Preparation consists of getting all the vegetabls and fruits washed, the storage containers emptied and cleaned, and cutting utensils laid out nicely. This time around, we let the parrots join in on the salad making fun!
|All ready to go!|
|Our official taste testers for the evening|
|Gotta love variety!|
|Preparation goes a long way!|
|Caiques love making messes|
The middle of the salad is a cooked bean mix. I use a variety of beans (some favorites include lentil, mung beans, chick peas) and soak them for about 8 hours. Then I rinse and cook them for about 20 to 30 minutes and add them to the salad. Below the beans we place a thin layer of dried, uncooked, whole wheat pasta, which will soften as it aborbs the moisture from this bean mix.
This salad would not be complete without some yummy fruits! An important fruit for this layered salad is orange because the citrus juice helps keep the rest of the salad fresh. Therefore, the cut up orange pieces (mixed with apple pieces) go on top of all the greens, veggies, and beans.
Then the final layer on top are frozen vegetables. The heat from the cooked beans will rise while the chill from the frozen veggies spread down towards the bottom. This meeting of opposite temperatures keep the vegetables fresh longer (along with the citrus juice from the fruits).
|Adding the final layer of frozen goodness|
When the layering is complete, the containers are sealed and put away, all ready to be served the very next morning!
I personally love making this for my birds because it is a lot of fun and my boyfriend has started helping me (saves me half the time!) and the birds have such a great time even though they make a huge mess. Then the next morning, the real fun begins -- breakfast time!
|Prepared with love|
This salad calls for endless possibilities and creativity. I change up the greens, vegetables, pasta shapes, and bean mix each time so the birds do not get bored. I will also throw in a few nuts or extra in-season fruits just before serving in the morning (melons, blueberries, watermelon, etc). These can stay in the cages for around 4 hours and the birds have a great time foraging around the mix. It is both pleasing to the eye and nose, for both avians and humans alike!