Autism Speaks. Autism Eats.

On April 2, the non-profit organization, Autism Speaks, celebrated the United Nations-sanctioned World Autism Awareness Day with a series of high-profile awareness events.   Autism Speaks defines autism and autism spectrum disorders as general terms for a group of complex disorders of brain development.

Research suggests that children with autism may be deficient in certain nutrients, including essential fatty acids, fiber and protein. My recipe for Salmon Pasta Salad with Creamy Walnut Sauce provides all three, and is a healthy, nutritious meal for anyone. It’s great hot off the stove for dinner, or pack it in a MEDport Fit and Freshâ„¢ Lunch Set with Removable Ice Pack for lunch on the go.

Salmon Pasta Salad with Creamy Walnut Sauce

Serves 6

1 package (12 ounces) Bionaturae Organic Gluten-Free Fusilli Pasta

1 (6 ounce) can Wild Planet Wild Alaskan Sockeye Salmon, drained and shredded

2 cups organic baby spinach, triple washed

1 Gala orFuji apple, cored and chopped

1 large red bell pepper, seeded, ribs removed and sliced

3 to 4 green onions, roots discarded, white and green parts chopped

1/2 tablespoon Vitacost Organic Apple Cider Vinegar with “Mother”

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

2 tablespoons fresh picked dill or 1 teaspoon dried Frontier Certified Organic Dill Weed

Cook pasta according to package instructions. While cooking, mix together the salmon, spinach, apple, bell pepper, green onions, vinegar, salt, pepper and dill. Drain cooked pasta and combine with the salad mixture.   Mix the Creamy Walnut Sauce with the salad until ingredients are well combined.

Creamy Walnut Sauce

Makes about 2 ½ cups

(Creamy Walnut Sauce can be made ahead of time and refrigerated for up to five days. It also makes a delicious dipping sauce for vegetables and fruits!)

1 cup Best Of All Organic Walnut Halves and Pieces Unsalted, toasted (see tips below)

1/2 small white or purple onion

1 small garlic clove

2 cups plain, low-fat Greek yogurt

1 to 2 teaspoons Cholula Hot Sauce

1/2 teaspoon salt

1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper

In a food processor, finely chop the onion and garlic clove. Add the cooled, toasted walnuts and puree. Stir in the yogurt, hot sauce, salt and black pepper. Combine with the pasta salad.

TIP: Toasting Walnuts

(Walnuts can be toasted dry or with a dash of oil or cooking spray.)

Baking: Preheat oven to 350⁰. Arrange walnuts in single layer on a baking sheet. Bake 8 to 10 minutes, checking  and stirring frequently.

Stovetop: Cook walnuts in a skillet over medium-high heat for 3 to 5 minutes, checking and stirring frequently.

The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.” She blogs for Vitacost.com and  Momonomics.com  on a weekly basis.

About The Kitchen Diva

The Kitchen Diva is Angela Shelf Medearis, a regular guest chef on “The Dr. Oz Show” and “The Today Show.” She is the author of many cookbooks, including, “The Kitchen Diva’s Diabetic Cookbook.”

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