Seafoodies

 

 

Verlasso Salmon: Responsibly Sourced

by Jason Pride | Our Seafood | Leave a comment

Verlasso

At Hy-Vee, we value excellence in our suppliers. Verlasso offers a more consciously-farmed, premium salmon that meets our high standards of taste and quality.

Verlasso puts the health of its salmon first. The Verlasso crew raises their salmon in the beautiful, pristine waters of Patagonia, Chile. There’s very little industrial development in Patagonia, so the water is free of pollutants. This area is in the lowest region of Chile, away from industrialized farms, creating the perfect environment for fish.

The salmon also have lots of room to swim and to grow. Verlasso’s ocean pens are spacious, with fewer than four salmon, which surpasses other producer standards. The pens are widely spaced, and after each harvest period, Verlasso leaves them empty for a period of 3 to 6 months so the water can rejuvenate. The ocean waters are 60 to 80 meters deep, with a strong tidal flow for optimal salmon growth. Verlasso doesn’t use hormones and allows its fish to grow to harvest size over a period of two years.

Verlasso has also reduced the number of wild-caught feeder fish it uses. The quantity of small fish like sardines, anchovies and mackerel has been reduced by 66 percent to reduce the depletion of oceanic resources.

The company’s salmon are raised and harvested entirely on site, where the company takes pride in being able to track every moment of their lives. Verlasso can trace its fish back seven generations. Once harvested, a gill tag is put on every fillet and whole fish so that customers can learn about the region the fish come from and learn more about the farm.

Verlasso’s goal is to minimize stress in their fishes’ lives up to and including harvest, so they are as healthy as possible. The company’s harvest approach is to minimize trauma—and preserve quality. The mission at Verlasso is adaptation; its employees are committed to continuous improvement in an effort to make the harvesting of fish more sustainable for the long term.

Verlasso salmon has a bright and delicate flavor. With slightly more fat content than wild salmon and a higher moisture content, the result is a buttery yet firm texture. This extra moisture also makes it delightful to cook. Verlasso’s levels of omega-3 are ideal for a heart-healthy diet.

Verlasso is the first Atlantic salmon to receive a Good Buy Alternative “Yellow Rating” from the Monterey Bay Aquarium® Seafood Watch®. Stop in at your local Hy-Vee and talk with the seafood experts about the quality of Verlasso salmon and try some of this delicious fish!

New Year, New You, New Plate

by Megan Callahan | Health | Leave a comment

“Get healthy” is the top-searched New Year’s resolution on Google, according to a recent article from NBC News. It was searched for nearly 63 million times.

Ideally, a new year presents a perfect time to make a resolution to get fit or lose weight. But are you ready for a lifestyle change? Individuals who break down their resolutions into smaller, more manageable steps have a higher rate of accomplishing those resolutions. If you are searching for a healthier lifestyle, I suggest you start with the Healthy Heart Pledge.

The Healthy Heart Pledge is a commitment to yourself that includes the following components:

  • I pledge to eat two servings of seafood each week.
  • I recognize seafood is a healthy choice for me and my family. It is one of the leanest proteins with a variety of nutrients beneficial to heart and brain health.
  • I know I will help myself and my family improve our health by committing to eat at least two servings of seafood each week as recommended by the USDA HHS Dietary Guidelines for Americans, and supplement with omega-3s.

The Seafood Nutrition Partnership aims to reduce the risks of heart disease, improve baby brain wellness and increase memory for seniors by educating Americans about the health benefits of sustainable seafood and building awareness of seafood’s essential nutritional value.

See more at this link: http://www.seafoodnutrition.org/healthy-heart-pledge.html

Seafood is such a great source of lean protein—that’s just one reason why I suggest you start here for your “get healthy” resolutions. The American Heart Association also recommends eating fatty fish at least twice each week because of the health benefits to the heart including decreased risk of arrhythmias (which can lead to sudden death), decreased triglyceride levels and perhaps a slightly lower blood pressure. There are also many studies looking at the benefits of omega-3 fats for brain and joint health.

With all these health benefits it is imperative to figure out how to fit this selection into your weekly meal plan. Fatty fish incudes fish such as salmon, tuna, herring, mackerel and trout.

Get creative with the ways you incorporate seafood into your diet so it doesn’t get cumbersome. Let’s start with my favorite fatty fish—salmon! Salmon is very versatile. If you’re tired of eating a simple salmon filet over and over again, this fish is one that can be switched up! Try salmon the following ways:

  • Salmon pizza. It may sound odd to some, but it tastes delicious! For a healthy swap use a whole-wheat pizza crust and, instead of alfredo sauce, use fat-free cream cheese. Try the recipe here.
  • Salmon Cakes
  • Salmon club with avocado: 2 slices of whole-wheat toast with grilled salmon and smashed avocado.
  • Pistachio encrusted salmon—see the recipe below.

Pistachio Crusted Salmon

Serves 4

All you need:

  • ½ cup pistachios
  • 1 tsp garlic, minced
  • 1 tsp salt
  • 1 tsp black pepper
  • 4 (5 oz.) Responsible Choice salmon

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
  2. Crush pistachios. Combine pistachios, garlic, salt and pepper.
  3. Dredge salmon in pistachio mixture, pressing gently to coat.
  4. Bake at 400 degrees for 15 minutes or until flaky.

Blue Moon Glazed Responsible Choice Shrimp

by Stacey Wertzberger | Recipes | Leave a comment

All you need:

  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 cloves of garlic
  • 4 oz Blue Moon beer
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • 1 tsp Sriracha
  • 1/2 fresh lemon, juiced
  • 8 oz Responsible Choice raw shrimp, peeled and deveined

All you do:

  1. Sautee the garlic in olive oil until fragrant, about 2 minutes. Add beer and let it simmer until alcohol is burned out, also about 2 minutes.
  2. Add honey, Sriracha and lemon juice and let simmer to thicken about 2 to 3 minutes.
  3. When you notice the sauce thickening add the shrimp, and cook 1 to 2 minutes on each side. Serve over rice or quinoa and enjoy.

Note: If the sauce is not thick enough when the shrimp is cooked, remove the shrimp into a separate bowl, and reduce the liquid thick enough to coat the back side of a spoon.

Moroccan-Style Cod, Chickpea & Kale Stew with Toasted Almond & Date Gremolata

by Andrew Kintigh | Recipes | Leave a comment

Serves 4.

All you need:

Gremolata

  • ¾ cup sliced almonds, toasted
  • 3 tbsp chopped cilantro
  • 3 tbsp chopped mint
  • zest of half a lemon
  • juice of a lemon
  • ½ cup chopped dried dates
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • salt and pepper, to taste

Stew

  • 2 tbsp olive oil
  • 2 large leeks, white and light green parts only, small dice
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 tbsp fresh grated ginger
  • 1 tbsp ground cinnamon
  • 2 tsp ground cumin
  • 2 tsp ground coriander
  • 1 ½ tsp ground turmeric
  • ¼ tsp ground cayenne pepper
  • ½ tbsp brown sugar
  • 1 large sweet potato, peeled and chopped
  • 1 (10 oz) bag frozen green and yellow whole beans and baby carrots (separate carrots from green beans)
  • 2 (14.5 oz) cans fire roasted diced tomatoes
  • 1 ½ quarts vegetable broth
  • 1 ½ pounds cod, cut into 1-inch cubes
  • 1 yellow pepper, chopped
  • 1 (14.5 oz) can chickpeas, drained and rinsed
  • sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 cups rough chopped fresh kale, tough ribs removed

All you do:

  1. Place gremolata ingredients, almonds, cilantro, mint, lemon zest and juice, dates and olive oil, in a bowl; lightly stir to combine and season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
  2. Heat the olive oil in a large soup pot over medium heat.
  3. Add the leeks and cook until softened.
  4. Add garlic, ginger, cinnamon, cumin, coriander, turmeric and cayenne pepper; sauté for 1 minute.
  5. Add brown sugar, sweet potatoes and carrots; season to taste with salt and pepper. Add tomatoes and vegetable broth and stir.
  6. Bring the soup to a simmer and cook until potatoes and carrots are tender, 10 to 12 minutes.
  7. Add cubed cod, yellow pepper, chickpeas and green and yellow beans and simmer until all are tender, 5 to 7 minutes.
  8. Add the kale to the pot, slowly stir to avoid breaking the cod and cook for 1 minute or until just wilted. Season with salt and pepper and serve topped with almond and date gremolata.

Alaska Crab: On Sale Now

by John Rohrs | Our Seafood | Leave a comment

It’s time for our annual crab and seafood sale, the absolute best time of the year to pick up some of Alaska’s most prized and sustainable resources. All Alaska crab sold by Hy-Vee is labeled with our Responsible Choice logo because Alaska crab fisheries are some of the best-managed wild fisheries in the world.
In Alaska, crab is king. No other shellfish in the world offers such widespread appeal than Alaska King Crab. Harvested from the icy waters off Alaska, this shellfish is always sweet, succulent and flavorful. It is also nutritious, low in fat and is unmatched for its natural rich flavor and tender texture. The largest and most impressive of all the crabs caught in the world, Alaska King Crab lends itself to a variety of attractive plate presentations from appetizers, chowders and soups to main course entries.

All of Hy-Vee’s Alaska King Crab is fully cooked and ready to eat; just heat and eat. I suggest pre-scoring the legs with a butter knife before heating to make the cracking a lot easier. Melt butter, add little garlic powder and enjoy! If you have any questions on how to prepare it, just ask your local Hy-Vee seafood crew.

Celebrate the holidays this year with Responsible Choice Alaska King Crab. You and your guests will love it!

Responsible Choice Shrimp Toast

by Tracy Tonning | Recipes | Leave a comment

All you need:

  • ½ pound salted butter
  • 1 loaf sliced white bread
  • 1 bunch green onions
  • 1 can water chestnuts
  • 1 pound Responsible Choice cooked shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 1 tbsp creole seasoning
  • 1 tbsp soy sauce
  • 1 tbsp rice wine vinegar
  • 1 to 1½ cups sesame oil, divided
  • Toasted sesame seeds, for garnish

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 350 degrees. Melt butter and brush butter both sides of each slice of bread. Place on a baking sheet. Toast until golden brown; cool.
  2. Coarsely chop green onions. Drain and rinse water chestnuts. Pulse onions and water chestnuts in a food processor until chopped very fine.
  3. Place shrimp in food processor, and puree, scraping the sides of the bowl 2 or 3 times. Transfer to a bowl.
  4. Stir in creole seasoning, soy sauce, rice vinegar and 2 tablespoons sesame oil.
  5. Divide shrimp mixture evenly among the slices of toast and spread evenly on top.
  6. Heat sesame oil in a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Place the toast, shrimp side down, and cook until golden brown. If desired, slice into pieces and garnish with toasted sesame seeds.

“I’m On a Seafood Diet. I See Food, and I Eat It”

by Megan Callahan | Health | Leave a comment

Deciding to lose weight over the holidays sometimes seems like a losing game, so it’s important when entertaining guests to offer options to help keep your family and friends’ health goals afloat. Whether it’s you or your guests choosing a healthy lifestyle, you can offer options supporting healthy food choices, even through the holidays. Every decision – from creating a menu to choosing a location for socializing – can have an impact on the success of you and your loved ones. Here are some helpful dietitian hints to assist you through the holiday season without adding inches to your guests’ waistline:

  1. It seems like everyone has the munchies during the holidays. To lighten up your appetizer menu, try offering raw veggies and Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice shrimp cocktail instead of hot (often fried or cream cheese-filled) hors d’oeuvres. Veggie platters are always a big hit. To keep them low-fat, make a dip with fat-free sour cream or plain Greek yogurt instead of using mayonnaise and cream cheese. Include a bean dip with a whole-wheat cracker and fruit kabobs to incorporate some fiber-rich foods.
  2. Incorporating a salad to start your meal is a great way to let your guests fill up on some nutrient-dense foods that will help them with portion control later in the meal. Serve a large green leafy lettuce salad topped with fresh cranberries, orange wedges and raw walnuts to add some flair to your old-school boring salad. Serve your dressing options on the side so your guests can decide how much they would like to have.
  3. ‘Tis the season for seafood when it comes to your main course! The USDA’s MyPlate nutrition guidelines educate consumers to incorporate seafood as a protein a few times a week. Anything from Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice options – salmon, lobster and our famous Alaskan crab legs – can be a great way to impress your guests with a healthy alternative and a twist on the traditional holiday dinner.
  4. Cut your dessert options into half-size or even bite-size portions. This allows your company to feel like they can indulge in a dessert option but not in a large piece. Offer healthier dessert options like baked apples or poached pears. Both are a delicious choice without all the added sugar.
  5. Instead of having only high-calorie beverage options such as wine, eggnog, sodas and juices, include options such as sugar-free hot apple cider, hot herbal tea and fruit-infused waters. These contain fewer calories and sugar and are still refreshing.
  6. Allow your guests to serve themselves. This puts them in control of their portions and allows them to make decisions about what and how much they will eat.
  7. Don’t force your guests to socialize around the food the whole time. Instead offer small appetizer plates near the food and bring the fun to another room in your home. Put some distance between the food and your company to help decrease the temptation to overeat.

It’s human nature that the more choices we offer, the more our company will eat, so instead of overdoing it at your holiday party, plan your menu accordingly. By simply making a few substitutions and lightening up your favorite dishes, you can allow your loved ones to indulge in all of their favorite scrumptious goodies without sabotaging their waist line.

Heading To The Source Part Two: Island Fit For Kings

by John Rohrs | Our Seafood | Leave a comment

Jason and John

Last month I had the opportunity again to visit the mecca of sustainable seafood, this time on Akutan Island, Alaska, during the peak of the king crab season. This time I was accompanied by Jason Pride, Assistant Vice President of Meat/Seafood Operations at Hy-Vee.

Akutan Island is located in Alaska’s Aleutian Islands chain, approximately 750 miles southwest of Anchorage. This is one the most remote places in the world. On the map, it looks like a desolate island that lies in the middle of the Bering Sea and Pacific Ocean. However, this island houses one of the largest seafood processing facilities in North America, which is owned and operated by Hy-Vee’s seafood partner Trident Seafood. With more than 1,400 company-housed employees on site during peak seasons, this year-round, multi-species frozen seafood operation is capable of processing more than 3 million pounds of raw seafood each day. Wild Alaska pollock – which is the Bering Sea’s most abundant sustainable whitefish – is the main focus of this facility. This day the focus was not pollock, but instead Responsible Choice Alaska king crab.

How remote is this facility? There are only two ways in: by boat or by helicopter. First you must find a break in the weather to get a plane into the neighboring island of Akun. Other than the airport, the only thing on the island is a small herd of wild cattle that were originally brought in as a food source for locals. Once you arrive at the airport, you must then get on a boat and brave the open water or take a helicopter to Akutan Island. Your stay on Akutan may change at any time depending on Mother Nature, meaning you could be stuck there for a while.

The weather was in our favor, but only for six hours. After that point, we had to get off the island and in the air, otherwise we could have been temporarily stranded there. We did our best with the time we had to tour the massive seafood processing facility in full production of processing king crab from start to finish. It was truly a sight to see! Jason and I had the privilege to handle some of these deep cold water creatures as they were being offloaded into the facility.

Jason John and Sig

Part of the tour took place on Sig Hansen’s famous Northwestern crab boat, which was offloading its final catch of the year. I will never forget chatting and hearing stories from Sig and his crew. The crew was tired but in great spirits as their king crab season was coming to an end after only two weeks. The word on the docks from the fishermen was that king crab was bountiful and crab were everywhere. This was great news after preliminary management test catches came back poor, which resulted in large quota cuts on all Alaska crab.

Our tour of Akutan Island came to end as we received word that we needed to leave in order to beat the weather and move on to the next leg of our trip to Kodiak, Alaska. Here lies another community built on sustainable fishing. The shorelines were lined with seafood processing facilities. None stood out more than that of Trident’s trio of facilities: Star of Kodiak, Pillar Mountain and its newest expansion, the Near Island facility. This facility houses a new fully-automated production line for pollock and salmon. The facility features renewable energy produced by a combination of hydroelectric and wind generators. It was amazing to see the full-automation process in operation processing pollock. The only human interaction and handling was at the time of checking weights on cases before they head into the blast freezers to be frozen. This automation takes food safety to the next level.

Crab

Our journey gave new meaning to the phrase “Heading to the Source.” Seafood is truly a global industry that one cannot fully understand by reading an article or by surfing the Internet. To fully understand it, you must be there as the product is being offloaded, processed and packed. But most importantly, seeing the communities, families and fisherman firsthand and witnessing their passion gave us the will to support and sustain these fisheries!

Crew

It’s COOL To Be A Fishmonger

by Dennis Frauenholz | Our Efforts | Leave a comment

In 2005, the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) began requiring supermarkets to add Country of Origin Labeling (COOL) to their packaging and signage for fish and shellfish. The intent of the law was to educate consumers on where their fish came from and whether or not it was wild or farmed. When you go to your fishmonger to buy cod, for example, the sign says “wild-caught, product of U.S.A.” The USDA felt that consumers wanted to know and had a right to know where their fish comes from. The law has since been expanded to certain meats and produce.

So what does this really mean for you when you stop into your Hy-Vee seafood department to get tonight’s dinner? As a consumer of seafood, you face a barrage of information regarding what fish to buy and what fish you shouldn’t buy. You may read a report about how a certain country has poor farming conditions or one that uses slave labor to catch seafood. You may tell yourself to avoid those countries and look for the country of origin on the label. But here is the catch: The law requires the supplier to list the country that the fish was last processed in, not the country where the fish was actually caught or farmed.

Why is this important? For example, most wild salmon is caught in Alaska, but some processors send it to China to be processed because it is cheaper to do that. Therefore they are required to put China as the country of origin even though it was caught in the U.S.A.! So the COOL can be misleading if you are looking for information on where that fish really came from. Companies are now providing more information on the label than ever before to try to clear up the confusion. You may see a label that says “salmon caught in Alaska and processed in China.” Keep in mind that Hy-Vee sells only the best seafood that is raised or caught in a responsible manner. This is the core of our Responsible Choice program and why you can shop for fish worry-free at Hy-Vee.

There are several other facets to the COOL program that are worth mentioning. If seafood is altered in any way by cooking or adding seasoning, then there is no COOL requirement for that product. That’s why you will not see any COOL on battered or encrusted seafood. The other part of the COOL law is the method of production. What if you only want farm-raised or wild fish? The label will tell you how it was caught. The label may also tell you how it was farm raised or caught. For example, was it farm-raised in a closed system or in a net pen in the ocean? Was it caught by longline or in a pot? Those specifics are not required by law, but your fishmonger should have that information if you ask, and you will always find it on my signs in my shop.

When you come into your Hy-Vee fishmonger and read the product signage, you will have a better understanding of the information provided. Keep in mind it is always best to ask the fishmonger about specific concerns you may have. We are always the best source of information on where and how your fish was harvested.

Spicy Quinoa Crab Cakes

by Stacey Wertzberger | Recipes | Leave a comment

Thanksgiving is all about tradition, but sometimes it’s fun to mix it up with a little spice. Adding seafood will surprise your guest with a show-stopping starter. Spicy Quinoa Crab Cakes are delicious and wake up the palette.

All you need:

Seasoning:

  • ½ tsp kosher salt
  • ½ tsp black pepper
  • ½ tsp paprika
  • ¼ tsp cayenne pepper
  • ¼ tsp sugar

Crab Cakes:

  • 2 cups water
  • ¼ cup uncooked quinoa
  • ¼ cup Greek yogurt
  • ¼ cup mayonnaise
  • 1 tsp Dijon mustard
  • 1 tbsp Egg Beaters
  • 8 oz Responsible Choice crab meat
  • ½ cup whole-wheat breadcrumbs
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • ¼ cup finely diced red pepper
  • ¼ cup finely diced celery
  • ¼ cup diced green onions

All you do:

  1. Line a plate with waxed paper; set aside.
  2. Combine salt, black pepper, paprika, cayenne pepper and sugar; set aside.
  3. Combine water and quinoa in a saucepan; bring to a boil. Reduce heat and simmer about 20 minutes. Drain to remove excess water. Cool.
  4. Combine yogurt, mayonnaise, mustard and Egg Beaters. Stir in 1 1/2 teaspoons of seasoning mix.
  5. Place crab, quinoa, breadcrumbs, garlic, red pepper, celery and green onion in bowl. Add yogurt mixture and stir gently. Form into 2-ounce patties and place on prepared plate. Refrigerate for 10 minutes.
  6. Heat broiler to HIGH. Spray a baking sheet with nonstick canola oil cooking spray.
  7. Sprinkle remaining 1/2 teaspoon seasoning on the tops of the crab cakes. Spray the tops of the crab cakes with nonstick canola oil cooking spray.
  8. Bake for 3 to 5 minutes or until browned. Flip crab cakes over and cook another 3 to 5 minutes until browned and internal temperature reaches 165 degrees.
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