Recipe Spotlight: Thai Curry Responsible Choice Salmon with Banana, Asparagus and Coconut Ginger Rice

by Jessica Dolson | Recipes | Leave a comment

The inspiration for this recipe came while enjoying a recent trip to Napa Valley. I was at the Culinary Institute of America for the National Pork Summit and decided to venture out and have dinner at Morimoto Napa. I enjoyed a dish similar to this recipe, but when I returned home I created this shortcut version using Responsible Choice salmon that can be made at home.

Thai Curry Responsible Choice Salmon with Banana, Asparagus and Coconut Ginger Rice

Serves 4 to 6.
Thai Curry Salmon
All you need:

  • 1 (7 oz) box A Taste of Thai coconut and ginger rice
  • 1 bunch asparagus, trimmed, cut into thirds
  • 4 (5 oz each) Responsible Choice Salmon portions
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • Hy-Vee Select extra-virgin olive oil, as needed
  • 1 (11.09 fl oz) bottle Thai Kitchen Yellow Curry Simmer Sauce
  • 2 firm bananas, cut into 16 (1/2-inch) slices on bias
  • 1/2 small red pepper, seeded and diced
  • 2 to 4 serrano peppers, sliced thinly
  • 3 green onions, cut thinly on a bias, for garnish
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, garnish

All you do:

  1. Prepare rice according to package directions. Set aside and keep warm.
  2. Simmer asparagus 3 to 4 minutes or until bright green but still crisp. Immediately plunge into a bowl of ice water to stop the cooking. Drain and set aside.
  3. In a large sauté pan, heat olive oil over medium high heat. Season salmon with salt and pepper. Place salmon skin side up in the pan and sauté for 3 minutes or until cooked halfway through.
  4. Turn salmon over, add curry simmer sauce and cook until salmon is cooked to medium, about 3 minutes more. Remove from skillet; set aside and keep warm.
  5. In a medium skillet, add olive oil and sauté banana slices 2 minutes per side or until browned on both sides. Add the asparagus, red pepper and serrano peppers. Cook for an additional minute.
  6. To plate, spoon some of the curry sauce on the center of each plate. Place salmon on the sauce. Arrange 1/4 of the rice, 4 banana slices and 1/4 of the asparagus and pepper mixture around the salmon. Garnish with green onions and lime wedge.

Earth Day: How Does Responsible Seafood Fit into the Larger Environmental Conservation Picture?

by Kenan Judge | Our Efforts | Leave a comment

Happy Earth Day. For 45 years, Earth Day has been a celebration of environmental conservation in the United States. The earth is facing a lot of environmental stresses, including overfishing, climate change, air and water pollution and a growing human population. Earth Day is part of a global effort to protect the planet and secure a sustainable future.

Earth Day activities aim to raise awareness on many topics, such as climate change, organic agriculture, clean air and water, clean energy, reducing consumption, recycling, endangered species, healthy oceans and more.

How does sourcing seafood responsibly fit into the larger picture?

The health of our oceans is vital to the environment. The main focus of Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice program is to stop global overfishing. The ocean faces many “health problems” like ocean acidification, offshore drilling and pollution. When the pressure on the oceans from overfishing is reduced, the overall health of the oceans improves. It’s important to reduce habitat damage caused by harmful fishing practices, which also helps reduce the threat to a sustainable ocean future.

Buying Responsible Choice seafood is a way for Hy-Vee customers to contribute to the global Earth Day effort to secure a sustainable future. When customers demand responsibly sourced seafood at grocery stores and restaurants, companies translate that demand up the supply chain and motivate producers to minimize the environmental impact of their operations.

Customers can commit to purchasing seafood caught in U.S. waters, which has well-managed fisheries with enforcement of environmental laws. Shoppers may also consider adding local produce to meals to cut down on fossil fuels used in the transportation of fruits and vegetables.

Consumers can treat every day like Earth Day by using reusable products like bags and water bottles to cut down on waste and reduce energy use. Educating themselves about environmental issues is the first step people can take to learn how to improve their habits to be less harmful to the environment. If everyone makes individual efforts to minimize their impact, together we’ll take a large step forward to protect the planet and secure a sustainable future.

Hy-Vee is striving to be a leader in conservation efforts for the betterment of our environment and our customers. You can read more details at and on our recently updated Responsible Choice Seafood website.

Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Alaska Pacific Halibut Stars with Innovative Relish

by Andrew Kintigh | Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A fan favorite, Hy-Vee Responsible Choice Alaska Pacific Halibut steaks have a delicate, sweet flavor and firm texture that is perfect for the grill. In one of my favorite recipes, halibut steaks pair well with minimal ingredients, creating a simple meal for your family that doesn’t give up flavor or nutrition.

As an added bonus, halibut is rich in various nutrients, including selenium, magnesium, phosphorus potassium, vitamin B12, niacin, vitamin B6 and omega-3 essential fatty acids. It is an excellent source of high-quality protein and minerals, low in sodium, fat and calories and contains a minimum of bones.

Enjoy this spring-fresh recipe, 48 hours fresh from the Pacific – Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Alaska Halibut.

Grilled Responsible Choice Alaska Pacific Halibut with Roasted Red Pepper and Kalamata Olive Relish

Serves 4

All you need:Pacific Halibut and Relish

  • 1/2 cup thinly sliced roasted red peppers
  • 1 tbsp thinly sliced shallot
  • 1 garlic clove, minced
  • 1/2 cup halved pitted Kalamata olives
  • 1/4 cup fresh basil leaves, chiffonade
  • Juice of 1/2 a lemon
  • 1 tbsp olive oil
  • Salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 Responsible Choice Alaska Pacific Halibut steaks
  • Olive oil for brushing, as needed

    All you do:

  1. Stir together the roasted red peppers, shallot, garlic, Kalamata olives, basil, lemon juice and 1 tablespoon olive oil. Season with salt and pepper to taste; set aside.
  2. Heat an outdoor gas grill or prepare coals for a charcoal grill for direct grilling over medium-high heat. Brush the cooking grates clean, and oil the grill rack.
  3. Brush Responsible Choice Alaska Pacific Halibut steaks with oil and season with salt and pepper.
  4. Grill steaks over direct heat for 10 minutes per side, or until opaque but still moist, in the center.
  5. Serve topped with red pepper relish.

Hy-Vee Introduces Responsible Choice Alaskan Pacific Halibut

by John Rohrs | Our Seafood | Leave a comment

With sizes more than 8 feet in length and weights surpassing the 500 pound mark, you can see why the largest of all flatfish is referred to by Alaska fisherman as “Barn Doors” for their massive size. Hy-Vee is pleased to introduce the availability of this popular fish, Alaskan Pacific halibut, to its meat counter.

Pacific halibut is often considered America’s favorite white fish. You can find halibut on restaurant menus and in fresh seafood cases across the country for grilling at home during the summer. Alaskan Pacific halibut is a mild, delicate and sweet-tasting white fish. Uncooked, the meat should be almost translucent — not dull, yellowish or dry. When cooked, the snowy-white meat loses its glossy appearance and flakes at the touch of a fork. As an added bonus, its versatility in the kitchen is almost limitless. The thick, meaty flesh holds up well to a number of cooking methods and sauces, and it’s an ideal item to skewer for a summer BBQ.

Hy-Vee is pleased to label Alaskan Pacific halibut as a Responsible Choice seafood item this year. Today, the only legal fishing method for commercial Pacific halibut fishermen is longline gear, aimed at the typical market size for this year’s catch of 10 to 15 pound halibut, which is much smaller than the 500 pound giants these flatfish can sometimes become. The 2015 season got underway on March 14 and will run until November 7, or until the quota of 29,223,000 pounds is met.

This season, Hy-Vee got its first taste of fresh Pacific halibut the week of season open on March 16. This was possible as all of our fish from Alaska are flown via Fed-Ex® overnight from Alaska to the Des Moines International Airport. After going through our U.S. Department of Commerce Inspection process at Perishable Distributors of Iowa (PDI), Hy-Vee stores have the opportunity to receive fresh halibut that has been out of Alaskan waters for only 48 hours. That is quite a feat, especially in the Midwest.

In general, the Alaska Pacific halibut commercial fisheries, including Hy-Vee’s primary vendor Copper River Seafoods, are selective in the fish they catch because of the size of the hook needed to harvest such a large fish – using a large hook generally reduces bycatch of smaller fish. Fishermen use circle hooks to increase catch rates and to improve the survival of any undersized halibut caught and released during commercial fishing. To reduce bycatch of other ground fish, regulations prohibit commercial Pacific halibut fisheries in specific depths and areas off the West Coast. The United States and Canada coordinate management through a bilateral commission known as the International Pacific Halibut Commission. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) Fisheries and the North Pacific and Pacific Fishery Management Councils are responsible for allocating allowable catch among users in the U.S. fisheries through the NOAA FishWatch.

Responsible Choice LabelAlthough the Alaska Pacific halibut commercial fishery industry has changed substantially over the years, the science-based management of the fisheries has remained constant, sustaining this industry for nearly 100 years. This is another testament to the Alaskan fisheries being some the best managed sustainable fishery industries in the world. Because of its well-managed fisheries and practices, Hy-Vee is proud to label Alaskan Pacific halibut with our Responsible Choice logo of approval.

Recipe Spotlight: Responsible Choice Verlasso® Atlantic Salmon Featured with a Fresh Take on Salsa

by Stacey Wertzberger | Recipes | Leave a comment

New recipes are exciting to try, especially with the change of seasons. This spring, try one of my favorite healthier options that is sure to grab your guests’ and family’s attention.

Sourced from farms off the coast of Chile, Verlasso® Atlantic farmed salmon is packed with omega-3s to protect heart health, reduce risk of heart disease and stroke, as well as improve blood vessel function and symptoms of immune and inflammatory disorders. A natural choice for anyone looking for health-conscious meals, farmed salmon is also high in protein, essential amino acids and vitamins.

Verlasso® Atlantic Salmon is rated as a Yellow “Good Alternative” by Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program due to the lower amount of fishmeal and fish oil in the feed compared to typical salmon farms.

Give your taste buds and your diet a fun, healthy kick with this recipe.

Responsible Choice Blackened Verlasso® Atlantic Salmon with Mango Salsa

Serves 4

All you need:Verlasso Atlantic Salmon

  • 1 ripe mango, pitted, peeled and diced
  • 1/4 cup diced red onion
  • 1/4 cup diced red pepper
  • 1 jalapeno, seeded and minced
  • 2 tbsp minced fresh cilantro
  • 1 tbsp fresh lime juice
  • 1 tbsp agave nectar
  • Kosher salt and pepper, to taste
  • 4 (5 oz) Responsible Choice Verlasso® Atlantic Salmon fillets
  • 1 tsp blackening spice
  • Fresh salad or grilled asparagus, for serving

All you do:

  1. Combine mango, red onion, red pepper, jalapeno, cilantro, lime juice and agave nectar in a medium bowl. Season to taste with salt and pepper. Cover and refrigerate for 1 hour to bring out the flavors.
  2. Season salmon with blackening spice.
  3. Cook salmon in a medium skillet over medium-high heat with skin side up for 3 minutes. Flip and cook for 3 to 4 minutes until opaque and flaky. Set aside to rest.
  4. Top each fillet with a generous portion of mango salsa.
  5. Serve with a side of fresh salad or grilled asparagus for a complete meal.

Making the Responsible Choice: A Collaborative Effort to Eradicate Human Trafficking, Forced Labor in Seafood Supply Chains

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

Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice initiative is more than a commitment to food safety and protecting the environment, it’s also about responsible sourcing and that includes the safety and well-being of the men and women working throughout the supply chain. In light of the exposure of human trafficking in Southeast Asia and Thailand over the past couple of years and its relation to the seafood industry, Hy-Vee and FishWise urge customers and businesses to support and take interest in how their seafood is being sourced.

The key to responsible sourcing is knowledge. Often times, leading seafood buyers across the globe are indirectly supporting mistreatment of laborers by buying and selling seafood from unregulated markets. One of the biggest issues related to this issue in U.S. seafood procurement is traceability. Without knowledge of where the product came from, companies cannot verify supply chain compliance with labor laws and human rights standards. The issue is further complicated in seafood supply chains when demand for low prices undermines responsible business practices, and a lack of regulations and inadequate oversight open the door for various labor abuses.

Hy-Vee is continuously working to improve transparency in its seafood supply chains by ensuring their products are traceable back to the point of harvest — whether it’s a fishery or farming operation. To this end, Hy-Vee regularly collects information about the chain of custody and sustainability of seafood products from their suppliers, and Hy-Vee’s seafood vendors have been notified of the commitment to responsible sourcing and traceability.

As a customer, there are several ways you can be part of the conversation. First, ask questions when purchasing seafood in a store or at a restaurant. Questions related to where the seafood came from, how they trace their seafood and if the seafood is a responsibly sourced item produced with fair labor standards are a good place to start. This sends the message that traceability is important to you and encourages business owners to be held accountable. From there, you can take action by supporting retailers and restaurants that are committed to responsible sourcing.

Hy-Vee has committed to selling responsibly sourced fresh and frozen seafood that is rated as a Green “Best Choice” or a 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 projects. You can make informed and sustainable seafood purchasing decisions by utilizing the seafood buying guides on the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch website at or the Seafood Watch app on your smartphone.

In addition to customer concern, all companies must implement responsible sourcing plans to ensure that human trafficking, forced labor and other human rights violations are not present in their supply chains. U.S. retailers, foodservice providers, distributors and others in the supply chain can use their buying power to lead change in the entire seafood industry.

There are several steps U.S. seafood businesses can take to ensure they are not buying seafood associated with human rights abuses. First and foremost, organizations should ensure products can be traced to origin and names and addresses of all entities that handled the product can be identified. Companies can also support labor audits through all steps in the supply chain, ensure each link in the supply chain makes a documentable pledge to customers to avoid labor abuse, share concerns and stipulate procurement on the supplier’s ability to regulate human trafficking and labor violations, and finally, communicate clearly with customers. This entails providing the origin of fisheries and the actions taken to guarantee products are not connected to human rights abuses, labor violations or environmental damage.

Hy-Vee has taken steps to ensure responsible sourcing through the Responsible Choice initiative. With collaborative efforts, we can all help to eradicate human trafficking and forced labor in today’s global seafood industry.

For more information visit FishWise’s Human Trafficking, Forced Labor Q & A:

Recipe Spotlight: Responsible Choice Belize Shrimp Stars in Spring Appetizer with Avocado Lemon Chevre Mousse

by Andrew Kintigh | Recipes | Leave a comment

Full of lean protein and low on calories, Belize shrimp is a smart addition to health-conscious diets. The Responsible Choice seafood item contains all the amino acids your cells can’t synthesize on their own, boosts your intake of zinc and selenium, and provides vitamins A and B-12 to support healthy red blood cells.

Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Belize shrimp is sourced from Royal Mayan Shrimp Farms and is certified by the Global Aquaculture Alliance’s Best Aquaculture Practices (BAP) standard to a 3 Star level, providing assurance that the shrimp was produced responsibly.

Here is one of my favorite recipes, a light appetizer that is perfect for spring. The starter focuses on rich avocado, crisp shrimp, bright lemon and goat cheese. Pair it with a Vinho Verde white wine to kick off any gathering this season.

All-Natural Responsible Choice Belize Shrimp with Avocado Lemon Chevre Mousse

Makes 25-30 individual crostini.
Belize Shrimp Avocado Mousse
All you need:

  • 1 French baguette, sliced on the bias, 1/4-inch thick
  • Olive oil, as needed
  • Sea salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 3 ripe avocados, seeded
  • 4 to 5 oz chevre, softened
  • Zest of half a lemon
  • 1/2 cup heavy cream
  • 1 lb cooked (51-60 count) shrimp, tails removed
  • 1/4 cup finely diced red bell pepper
  • 1 green onion, thinly sliced on the bias

All you do:

  1. Preheat oven to 375 degrees.
  2. Place sliced French bread on a cookie sheet and drizzle with olive oil; season with salt and black pepper.
  3. Bake for 6 to 10 minutes or until bread is browned and crispy; cool completely.
  4. In a food processor, combine the avocado, chevre and lemon zest; pulse until smooth. Season to taste with salt and black pepper.
  5. With the food processor running, add heavy cream and continue to mix until light and smooth. Adjust seasoning.
  6. To serve, place a small amount of mousse on a crostini, top with a cooked shrimp and garnish with diced roasted red pepper and green onion.

Hy-Vee Responsible Choice Rainbow Trout, A U.S. Commodity

by Kenan Judge | Our Efforts | Leave a comment

With global seafood consumption on the rise, it must be a priority for suppliers and retailers alike to be conscious of environmental impact, responsible sourcing and food safety implications of the seafood they produce and sell to consumers. That is why Hy-Vee began the Responsible Choice initiative. Through the program, Hy-Vee has established specific guidelines to offer high-quality seafood that is safe for consumption and harvested in a manner that provides for a sustainable future.

As of this January, 79 percent of Hy-Vee’s fresh and private label frozen seafood met the goal of being responsibly sourced and traceable or in a time-bound improvement process by year-end 2015. Rainbow trout is no exception.

A member of the salmon family, wild trout are anadromous, spending part of their life cycle in freshwater as rainbow trout and part in salt water as steelhead trout. Farmers in the United States began commercially raising rainbow trout during the 1960s.

The most common production system for U.S. farmed rainbow trout is called a “raceway” – where farmers divert water from natural waterways, such as rivers and streams, into a channel containing the trout. The water is then treated before being discharged back into the original waterway. U.S.-farmed trout are then fed using a formulation of relatively low levels of fishmeal and fish oil, reducing the impacts to wild fish populations.

Regulation of rainbow trout farms in the U.S. is considered effective, as best management practices have been shared and utilized on a nation-wide scale. Through a system of checks and balances, trout farmers are able to monitor the health of the trout and its safety for human consumption.

Rainbow trout farmed in the U.S. has been given a Green “Best Choice” rating by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program due to the environmentally friendly production methods used, and the minimal impact to habitats or other wildlife.

Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice rainbow trout is sourced in a region called the Magic Valley in Idaho by Clear Springs Foods, which upholds the high standards established through Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice initiative. Hy-Vee continues to keep our consumers and the environment top of mind to ensure a safe, traceable and responsible selection of seafood is available to our customers.

A Spring-Fresh Recipe Spotlight: Responsible Choice Albacore Tuna Tacos

by Jessica Dolson | Recipes | Leave a comment

Albacore tuna shares the same nutritional values as other types of tuna. It’s a great source of protein, selenium and vitamin B-12. Also a source of heart-healthy omega-3 fatty acids and the only type of tuna that can be labeled as “white meat,” Hy-Vee’s Responsible Choice Albacore tuna is gaining popularity among consumers.

This protein-packed option contains the same amount of protein as meat and poultry, and as an added bonus, only half the calories.

Here is one of my spring favorites that provides a light option and is sure to keep your family satisfied.

Responsible Choice Albacore Tuna Taco with Strawberry and Orange Broccoli Slaw

Serves 3 or 4 (2 tacos each).

All you need:
For the slaw:Albacore Tuna Tacos

  • 1/2 (12 oz) bag broccoli slaw
  • 1/4 red onion, minced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1/2 pound strawberries, diced
  • 1 jalapeño, minced
  • 1 to 2 limes, juiced
  • 2 tbsp minced mint
  • 1 tbsp minced cilantro
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste

For the tacos:

  • about 1 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 4 (5 oz each) cans Hy-Vee Responsible Choice Albacore Tuna, drained and flaked
  • 1 tsp cumin
  • 1/4 tsp cayenne pepper
  • Salt and black pepper, to taste
  • 12 corn tortillas
  • 1 lime, cut into wedges, for serving
  • Prepared black beans and prepared cilantro rice, for serving

All you do:

  1. In a medium bowl, add the slaw, red onion, red pepper, strawberries and jalapeno. Toss to combine.
  2. Add the lime juice, mint and cilantro. Toss to combine. Season to taste with salt and black pepper. Refrigerate until tacos are ready.
  3. Warm a nonstick skillet over medium heat. Add about 1 tablespoon olive oil to the pan.
  4. Add the tuna. Season with cumin and cayenne pepper. Cook until heated through. Season with salt and pepper, to taste.
  5. Warm the tortillas over a gas flame or in a dry skillet.
  6. To serve, place 2 tortillas on a plate next to each other. Top each of the tortillas with another tortilla. Top with one-third the tuna and slaw. Prepare two other plates, using 4 tortillas, one-third the tuna and slaw on each.
  7. Serve with lime wedges, black beans and cilantro rice, if desired.

Hy-Vee’s Private Label Canned Tuna Among Top Five Responsibly Sourced Brands

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

Recently, Hy-Vee’s private label canned tuna ranked fifth in Greenpeace USA’s Tuna Shopping Guide, which analyzed 14 widely available canned tuna brands across the United States. Greenpeace scored brands in categories including traceability, fishing methods used, product labeling and consumer education, and support for marine reserves and promoting industry change. Through this scoring process, it found that only 20 percent of the canned tuna sold in the United States comes from sources that engage in responsible and nondestructive fishing practices.

Hy-Vee Select Responsible Choice skipjack and albacore tuna were recognized as ocean-safe products because of their pole-and-line or pole-and-troll fishing methods, which have minimal impact on other species. Greenpeace also noted Hy-Vee’s recent strides with its Seafood Procurement Policy and the availability of information on the company’s responsible seafood efforts.

Hy-Vee’s Seafood Procurement Policy includes the Responsible Choice labeling initiative, which informs customers about the company’s efforts to provide seafood from environmentally responsible sources. The policy was created to help Hy-Vee sell seafood that is not only safe for consumption, but that is also harvested or raised in a manner providing for its long-term viability while minimizing damage to the environment and other sea life.

Hy-Vee is dedicated to delivering a high-quality seafood selection to Midwest customers. To accomplish this, the company knows it must also play an integral role in keeping our oceans healthy. We congratulate Hy-Vee on this recent recognition and look forward to helping the company continue to improve its responsible seafood efforts.