Recipe Spotlight: Responsible Choice Baked Barramundi with Tomato-Olive Relish

by Stacey Wertzberger | Recipes | Leave a comment

Responsible Choice Baked Barramundi with Tomato-Olive Relish

All you need:

  • 4 (6 oz each) barramundi filets
  • 1 tsp kosher salt, divided
  • ½ tsp cracked black pepper, divided
  • 2 tbsp olive oil, divided
  • 1 cup quartered cherry tomatoes
  • ¾ cup roughly chopped pitted Kalamata olives
  • ¼ cup finely diced shallots
  • ¼ cup finely diced Italian parsley
  • 2 tbsp capers, drained
  • 1 tsp dried oregano
  • 1 tsp dried basil
  • 1 tbsp red wine vinegar

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Line a cooking sheet with aluminum. Season the barramundi filets with ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper. Drizzle with 1 tablespoon olive oil, reserving the rest for the relish.
  2. Bake the barramundi in the oven for 15-18 minutes until opaque and flaky. A thermometer should register at 145 degrees when the fish is done.
  3. In a medium bowl combine the tomatoes, Kalamata olives, shallots, parsley, capers, oregano, basil, red wine vinegar and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with remaining ½ teaspoon salt and ¼ teaspoon pepper, or to taste. Set aside.
  4. Garnish each barramundi filet with ½ cup of the tomato-olive relish. Serve and enjoy.

Aquaculture in Central Iowa

by John Rohrs | Our Seafood | Leave a comment

Barramundi FarmVeroBlue Farms is working to become North America’s largest land-based, indoor aquaculture company. Through its Iowa’s First Hub located in Webster City, Iowa, VeroBlue Farms is expanding its production of the barramundi fish species through a new urban farm with approximately 7.2 million pounds of production per year.

Barramundi is a freshwater fish species found in tropical and semi-tropical regions ranging from the Persian Gulf to China. It can be found as far south as Australia, and as far north as India. Barramundi scored extremely high on the NuVal scoring system (mid-80s or higher), and was rated as a Green “Best Choice” for sustainability by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program.

Barramundi is known for its firm, white and succulent flesh. It has a moist, fine-grained texture and mild flavor. This nutritious fish is low in fat and high in protein. One barramundi fillet provides the same omega-3 content as approximately 17 steaks, making this fish one of the best sources to improve heart health.Barramundi Fish

Iowa’s First Hub is a family-run operation working to provide a fresh, sustainable product from America’s heartland. Using a recirculating system from VeroBlue Farms, referred to as opposing flows technology, the system utilizes air to circulate the water in the culture tank. The system is designed to create two opposing flows of water that create compressed air being introduced on each side of the tank. Check out this YouTube video for a virtual walk-through of the farm. For anyone interested in sustainable aquaculture and seafood, it gives a great perspective of the operation.

At Hy-Vee, we are proud to support one of Iowa’s aquaculture leaders providing farm-to-table seafood. It is exciting that the operation is located in one of our very own Hy-Vee communities, right in the heart of our home state. The fish are grown in an environmentally friendly and sustainable setting which allows us to consistently offer our customers a high-quality and fresh product year-round.

Recipe Spotlight: Responsible Choice Alaska Crab, Blood Orange & Farro Salad

by Jessica Dolson | Recipes | Leave a comment

With all the New Year’s resolutions being made to eat healthier in 2015, I wanted to share an idea for a healthy crab salad using farro and blood oranges. Farro is a pearled wheat product loaded with fiber and protein. It cooks like rice, but the texture is a bit chewier. Farro takes on flavors well, which makes it a nice variation to add to your diet. Using Hy-Vee Responsible Choice Alaska crab in this recipe makes you feel good about eating healthy and supporting healthy oceans.

Responsible Choice Alaska Crab, Blood Orange & Farro Salad

Serves 4 (1-½-cup servings)
All you need:

For the vinaigrette:

    Responsible Choice Alaska Crab, Blood Orange & Farro Salad
  • ½ cup blood orange juice (juiced from blood oranges used in salad)
  • 1 tbsp lime juice
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 2 tsp kosher salt
  • ¼ tsp red pepper flakes
  • 1 tbsp minced fennel fronds
  • 1 tsbp stone-ground mustard
  • 1 tbsp honey or agave nectar
  • ¼ cup Hy-Vee extra virgin olive oil

For the salad:

  • 1 cup Hy-Vee farro, cooked and cooled
  • 2 avocados, cubed
  • ¼ bulb fennel, sliced thinly
  • 1/3 cup thinly sliced red onions
  • ½ diced red pepper
  • ¼ cup minced parsley
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 2 cups cooked Responsible Choice Crab legs, picked from shell (about 6-8 legs)
  • 3 blood oranges, segments removed and set aside (save the pulp for the juice)
  • Mixed greens, for serving

All you do:

To make the vinaigrette:

  1. In a small bowl, add the orange juice, lime juice, black pepper, salt, red pepper flakes, fennel fronds, mustard and honey. Whisk in the olive oil to combine.

For the salad:

  1. In a larger bowl, add the farro, avocado, fennel, red onions, red pepper and parsley.
  2. Drizzle the vinaigrette over the farro and vegetables. Toss to combine. Season with salt and pepper.
  3. Add in the crab meat and orange segments. Gently mix to combine.
  4. Place a bed of mixed greens on each of four plates; top each with a mound of the salad mixture.

Alaska Crab Experts Bring Excitement to Des Moines-Area and Kansas City-Area Stores

by Kenan Judge | Our Seafood | Leave a comment

Kansas City- and Des Moines-area customers had a chance to receive meal tips and learn about Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice seafood from the professionals December 17-19, 2014. Four Alaska crab industry experts — including Jim Stone, who appeared on the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch” show — toured local Hy-Vee stores and shared stories with customers.

Alaska Crab Experts

Hy-Vee hosted Alaska crab experts Jim Stone, Jake Jacobsen, Mark Gleason and Mark R. Jones. During the events, customers heard the fishermen’s stories and how they advocate for the responsible sourcing of seafood.

“I wanted to come to Hy-Vee because I’ve been watching what Hy-Vee has been doing. We’ve been really impressed with how much crab you’ve been selling and with your efforts toward sustainable seafood. And in Alaska, that’s what we’re all about,” Stone said. “The employees of Hy-Vee seem to care so much about the sustainability and about their jobs here, period. The quality of the crab displays is unbelievable.”

Hy-Vee’s chefs and seafood teams also shared techniques for seafood preparation and created enthusiasm in the stores.

“I was excited just to have them in our area and pick their brains because they’re full of knowledge,” said Tim Jones, seafood manager at Waukee Hy-Vee. “Their product is fantastic. Our regular customers made it a point to come over and talk to these gentlemen. It was a great thing for all of us.”

At Olathe (Kansas) Hy-Vee No. 1, an employee in a crab suit greeted customers, creating excitement as they arrived at the store. A large frozen case was transformed into “Hy-Vee Harbor Dockside” and featured selections of crab product as well as crab-related kitchen tools, seasonings and sauces.

Jim Stone's The Retriever

The Liberty, Missouri, store put together a large case display that recreated the “Retriever,” Stone’s boat featured in the “Deadliest Catch” episodes. Stone signed the boat while in the store and later posted a message of thanks to the Liberty store on its Facebook page.

“Jim Stone was extremely touched that the Liberty store took the time and effort to use his boat as the theme for the crab promotion,” said Nancy Pagel, Kansas City-area marketing director. “In addition to an impressive crab display in their seafood case, one of the store’s chefs also sampled various crab recipes, including crab Rangoon pizza.”

Hy-Vee is committed to selling high-quality seafood that not only is safe for consumption, but that also is harvested or raised in a manner that provides for its long-term viability while minimizing damage to the environment and other sea life.

Crab Display - Blue Springs

Stores visited:

  • Ankeny (Iowa) No. 2
  • Blue Springs (Missouri)
  • Kansas City (Missouri) No. 3
  • Liberty (Missouri)
  • Olathe (Kansas) No. 1
  • Waukee (Iowa)
  • West Des Moines (Iowa) No. 3

Biographies of the Alaska Crab Industry Experts:

  • Jim Stone began fishing Bering Sea crab in 1978. He became a crab boat captain in 1987 and started buying in as a crab boat owner that same year. Stone now owns three fishing boats. He is active in and on the boards of several Alaska fishing trade organizations, former and founding president of Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers and current president of the Alaska Scallop Association. He appeared on the first season of the Discovery Channel’s “Deadliest Catch.”
  • Mark Gleason began fishing in Alaska in 1995 and continued to fish from Alaska to Southern California until 2008. Gleason holds bachelor’s and master’s degrees focused primarily on fisheries and ocean policy. He worked in the U.S. Senate as a staffer on the Commerce Committee handling all ocean-related legislation, then as the government affairs representative for a Seattle-based fishing company. For the last three years, Gleason has been the executive director of the Alaska Bering Sea Crabbers, a trade association that represents about 70 percent of the harvesters fishing for crab in the Bering Sea.
  • Jake Jacobsen has worked in Alaska and West Coast fisheries since 1968 and has operated many vessels. He was the engineer on a Bering Sea crab boat at age 18 and captain at age 26. Jacobsen was executive director of the Alaska Marketing Association from 1994 to 2005, representing crab harvesters in price negotiations with processors. He is currently executive director of Inter-Cooperative Exchange, a crab harvesting cooperative that typically harvests about 70 percent of the Bering Sea crab quota.
  • Mark R. Jones is the retail marketing representative for the Alaska Seafood Marketing Institute (ASMI). He partners with retailers and distributors across the United States to merchandise and promote Alaska seafood products and the execution of tie-in opportunities for the Alaska seafood industry, such as co-op or themed promotions.

Recipe Spotlight: Lemon Caper Responsible Choice Rainbow Trout with Sautéed Garlic Spinach

by Andrew Kintigh | Recipes | Leave a comment

Lemon Caper Responsible Choice Rainbow Trout with Sautéed Garlic Spinach

All You Need:


  • 1/3 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 tsp fine sea salt
  • 1/8 tsp black pepper
  • 4 (4-6 oz each) Clear Springs Rainbow Trout fillets, head and tail removed
  • 3 tbsp unsalted butter, divided
  • ½ tbsp minced shallot
  • ½ tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 tbsp capers
  • 2 tbsp lemon juice

Sautéed Spinach

  • 2 tbsp butter
  • 1-2 cloves fresh garlic, minced
  • 4 cups fresh spinach
  • ½ cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • squeeze of fresh lemon
  • salt and pepper, to taste

All You Do:


  1. Combine flour, salt and pepper in a shallow bowl or baking dish. Pat fillets dry. Dredge fillets in flour and pat off excess.
  2. Heat 2 tablespoons butter in a large sauté pan over medium-high heat until melted. Add fillets to pan, skin side up, and cook about 3 minutes or until golden. Carefully turn fish and continue to cook on the other side 2 to 3 minutes longer or until fish is opaque throughout. Remove fish to a serving platter and keep warm. (This may have to be done two at a time, depending on the size of the sauté pan).
  3. Add remaining 1 tablespoon butter to skillet and melt. Add shallots, lemon zest and capers and sauté for 1 minute; add lemon juice and heat through.

Sautéed Spinach

  1. Heat a sauté pan over medium-high heat, add butter and garlic.
  2. Sauté until garlic is fragrant and then add spinach; sauté until slightly wilted. Aadd tomatoes, squeeze of lemon and season with salt and pepper.
  3. Serve fillets atop sautéed spinach and spoon over lemon-caper sauce.

Hy-Vee’s One-Year Anniversary of the 2015 Responsible Sourcing Commitment Announcement

by Kenan Judge | Our Efforts | Leave a comment

One year ago we were pleased to announce the addition of a Responsible Sourcing Commitment to our comprehensive Seafood Procurement Policy. The policy and commitment were developed in partnership with FishWise, a non-profit organization focused on supporting sustainability through environmentally responsible business practices.

To protect marine resources and ensure future seafood supplies, Hy-Vee committed to sell responsibly sourced fresh and private label frozen seafood that is rated as a Green “Best Choice” or Yellow “Good Alternative” by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program, certified to an environmental standard equivalent to these ratings, or sourced from credible, time-bound improvement processes by the end of 2015.

Hy-Vee added the Responsible Sourcing Commitment to its Seafood Procurement Policy to underscore our company’s commitment to providing high quality seafood that is safe for consumption and also harvested or raised in a manner that provides for its long-term viability (sustainability) while minimizing damage to the environment and other sea life.

Hy-Vee is steadily working toward the goal established in our policy. In January 2014, 62 percent of the fresh and private label frozen seafood offered at Hy-Vee met the commitment. As of January 2015, 79 percent of our fresh and private label frozen seafood now meets the commitment, which is a 17 percent increase in just one year!

We continue to strengthen our traceability and transparency through the Responsible Choice labeling program. Seafood products bearing the Responsible Choice symbol meet Hy-Vee’s policy and are caught or farmed in a responsible manner. Specifically, these options are Green or Yellow rated as described above, or certified to an environmental standard equivalent to these ratings.

As we approach the 2015 year-end deadline, we will focus on increasing the number of Responsible Choice items available to customers, including farmed salmon and farmed shrimp items.

Hy-Vee is leading major retailers through our conservation initiative efforts. You can read more details on our recently updated Responsible Choice Seafood website. We’re working to continue our progress in the coming year. We are dedicated to achieving our 2015 goal, and will continue to be responsible seafood champions in the years ahead.

Recipe Spotlight: Responsible Choice Copper River “Greek” Salmon

by Stacey Wertzberger | Recipes | Leave a comment

This recipe features all the wonderful flavors of a gyro—but leaves out the bread. Feel free to serve pita bread on the side if you prefer. It’s simple, refreshing and filling.

Responsible Choice Copper River “Greek” Salmon

Serves 4

SalmonAll you need:

  • 1 cup plain low-fat Greek yogurt
  • 1 tbsp dill weed
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp celery salt
  • 1/4 tsp black pepper
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pound Responsible Choice Copper River salmon
  • 1/2 cup pitted, halved Kalamata olives
  • 1/2 cup halved grape tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup crumbled feta cheese

All you do:

  1. Prepare the yogurt sauce by placing Greek yogurt, dill weed, garlic, celery salt and black pepper in a medium bowl; stir until all combined. Set aside.
  2. In a medium skillet over medium-high heat, add the olive oil and salmon, skin side up. Cook for about 4 minutes. Turn the fish over and cook another 3 to 5 minutes until the salmon is opaque and flaky. Transfer salmon to plate and top with yogurt sauce, olives, tomatoes and feta cheese.

Responsible Choice Copper River Wild Sockeye Salmon

by John Rohrs | Our Seafood | Leave a comment

It’s a new year, and many people are making resolutions committing to healthier lifestyles. At Hy-Vee, we make it easy to find delicious, quality wild salmon. We have a large amount of Copper River sockeye salmon for our frozen supply this year, allowing us to offer it to you all year long. These amazing fish have extremely high fat content, high heart-healthy omega-3 content, a rich flavor and a deep ruby-red color. Copper River sockeye have a higher than average oil content due to the swift, cold waters where they live and thrive.

These fish originate from the world-famous Copper River, known for the best salmon available anywhere. Copper River sockeye salmon is Responsible Choice and a testament to our commitment to responsibly source all fresh and Hy-Vee brand seafood. It can be argued that Alaska’s Copper River sockeye are the finest sockeye salmon in the world.

The Copper River or Ahtna River is a 300-mile river in south-central Alaska in the United States. It is known for its extensive delta ecosystem, as well as for its prolific runs of wild salmon, which are among the most highly prized stocks in the world. It is the 10th largest river in the United States, as ranked by average discharge volume at its mouth.

In Alaska, sustainability of the seafood industry is so important that it’s written into the state Constitution. Not only does Copper River wild sockeye salmon meet Hy-Vee’s high standards for freshness, but it’s also fish you can feel good about eating. With the Responsible Choice label comes the confidence in knowing the fishery or farm uses sustainable catch methods.

Recipe Spotlight: Seared Responsible Choice Belize Shrimp with Chilled Mediterranean Quinoa & Baby Arugula Salad

by Andrew Kintigh | Recipes | Leave a comment

Happy New Year! This light and refreshing recipe features Responsible Choice Belize shrimp, while offering additional flavors through the use of Mediterranean quinoa and arugula. Don’t let the ingredient list intimidate you; you likely have everything on hand. Enjoy this filling dish on a cold day while celebrating the year that lies ahead.

Seared Responsible Choice Belize Shrimp with Chilled Mediterranean Quinoa & Baby Arugula Salad

Serves 4

All you need:

Chilled Quinoa Salad

  • 1 cup low-sodium chicken stock
  • 1/2 cup quinoa grain, rinsed
  • 2 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil
  • Juice and zest of 1 lemon
  • 1/4 cup julienne-cut red onion
  • 3 tbsp chopped fresh Italian parsley
  • 2 tbsp chopped fresh mint
  • 1/2 cup halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1/2 cup small-diced English cucumber
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste

Baby Arugula Salad Garnish

  • 2 1/2 cups baby arugula
  • 2 tbsp crumbled low-fat feta
  • 3 tbsp quartered pitted Kalamata olives
  • squeeze of fresh lemon
  • 1 tsp olive oil

Seared Belize Shrimp

  • 1 pound (16-20 count) raw, peeled, tail-on Belize shrimp
  • Salt-free garlic & herb seasoning, to taste
  • 1 tbsp garlic-infused olive oil

All you do:

Chilled Quinoa Salad

  1. In a small saucepot, bring the 1 cup chicken stock to a boil; add the quinoa and cook over medium-high heat for 12 minutes or until all the broth is absorbed. Remove from the heat, cover and let sit for 5 minutes. Fluff quinoa with a fork and place in the refrigerator.
  2. Once the quinoa is chilled, add 2 tablespoons garlic oil, lemon juice, zest, red onions, parsley, mint, tomatoes and cucumber; toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Cover and refrigerate for at least 1 hour to allow flavors to combine. Makes 4 (1/2 cup each) servings.

Baby Arugula Salad Garnish

  1. In a bowl, combine arugula, feta, Kalamata olives, squeeze of lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil.

Seared Belize Shrimp

  1. Season the shrimp with seasoning on both sides. Heat a large sauté pan or grill over medium-high heat; add the olive oil. Place the shrimp in the pan or on the grill and sear for 2 to 3 minutes.
  2. Carefully turn shrimp and continue to cook for 2-3 minutes more or until shrimp is fully cooked.
  3. To serve, place the chilled quinoa salad on each of 4 plates; top each salad with 4 shrimp.
  4. Place the baby arugula salad on top of the shrimp; serve immediately.

Hy-Vee’s Progress toward its Responsible Sourcing Commitment

by Kathleen Mullen-Ley | Our Efforts | Leave a comment

Hy-Vee is making great strides in its efforts to meet the 2015 Responsible Sourcing Commitment. As of December 2014, 79 percent of Hy-Vee’s fresh and private label frozen seafood meet the goal of being responsibly sourced and traceable or in a time-bound improvement process by year-end 2015. This is an enormous improvement, rising more than 10 percent since an analysis conducted in September.


The major contributing factor is Hy-Vee’s follow-through on its commitment to transition all farmed shrimp to sources certified to the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practice (BAP) standard for shrimp. BAP-certified shrimp come with a guarantee from an on-the-ground auditor that the farms and processing facilities are not causing undue harm to the environment. As more of Hy-Vee’s shrimp is BAP-certified, you can expect to see more fresh and frozen shrimp items displaying the Responsible Choice label.

Hy-Vee continues to work to meet and exceed the targets of the Responsible Sourcing Commitment. If the most recent analysis is any indication, Hy-Vee is determined and will succeed in meeting its goals.