Plan The Perfect Picnic With Seafood

From the trees to the breeze, picnics are a fun way your family can soak up the sunshine while enjoying a delicious and nutritious meal together.

“Picnics should be a prescription for health,” said Annessa Chumbley, registered dietitian, nutritionist and TV host. “They accomplish three amazing things needed for healthy living: nourishing the body, focusing on relationships and soaking up the benefits of being surrounded by nature.”

Consider stepping up your picnic game with a refreshing option like seafood. Eating seafood two times per week, as recommended by the Dietary Guidelines for Americans, can provide unique health benefits as a lean protein and source of omega-3s, healthy fats that are beneficial for your heart and your brain. To make it easier to create picture-perfect picnics, try these tips from Chumbley.

  • Pack bottles of cold or even frozen water in the picnic basket to help keep everything chilled and fresh so it’s ready to devour.
  • Plan to eat fresh and healthy foods like this Crab Salad for an easy-to- make option.
  • Create a dip nearly everyone can enjoy. Seafood can be added to almost any dip, and can be enjoyed with fresh, crunchy vegetables.
  • Jars can be a lifesaver when packing a picnic. Tape utensils to the sides of the jars for easy access to your favorite foods.
  • Don’t bring your phones, tablets or any other device that can distract you from family time. This is a time to relax and socialize with one another.
  • Try taping a thermometer inside your bag or cooler so you know the food is at safe, cool temperatures.
  • Place a small cutting board and knife in your pack, which can come in handy for chopping up fruits and vegetables.

For more seafood recipes and meal inspiration, visit seafoodnutrition.org or follow #Seafood2xWk on social media.


Crab Salad

Recipe courtesy of the Seafood Nutrition Partnership Eating Heart Healthy Program
Serves 4

All you need:

  • 1/2 cup plain nonfat yogurt
  • 1 lemon, juiced
  • 2 tbsp green onions
  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt, to taste
  • Pepper, to taste
  • 1 oz walnuts (about 14 halves)
  • Cayenne pepper, to taste
  • 1 bag (8 oz) spinach
  • 1 can (6 oz) crab meat or fresh lump crab
  • 1/2 cup lentils, cooked
  • 1 grapefruit, cut into sections

All you do:

  1. Heat oven to 300 degrees.
  2. To make dressing, mix yogurt, lemon juice, green onions and olive oil. Add salt and pepper, to taste.
  3. Toss walnuts with cayenne pepper, to taste, and bake 4 to 5 minutes. Make sure walnuts do not burn. Remove walnuts from oven and let cool.
  4. Toss spinach with dressing. Toss with crab meat. Sprinkle lentils on top and add walnuts. Place grapefruit pieces around edge.

Alaskan Fisherman

Meet Captain Darin Gilman, who fishes aboard the FV Redline. He was born and raised in Cordova, Alaska, and is a third-generation Alaskan fisherman. He is one of the fisherman who catches Hy-Vee’s Alaska Halibut, Copper River and Prince William Sound salmon and other species.

Video credit: Copper River Marketing

Dish On Fish: Chimichurri Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Dish on Fish is an excellent seafood blog where you can explore new seafood recipes and learn relevant, relatable and easy-to-understand health and nutrition information about seafood. Hy-Vee is a partner of the National Fisheries Institute, which sponsors the blog and encourages Americans to eat seafood at least twice a week, as recommended by the US Dietary Guidelines for Americans.

Seafood is a vital part of a healthy diet. Hy-Vee strives to provide customers with high-quality, Responsible Choice seafood and our Seafoodies blog provides detailed information and tips. We want to share Dish on Fish with you so you can find more resources, tips and recipes to help you enjoy seafood and reap its benefits.

From Dish on Fish: Chimichurri Grilled Shrimp Skewers

Is it just us, or does food seem more fun when it’s served on a stick? Thanks to their grill-ability and Instagram-worthy looks, skewers and kebabs will be plentiful as summer gets closer. Knowing this, we set out to create the skewer recipe of your dreams (so keep scrolling!).

For cookouts and barbecues, we’ve built the best shrimp skewer dish on the planet. Not only is the shrimp in this recipe grilled to perfection and slightly smoky in flavor, it’s also an excellent source of protein. And, thanks to the kick from the chimichurri sauce, these skewers have us feeling HOT, HOT, HOT!

Requiring barely 20 minutes of prep time and just 10 minutes to cook, this recipe makes entertaining effortless. It will have your guests believing you’re the next master chef, while leaving you free to enjoy the company of your family and friends. Talk about a win-win!

Pro Tip: Take these skewers from appetizer to entrée by serving them over a grilled veggie salad, a cup of brown rice, or quinoa.


Chimichurri Grilled Shrimp Skewers
Prep Time: 20 minutes
Cook Time: 10 minutes
Serves: 4

All you need:

  • 1 pound shrimp
  • 1 shallot, peeled
  • 2 cloves garlic, peeled
  • 1/2 jalapeño, seeds and stem removed (leave the seeds in if you like it spicy!)
  • 1 packed cup fresh cilantro (about 1 small bunch)
  • 1 packed cup fresh parsley (about 1 small bunch)
  • 1/3 cup fresh lime juice (about 2 limes)
  • 1/4 cup olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

All you do:

  1. Heat a grill to medium-high heat.
  2. To make chimichurri sauce, combine the shallot, garlic and jalapeño in a food processor and process until finely chopped; add the cilantro, parsley, lime juice, olive oil and a pinch of salt and pepper and finish processing until fairly smooth.
  3. Place the shrimp in a bowl and cover with 1/3 cup of the chimichurri sauce; toss to coat.
  4. Thread the shrimp onto skewers to make them easier to handle on the grill, or put foil on grill if using loose shrimp.
  5. Grill shrimp 2-3 minutes per side, until charred and pink throughout.
  6. Serve with the remaining chimichurri sauce.
  7. Option: Serve grilled shrimp over grilled veggies or brown rice or quinoa.

Grilling With Salmon This Memorial Day Weekend

Memorial Day weekend will soon be upon us and that means it’s time to dust off the grill and officially welcome the (unofficial) beginning of summer. Just because you’re deciding to cook out doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice a health-conscious menu. Ditch the burgers and hot dogs and switch them out for something you’ll be thanking yourself for later: seafood.

Seafood makes a wonderful main dish that works great with fresh ingredients like corn, tomatoes and grilled vegetables. Salmon particularly is great for grilling. The natural oils in salmon keep it moist but also create a slight crispiness on the outside. Salmon has a mild and refreshing taste that is different from the regular fishy taste you may find in other seafood. It also has impressive health benefits and has been shown to reduce inflammation, lower blood pressure and decrease risk factors for disease.

Still not convinced you want salmon as the main attraction at your grill out? Salmon is an excellent source of lean protein. The proteins found in salmon and other fish are easily digestible and absorbed in the body and they do not contain carcinogenic compounds like some other meats do. Stop by your local Hy-Vee seafood department for your salmon and try this healthy recipe to start the warm summer months off right.


Hearty Salmon Skewers over Brown Rice

Seafood Nutrition Partnership
Serves: 4

All you need:

1 pound salmon, cut into ½ inch cubes
Kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, and paprika (to taste)
¼ cup cherry tomatoes, halved
1 cup pineapple, cubed
1 lemon
2 cups cooked brown rice
8 skewers

All you do:

  1. Coat salmon with topping of kosher salt, freshly ground pepper, paprika or any desired spice.
  2. Slide piece of salmon onto skewer, then tomato, then pineapple. Repeat 3 times on each skewer (or until skewer is full).
  3. Heat grill to medium-high heat. Grill the skewers, turning occasionally and carefully. Squeeze lemon on skewers as they are cooking. Take skewers off when salmon is browned and cooked through.
  4. To serve, place ½ cup rice on plates with 2 skewers on top. Squeeze a bit of lemon, if desired.

Wild Alaska Salmon Season

Hy-Vee Responsible Choice wild salmon, caught from Alaska’s Copper River, will be some of the very first salmon to arrive in stores when the fresh wild season opens this week. The first 24-hour opener is set to open on May 17.  This yearly event attracts media attention and draws foodies from around the globe. The celebration kicks off with the first fish arriving in Seattle aboard an Alaska Airlines Boeing jet, a plane that features a huge mural image of salmon along the entire length of the jet.

The consumer demand for this product has grown each year with foodies who shop at Hy-Vee eagerly waiting for the first salmon to arrive in their local store. The pure, pristine environment of the Copper River helps create an omega-3 powerhouse. Copper River salmon begin their journey 300 miles downstream at the mouth of the Copper River, then make the long trek up through fast currents and unspoiled glacial-fed waters to reach their spawning grounds. This trek requires the salmon to store extra energy in the form of fat. The one-of-a-kind flavor and texture generated from this fat makes any seafood lover’s mouth water. It is truly some of the highest prized salmon in the world.

The Copper River takes its name from the rich copper deposits found along its banks. This massive body of water has 13 major tributaries, is 1 mile wide and runs at 7 miles per hour. The Copper River is the 10th-largest river in the United States, and is home to some of the finest, well-managed salmon stocks in the world. Alaska’s successful management practices are considered a model of sustainability for the rest of the world. The Alaska Department of Fish and Game monitors fish populations at several points along the Copper River and counts salmon heading up the river to ensure that an adequate number migrate to spawning grounds to reproduce each year. Policies like this have helped Alaska maintain one of the world’s most abundant sources of delicious wild seafood for generations to come. This is why we proudly place our Hy-Vee Responsible Choice label on wild Alaska salmon.

Hy-Vee Offers Wildfish Fair Trade Certified Salmon in All Stores

Today Hy-Vee, Inc. announces it is launching Fair Trade CertifiedTM Wildfish Salmon in all 245 of its stores this week, making it the first Midwest retailer to do so. The salmon hails from the pristine waters of Bristol Bay, Alaska, and will be available starting this month. Hy-Vee also offers Fair Trade Certified tuna and scallops.

For more than 1,000 years, the people of remote Alaskan fishing communities like Dillingham, Manokotak and Ekuk, have sustainably harvested their catch from the abundance the Nushagak River in Bristol Bay provides. Salmon fishing continues to be a vital part of their livelihoods and culture. Though economic opportunities in the villages are often limited, the associated premium from the sale of Fair Trade Certified salmon has the potential to create significant impact in these communities.

“Hy-Vee continues to work hard to provide our customers with the best-quality seafood that comes from excellent sources,” said Nate Stewart, Hy-Vee’s executive vice president of perishables. “Sourcing Wildfish Salmon on Fair Trade terms gives our customers confidence that the salmon they enjoy from Hy-Vee is sourced responsibly, improving lives and protecting the environment.”

The 2018 season has the largest-ever forecasted return of 20 million Sockeye to the Nushagak along with a strong Coho run that starts in late July and runs into September. Currently 110 fishers from the area will catch all species of wild salmon either by set-net or drift net.

“Fair Trade is all about empowering the people behind our favorite products,” said Julie Kuchepatov, director of seafood at Fair Trade USA. “Hy-Vee’s commitment to increasing its Fair Trade Certified product options shows that Hy-Vee is giving its customers the best available options while benefitting U.S. fishermen and their communities.”

Fair Trade USA’s seafood program is the first of its kind to address both social and environmental challenges in the seafood sector. Standards for marine resources ensure that fisheries are managed legally and responsibly, preventing further overfishing. At the same time, social and human rights standards prohibit forced labor and empower fishermen with better working conditions, improved terms of trade and additional income to invest in their businesses and communities.

USA Gulf Shrimp Etoufee

National Shrimp Day is May 10. Celebrate by enjoying classic Creole Etouffee made with the highest-quality Wild USA Gulf Shrimp available at your local Hy-Vee seafood counter.

Wild USA Gulf Shrimp Etouffee      

Serves 6

All you need:

½ cup butter
1½ cups chopped onion
1 cup chopped celery
1 cup chopped red bell pepper
½ cup flour
3 tbsp tomato paste
¼ tsp Tony Chachere’s Creole seasoning
2 cups seafood stock
3 pounds Wild USA Gulf shrimp, peeled and deveined
3 cloves garlic, minced
½ cup chopped green onion
2 tbsp chopped parsley
1/4 tsp black pepper
1 tsp salt
¼ tsp cayenne pepper
½ tsp hot sauce
3 cups cooked rice

All you do:

  1. Melt butter in a large pot, such as a Dutch oven. Add onion, celery and bell pepper. Sauté until vegetables are soft.
  2. Add flour. Stir often and cook for 8 to 10 minutes.
  3. Add tomato paste and Tony Chachere’s seasoning; cook for 10 more minutes stirring often.
  4. Add stock and bring to a boil. Add shrimp, garlic, green onion, parsley, black pepper, salt, cayenne pepper and hot sauce. Turn down heat and simmer for 10 minutes until shrimp are done. Remove from heat and let stand for 10 minutes.
  5. Serve over cooked rice. Enjoy!

Meet a Fisherman

Meet Captain Darin Gilman, one of the fishermen who catches Hy-Vee’s halibut, which is available in-store now. He fishes for Alaska Halibut, Copper River and Prince William Sound salmon, among other species. He is a year-round Alaska resident, born and raised in Cordova. He is a third-generation Alaska fisherman.

Photo credit: Copper River Prince William Sound Marketing Association