & the water is absorbed, 12-15 minutes.

2. Meanwhile, cut the zucchini in half lengthwise & scoop out the seeds (your fids may enjoy them as an appetizer!). Arrange zucchini boats in a large baking dish, cut-side up.

3. Fluff the quinoa & fold in the beans, tomatoes, almonds, garlic, ½ C of the Parmesan & olive oil.

4. Spoon the mixture into the zucchini boats. Top with remaining ¼ C Parmesan. Cover with foil & bake until the zucchini is tender, 25-30 minutes. Remove the foil & bake until golden, 8-10 minutes.

Be sure to let the fiddie's portion cool before serving!

NOTE:  For other tasty stuffing ideas for the humans in the house, try adding Italian sausage, pepperoni, onions, bell peppers... just about any pizza topping is delicious!

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Romeo’s Quinoa Salad

Romeo is my friend Kathleen's beautiful little Ekkie & he LOVES his mama's cookin'!!  Here is a recipe they'd like to share with everyone:

Ingredients:
3/4 C quinoa
3 lg limes
1/2 C red bell pepper, minced
1 tomato, cut small
2 Persian cucumbers (or other cucumber - 1/3-1/2 English cuc), cut small
1/4 C cilantro, minced
1/4 C flat leaf parsley, minced
1/4 C olive oil, or drizzle in amount desired
1/3 - 1/2 C frozen corn
1/4 C canned black beans, rinsed (Westbrae has the best tasting beans)
1/4 C minced red onion (omit in parrot's portion)

1. Cook quinoa (2:1 ratio, water to grain) for 15 minutes. When done, add in frozen corn.
2. To a medium sized bowl, add all ingredients (except for onion) then add cooled quinoa & corn & toss.
3. Carve out a portion for your parrot. To the remaining people portion, add minced red onion.

Season people portion with sea salt to taste.  Enjoy!

Saturday, October 8, 2011

Kasha, Yam & Carrot Soup

Fall is finally approaching Houston.  It's not over 100 degrees everyday - yay!!  When I think Fall, I think squash, soups, comfort foods and Thanksgiving.  So here's a very low fat, high fiber soup made with one of nature's superfoods... the sweet potato.  Hope you and the fiddies enjoy!  Recipe courtesy of Bob's Red Mill.

Ingredients:
1 C cooked buckwheat kernels (Kasha)
4 lg carrots, cleaned and trimmed
2 lg yams, peeled and cut into 1" cubes
1/2 tsp nutmeg
1/8 tsp cayenne pepper
6 C vegetable stock (homemade is best!)***
1/4 tsp sea salt (for the people)
1/8 tsp black pepper
1 C plain yogurt

1. Dice 1 of the carrots & place in a small saucepan with 1/2 C vegetable stock.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat & simmer 10 minutes, until carrot is tender.  Drain, reserving liquid in a large saucepan, and set carrots aside.

2. Dice remaining carrot. Add carrot, yams, kasha & remaining stock to the large saucepan.  Bring to a boil, reduce heat & partially cover. Simmer until all veggies are tender, about 30 minutes.

3. Strain soup into a large bowl & set aside.  Then puree the veggies in a blender or food processor, returning puree to the large saucepan.  Add reserved soup to the puree and heat through, adding the nutmeg, cayenne & black pepper.

4. Serve, garnishing with a dollop of yogurt & reserved diced carrots (from step 1).  **Be sure to let the fiddie portions cool well before serving to them!

Kitchen Note: ***Storebought vegetable stock is often high in sodium.  To make your own, simply add a variety of vegetables - carrots, celery with the leaves, potato peels, brocoli & cauliflower stems, green bean ends, quartered onion, smashed garlic, fresh parsley, bay leaf - to a large stock pot.  (This is a great way to utilize veggie scraps!  Freeze scraps as you have them and throw into stock when you're ready to make it!)  Cover with water and let simmer for 1-2 hours.  Strain out the solids and discard.  Freeze what you don't need right away!

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Refreshing Summer Treats!

The hottest days of summer are upon us and I, for one, take every opportunity to cool off and enjoy the best part of summer... fruit!  Here are a few delicious and fid-friendly fruit goodies you won't break a sweat over: (recipes courtesy of theveggietable.com)

Banana-nut Smoothie
1. Peel and chop 2 ripe bananas, wrap in plastic wrap and freeze for several hours.  Chop 1/2 C walnuts and set aside.
2. Unwrap bananas and process in a blender until smooth.  Stir in walnuts and serve!
**For a thinner consistency, blend in a little orange juice or fresh pineapple.

Fresh Berry Shake
1. In a blender, combine: 2 C of your favorite fresh berries (strawberry, blueberry, raspberry), 1 C fresh orange juice and about 4 oz Greek yogurt.
2. Blend until smooth and serve!
**Yogurt-based smoothies are delicious frozen for popsicles!

Frozen Strawberry Lemonade
1. In a blender, combine: 3-4 T agave nectar, the juice of 2-3 lemons, 1 1/2 C water and 1 C frozen strawberries.
2. Blend until smooth and serve!

When it comes down to it, you can blend up any combination of fresh and frozen fruits that sounds good to you.  Stock up on what's in season.  You can easily peel, chop and freeze many fruits to use later in smoothies.  My favorites are banana, any berries, melons, kiwi, mango, peach and pineapple.  Use your imagination and keep your family and fiddies happy with a chilly treat!

Wednesday, April 13, 2011

Green Harvest Couscous

Spring is upon us and my veggie garden is planted!  I look forward to having fresh produce for this yummy summer dish.

Ingredients:


• One 10-oz box couscous
• 2 T extra-virgin olive oil
• Grated peel & juice of 1 lemon
• 2 zucchini, quartered lengthwise & chopped
• One 5-oz package baby arugula or your choice of greens, chopped
• 1/2 English cucumber, quartered lengthwise & chopped
• 1 C pecans (about 4 oz), toasted & chopped
• 8 oz goat cheese crumbles (for people portions)
• 2 scallions, thinly sliced (for people portions)
• Salt & pepper (optional, for people portions)
 
1. In a medium saucepan, bring 2 C water to a boil. Remove from the heat & stir in the couscous & 1 T olive oil. Cover & let stand for 5 minutes. Sprinkle with the lemon peel & lemon juice, then fluff with a fork.


2. Meanwhile, in a large skillet, heat the remaining 1 T olive oil over medium heat. Add the zucchini & cook until golden, about 5 minutes.

3. In a large bowl, combine the couscous, zucchini, arugula, cucumber & pecans.

4. Garnish people servings with scallions & cheese.

Get outside and enjoy the weather!  You can serve this dish as lettuce wraps for a picnic.  And we know our fiddies will love it.  :)

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Mango-Agave Granola with Greek Yogurt

Recipe courtesy Bobby Flay for Food Network Magazine, edited for fid-friendliness.

This lightly sweet granola was a HIT with the fiddies!  I made it without the salt & brown sugar but would probably prefer the extra sweetness if just making for me. ;-)

Ingredients

• 2 T canola oil
• 1/4 C agave syrup
• 1/2 C unsweetened applesauce
• 1 tsp ground cinnamon
• 2 T packed light brown sugar (optional)
• 1 tsp vanilla extract
• 3 C old-fashioned rolled oats (not instant)
• 3/4 C slivered almonds
• 1/2 C raw sunflower seeds
• 1/2 C raw pumpkin seeds
• 2 T flax seeds
• 2 T wheat germ
• 1/4 tsp salt (optional)
• 1 mango, peeled/diced
• 1 pint 2% Greek yogurt

1. Preheat the oven to 325 degrees. Line a rimmed baking sheet with parchment paper or a silicone baking mat. **I actually used 2 baking dishes, instead, and the stoneware worked best.

2. Mix the canola oil, agave syrup, applesauce, cinnamon, brown sugar & vanilla extract in a small bowl until smooth.

3. Combine the oats, almonds, sunflower seeds, pumpkin seeds, flax seeds, wheat germ & salt (optional) in a large bowl.

4. Add the wet mixture to the dry mixture & stir, making sure everything is evenly coated. Spread the mixture evenly on the prepared baking sheet; bake, stirring occasionally (every 8-10 min), until golden brown & crisp, 25 to 30 minutes.

5. Remove the granola from the oven & let cool slightly, then break into clumps while still warm.

6. Let cool completely. Serve with a dollop of yogurt & diced mango over the top. Store leftover granola in an airtight container in a cool place.

Kitchen note: When fresh mangoes are not available, use dried (unsulphured) mango. Dried mango can be stirred into the granola mixture and stored together.