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Spelt with Salmon-Tomato Sauce

One Saturday afternoon, I wrestled the remote control from the kids' hands and tuned into PBS, where I saw chef Lidia Bastianich making a dish featuring tuna and spelt, which I was inspired to adapt. Any dinner that includes both the whole grain spelt and wild canned salmon is both living to eat and eating to live, all in one appealing bowl. True, 6-year-old Maya wouldn't try this, but Zack, 11, asked for seconds.

Makes 2-4 servings

For the Spelt

3/4 cup spelt grain (whole)

2 cups water

1/2 teaspoon salt

1 bay leaf

For the Sauce

2 tablespoons olive oil

2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced thin

1 28-ounce can crushed tomatoes

Red pepper flakes to taste

1 bay leaf

2 tablespoons capers

1 7.5-ounce can boneless, skinless wild salmon, drained (but not squeezed dry)

1 lemon cut into wedges

Rinse spelt under running water. Put the spelt, water, salt and bay leaf in a pot; bring to a boil, turn down the heat and simmer, covered, for 45 minutes to an hour or until cooked. (It will still be firm, but tender enough to eat.) Drain any extra water left in the pot.

While the spelt is cooking, heat the olive oil and add the garlic, cooking for 30 seconds to a minute, until fragrant. Add the tomatoes, red pepper flakes, bay leaf and capers and simmer for about 5 minutes. Add the salmon, gently flaking it as you stir. Keep at a low simmer or take off the heat until you're ready to add the spelt.

When the spelt is cooked, add it to the sauce, stir gently, and squeeze fresh lemon juice on top to taste.

There are more recipes using canned wild salmon available at KidSafe Seafood, including ones for salmon burgers and penne with salmon and peas.

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