Tuesday, September 20, 2011

Birdie Recipe: 7-layer Salad

A bird cannot survive by birdie bread alone! While birdie bread is a healthy food most days, variety is the key to a healthy diet. Here is a trick to help feed an assortment of fruits and vegetables to your bird(s) without being a slave to the chopping block.

Most people know that parrots need to eat fresh healthy foods as a staple in their diet, but if you a have a few larger birds or a larger sized flock prepping all that food everyday can be really time consuming. A solution? Make this 7 layer salad once a week! You can alternate different ingredients for the layers based on what’s in season, and it keeps in the fridge for a week!

Layer 1 (bottom layer) - chopped greens, which are varied each week. One week, I’ll use collard greens and parsley and mustard greens, and the next I might use Swiss chard, kale and dandelion greens.

Layer 2 - chopped (1/4 to 1/2 inch cubes) green vegetables, including any of the following: Brussels sprouts, zucchini and other summer squash, jicama, red or green peppers, fresh hot peppers, chayote squash, green beans, fresh peas, cucumber, celery, anise root, etc.

Layer 3 - chopped broccoli and shredded carrots

Layer 4 - dry, uncooked pasta. This will absorb some of the moisture from the mix and soften nicely.

Layer 5 - cooked beans. I usually buy one of the 13 or 17 bean soup mixes, which I soak overnight, rinse, and then bring to a boil and cook for about 25 minutes, then drain. Alternately, you could use cans of beans (which are already cooked).

Layer 6 - a mixture of chopped apples, oranges and whole grapes

Layer 7 - frozen mixed vegetables.

The containers are then placed in the refrigerator (don’t freeze).

Issues of freshness:  this mix stays fresh in these tubs for up to seven days for three reasons. First, layered salads stay fresher longer. Second, the orange juice filters down and slightly acidifies that mix. The frozen mixed vegetables placed on top super-cool the mix immediately (cold air sinks/warm air rises).

I do also wash all the fruits, vegetables and greens with Oxy-fresh Cleansing Gel or produce wash, which not only gets them clean but also has some anti-bacteria action.

Note: If you have a plucker in your flock, eliminate the bean layer. Beans are high in niacin, which aggravates plucking. Pluckers should also have no corn or soy.

Now through Sept 27, enter code eatyourgreens and get a free bag of birdie bread when you order three!

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