Don’t Be A Chicken About Seafood!

There’s no need to be afraid when it comes to cooking and eating seafood. If you select the right seafood, and choose simple cooking methods, you can rest assured your dish will not only please your family’s taste buds, but also put them on the path to a healthy future.

Why is seafood the superhero of the kitchen? Eating seafood two to three times per week may reduce your risk of heart disease and can help maintain brain health. Seafood contains several healthy nutrients, such as omega-3 fatty acids, iron, and vitamins like A, E, D and C, and it doesn’t have all the saturated fat as the same serving of other protein choices.

Here’s even more good news— anyone can cook seafood! The key to whipping up a spectacular fish-based dish that satisfies the entire family is to make the right selections: the right type of fish, the right cooking methods and the right recipes.

If you think you don’t like fish, remember that the flavor of these foods is considered to be the most variable among our basic foods. Different types of fish have completely different flavors and textures —“fishy” does not describe the majority of fish. Explore the sea and you’ll soon see the deliciousness it has to offer.

Fish cook differently than meat; they are more delicate and cook at a faster rate. The best tool that any chef or home cook has in cooking fish is an instant-read thermometer, because fish can quickly go from being undone to overdone in a matter of minutes. Periodically check the temperature with a thermometer so you know when the final cooking point is nearing. Fish should be cooked to 145 degrees Fahrenheit, or until flesh is opaque and flakes with a fork.

If you are dealing with picky eaters, try incorporating fish into recipes that are familiar—such as tacos or burgers. The familiarity of those foods may make it easier for fish “newbies” to try (and hopefully enjoy) eating fish. Also, be sure to choose fresh, Responsible Choice fish from your Hy-Vee Seafood department. Fresh fish should never smell “fishy;” instead they should smell like saltwater and the sea coast or have a very faint (not strong) fish odor.

Your local Hy-Vee seafood department is here for all your seafood needs. Our commitment to protect the ocean resources through our Responsible Choice program is an integral part of our sustainability mission to do business in a manner that promotes the well-being of our customers, employees, communities and the global environment. It’s just one reason why I’m so proud to be a part of the Hy-Vee team! Look for Responsible Choice seafood at your Hy-Vee today.

Author: Megan Callahan

Megan Callahan, MS, RD, LD is a Hy-Vee dietitian in Lee's Summit, Missouri. She is dedicated to helping people live healthier and happier lives. Megan received a bachelor’s degree in dietetics from Missouri State University. She completed her dietetic internship at the University of Kansas Medical Center, where she also received her Master of Science degree in dietetics and nutrition. She is a member of the Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics (formerly the American Dietetic Association). She is also the president-elect of the Kansas City Dietetic Association. With a passion for nutrition and wellness, Megan is dedicated to educating customers and promoting healthy lifestyles.