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!

Monday, November 22, 2010

Healthier Green Bean Casserole

I give almost all credit for this recipe to the author of Apples 2 Zucchini blog... but I did make a couple minor changes!  Try this fresh (& much healthier) substitute for green bean casserole.

  • About 1 1/2 - 2 lbs fresh green beans, trimmed & blanched
  • 2 T dried oregano*
  • 2 T dried basil*
  • 2 T dried thyme*
  • 3 T grated fresh Parmesan Cheese (the "pizza" kind is salty!)
  • 3 T extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/4 C panko breadcrumbs, plus two additional tablespoons 
*Substitute fresh herbs where possible for better flavor!  Use a 3:1 ratio fresh:dried as your guide.

1. In a bowl, mix all but the two T of breadcrumbs together & toss well to coat.
2. Pour into a casserole dish & sprinkle with remaining breadcrumbs.
3. Bake at 350 until heated through & breadcrumbs are lightly toasted on top.
Fun facts: Green beans were likely not part of the 1st Thanksgiving... or for many Thanksgivings that followed.  In fact, they may not have been regular holiday fare until around 1959 (according to!  So how did the infamous green bean casserole find it's way into tradition?  It was invented by Campbell's Soup company in 1955.  Campbell's estimates that 40% of their annual Cream of Mushroom soup sales end up in the holiday favorite.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Pumpkin Pancakes


·        1/2 C canned pumpkin
·        1/2 C low-fat vanilla yogurt
·        1/4 tsp baking soda
·        1 large egg yolk
·        1/4 C cake flour
·        4 large egg whites
·        EVOO
·        Maple syrup or honey (people only)


  1. Whisk together pumpkin, yogurt, baking soda, egg yolk & flour.
  2. Whisk egg whites & fold into pumpkin mixture.
  3. Heat a large nonstick skillet with a small amount of EVOO over medium heat. Spoon in 1/3 C batter for each pancake.
  4. Flip when tops are covered with bubbles & edges are slightly brown (about 3 minutes per side).
  5. Set aside a couple for the fids.  Drizzle with syrup or honey for the people.
**As a special treat for the fids, serve with a smear of peanut butter or wrap up some fresh fruit bits in a pancake and secure with a toothpick!  YUM!!

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Stock Up On Veggies!!

Summer and Fall are great times to stock up on all the great fresh produce in the markets!  Here, I'll explain how to blanch them.  Blanching stops the action of enzymes that promote ripening as well as rotting... it preserves texture, color & flavor & makes preparing them later a breeze!  They will keep better & longer in the freezer & come out looking & tasting fresher.

You can blanch using boiling water or steam.  Steaming takes a couple minutes longer but is said to preserve more of the vitamins.  Veggies you would commonly blanch are - broccoli, cauliflower, asparagus, green beans, etc.  I will include a list and blanching times below.  This post will explain the boiling method:

1. Set a large pot of water to boil.
2. Wash & prepare your veggies.
3. Prepare a large bowl with plenty of ice & add just enough water to cover the ice (enough to submerge veggies in). 
4. Once your pot reaches a rolling boil, add the veggies.  Return to a boil, cover & start your time.
5. As soon as the time is up, remove veggies & submerge in the ice water.  This stops the cooking action & your veggies should still be crisp tender. 
***If you have a large amount of veggies, blanch them in batches.  Remove them from the water with a strainer basket rather than pour the water out.  You can return the existing water to a boil rather than start over!
6. Once cooled, drain thoroughly & package for the freezer.  I use my FoodSaver for portions I won't be using within a week or so.
Prepare your veggies for meals as you normally would but remember they will not need normal cooking time.  Simply saute or heat through for delicious, fresh tasting produce!  Your family (both human and feathered) will enjoy!!

You can also blanch tomatoes and peaches to easily remove the skin.  Simply boil just until the skin splits then submerge in ice water.  The skins should slip right off!

NOTE:  Onions, peppers & herbs do not need to be blanched.  Winter squash, sweet potato & pumpkin should be fully cooked before freezing.  All other veggies should be blanched.

Here is a link (Univ of MN Extension) for more thorough preparation instructions, including trimming, cutting, etc. if you need further details:
Vegetable chart

Blanching times (in minutes) for the most common veggies are as follows.  Add about 1 minute if steaming:
Asparagus - 4
Green & yellow beans - 3.5
Lima beans - 3-4 depending on size
Snap beans - 3.5
Broccoli - 4
Carrots - 3.5
Cauliflower - 4
Corn on the cob - 8-11 depending on size (must thoroughly cool or they get mushy!)
**If cutting off the cob, blanch 4.5 min, cool, cut.
Peas, shelled - 1.5-2
Peas, in pod - 2.5-3
Summer squash - 1/4" slices 3 min; 1.5" slices 6 min.
**Winter squash & pumpkin - bake, scoop out flesh, cool & store.  Do not blanch.

Monday, October 4, 2010

Broccolini-Basil Spaghetti

This dish is one of my favorites and perfect for a super easy dinner as late summer turns into Fall... fresh broccoli is plentiful at the markets as is fresh basil in the garden!  It needs no embellishment but goes well paired with a crisp sauvignon blanc... for the people, only, of course.  ;-)  Tigger so enjoyed helping me with the broccoli!


  • 2 bunches Broccolini (1 pound), separated into long florets (or broccoli florets)
  • 1 pound whole wheat spaghetti
  • 2 tablespoons butter
  • One 28-ounce can salt-free whole tomatoes
  • 1 C cup fresh basil leaves (a generous handful), torn
  • Grated parmigiano-reggiano or pecorino-romano cheese (for garnishing the people plates)


  1. Fill a large skillet with enough water to reach a depth of 2 inches & bring it to a boil over medium-high heat. Add the Broccolini florets & cook for 2 minutes. Drain in a colander. Wipe out the skillet.
  2. Bring a large pot of water to a boil. Add the spaghetti & cook until al dente. Drain.  
  3. While the pasta is working, heat the skillet over medium heat. Add the butter to melt, then add the tomatoes & gently mash with a potato masher or a wooden spoon. Stir in the basil, lower the heat & simmer for 4 minutes.
  4. Add the Broccolini & cook for 3 minutes more. Add the pasta - (you can finish off the pasta in the sauce at the same time as the broccoli if it's too watery for you.  As is simmers, some of the liquid will reduce.)  Blend all together & set aside portion for the fids.
  5. For the people, salt & pepper to taste if needed, stir in & serve all around!
Peanut was my official taste tester!

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Pumpkin & Chicken Chowder

The weather is cooling off & pumpkins are a-plenty right now!!  Take advantage & make up some of this tasty Fall soup.  Also, while grocers are stocked up, buy extra pumpkin & prepare as you wish then freeze for later!  Don't forget to toast up the seeds for a yummy treat that kids & fids will all enjoy.


·        2 red bell peppers
·        2 jalapeño peppers
·        2 T EVOO
·        1 1/2 pounds boneless, skinless chicken breasts, diced
·        1 (about 2 pounds) pumpkin, peeled, seeded, cut into 1” chunks
·        3 T all-purpose flour
·        2 tsp ground cumin
·        1 tsp chili powder
·        1 ear (1 cup) corn, kernels removed
·        32 oz low-sodium chicken broth or vegetable broth
·        1 T fresh oregano leaves
·        3 green onions or leeks, sliced (for people portion garnish only)
·        1/2 C sour cream (optional)


To roast the peppers:
  1. Preheat oven to broil. Place the red peppers & jalapeños on a baking sheet & cook under the broiler, turning occasionally, until the skins blacken, about 10 minutes.
  2. Seal the charred peppers in a plastic bag for 10 to 12 minutes.
  3. Peel, stem, seed & cut peppers into 1/2-inch pieces. Set aside.
To make the soup:
  1. Heat the olive oil in a large Dutch oven over medium-high heat. Add the chicken pieces & cook until browned. Remove the chicken & keep warm.
  2. Add the pumpkin & sauté for about 5 minutes.
  3. Add the flour, cumin, chili powder & cook for 1-2 minutes.
  4. Add the corn, peppers, chicken, broth, & oregano & bring the soup to a boil. Reduce heat to low & simmer about 30 minutes. Garnish with sour cream for the humans, if desired, & serve hot.
** Set aside a scoop (a bite of chicken won't hurt!) for the fiddies to cool before serving!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

Leslie’s Bean Salad Quesadillas


Dry beans – soak in advance:

1/4 C black beans
1/4 C dark red kidney beans
1/4 C garbanzo beans
1/4 C pinto beans

¾ C rice of your preference
1 – 10 oz pkg frozen corn, thawed
** I prefer equivalent amount of fresh corn removed from cob – about 3 ears
2 cloves garlic, minced
1 green bell pepper, chopped (don’t forget to save the core for birdie pleasure)
2 tomatoes, chopped
1 tsp vegetable oil
1 tsp cumin
1 T chili powder
1 pinch dried or a palm full of fresh chopped parsley
Whole wheat tortillas
Your favorite quesadilla cheese, shredded (omit for fid portion)
Sour cream and fresh pico de gallo or your favorite salsa for serving (humans only)

**If making for the humans only, substituting canned beans will save you time.  However, canned beans contain sodium that should be avoided when serving to your fids.

  1. Start beans soaking the night before then cook according to package directions.
  2. With about 30 minutes left on your bean cooking time, start your rice so they are done about the same time.  Stir garlic, oil, cumin, chili powder & parsley (if using dried) into water for rice.  Add rice & bring to a boil, reduce heat & cover.  Simmer until liquid is gone & rice is done.  Stir in fresh parsley (if using).
  3. In a lightly oiled large skillet over medium heat, gently sauté bell pepper & tomato.  Stir in corn, beans & rice & heat everything through.
  4. Remove mixture to a bowl & wipe out skillet. 
  5. Assemble quesadillas, adding cheese (for people only) & bean mixture between 2 tortillas.  Brown on both sides until cheese is melted and serve with your favorite toppings!
***For your fid’s dining pleasure, try rolling up their portion in a small piece of tortilla & toast (seam side down 1st to help it stay together) in the skillet.  They’ll love chewing it open to see what’s inside!

Leftover quesadilla filling can be frozen for future use!

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Carrots & Peas Orzo


  • Salt & pepper (for the people)
  • 1 cup orzo
  • 1 cup frozen peas
  • 4 carrots, sliced
  • Drizzle of honey (optional)
  • 1/2 cup grated parmigiano-reggiano cheese


1.   Bring a medium pot of water to a boil, add the orzo & cook until just before al dente, about 7 minutes. Add the peas & cook for 1 minute; drain & return the pasta & peas to the pot.
2.   While the pasta is cooking, in a medium saucepan, cover the carrots with water & bring to a boil. Cook until tender, about 12 minutes. Drain, reserving about 1/2 cup cooking water, then transfer the carrots to a food processor. Add the reserved cooking water & honey, if using, & process until smooth.
3.   Stir the carrot puree into the pasta & peas.  Portion out half for the fids & let cool before serving; season the people's portion with salt & pepper.  Sprinkle with parmesan & enjoy.

*** The pups will like this one, too!  J

Buckwheat & Basil Frittata


  • 2/3 cup buckwheat, toasted
  • 1 tablespoon extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 zucchini, grated
  • 3 cloves garlic, finely chopped
  • Salt & pepper (for people portions)
  • 10 eggs, beaten
  • 3 tablespoons chopped fresh basil, plus thinly sliced leaves for sprinkling
  • 1 cup sour cream (for people portions)


1.   Preheat the oven to 400°. In a large pot of boiling, salted water, cook the buckwheat, undisturbed, until tender, about 15 minutes; drain.
2.   Meanwhile, in a medium, ovenproof nonstick skillet, heat the olive oil over medium heat; add the zucchini & two-thirds of the garlic & cook until the zucchini is brown around the edges, about 10 minutes. Stir in the buckwheat & cook for 2 minutes.
3.   In a large bowl, combine the eggs & 2 tablespoons basil. Add to the skillet & cook, scrambling, until half-cooked. Transfer to the oven & bake until the frittata is set, 8 to 10 minutes; cut into wedges.
4.   Meanwhile, in a small bowl, stir together the sour cream with the remaining garlic & 1 tablespoon basil. Add a dollop to each wedge for the humans & sprinkle with the sliced basil.