Hy-Vee Paves Way in Sustainable Seafood with New Shelf-Stable Tuna Policy

Hy-Vee is reinforcing its commitment to responsibly sourced seafood by announcing the expansion of its Seafood Procurement Policy to include shelf-stable tuna. The news comes one year after Hy-Vee met its goal to source 100 percent of its fresh and private label frozen seafood from responsible sources, and three years after Hy-Vee unveiled its Responsible Choice seafood labeling program.

“Shelf-stable tuna is a challenging and complex category, but we are committed to taking positive and meaningful steps to be part of the solution,” said Brett Bremser, executive vice president of perishables at
Hy-Vee. “By establishing a policy for our shelf-stable tuna, we are initiating the next phase of Hy-Vee’s sustainable seafood journey.”

Hy-Vee’s expanded Seafood Procurement Policy states that it is committed to sourcing shelf-stable tuna from fisheries that are (in order of preference): 1) certified by the Marine Stewardship Council with supply chain traceability (Chain of Custody); and/or 2) Green or Yellow rated by the Monterey Bay Aquarium’s Seafood Watch program; and/or engaged in fishery improvement projects making measurable and time-bound progress.
Hy-Vee’s policy relies on these internationally recognized sustainability programs and guidelines because they incorporate criteria and standards that address the biggest issues in tuna sustainability, including overfishing of tuna stocks, bycatch of non-target species, habitat and ecosystem impacts, and management effectiveness.

The Hy-Vee Seafood Procurement Policy also includes language recognizing the importance of traceability to ensure seafood is from legal and verifiable sources, the responsibility to uphold human rights in its seafood supply chains and the need to support and engage in initiatives to drive positive outcomes in fisheries and aquaculture production.

“As we enter the fourth year of our Responsible Choice seafood program, Hy-Vee remains dedicated to doing business in a manner that promotes the well-being of our customers, employees, communities and the global environment,” Bremser said. “We recognize that in order to continue achieving our mission, we need to stay ahead of emerging issues.”

In 2013, due to concerns over the high levels of bycatch in fish aggregating device-associated purse seine fisheries and in longline tuna fisheries, Hy-Vee developed two Marine Stewardship Council (MSC)-certified
Hy-Vee Select canned tuna products. Moving forward, Hy-Vee will work with its suppliers to improve the environmental, traceability and social responsibility of all shelf-stable tuna products it sells.

Hy-Vee’s Seafood Procurement Policy was developed in partnership with FishWise. We are a nonprofit sustainable seafood consultancy that promotes the health and recovery of ecosystems through environmentally and socially responsible business practices.

FishWise commends Hy-Vee’s willingness to begin identifying and addressing the environmental and social impacts of its shelf-stable tuna supply chains. The expanded Seafood Procurement Policy paves the way for more sustainable tuna options in the aisles of Hy-Vee stores and sets an ambitious example for other companies to follow.

Responsible Choice Clam Chowder

Serves 6

All you need:

  • 4 medium-sized potatoes, diced
  • 1 tbsp vegetable oil
  • 1 (12 oz) package salt pork, skin removed and diced
  • 1 pound butter
  • 2 onions, diced
  • 4 stalks celery, diced
  • 2 cups flour
  • 1 quart clam juice (Note: You can use the clam juice strained from your clams)
  • 1 quart whole milk
  • 2 tbsp salt
  • 1 tsp pepper
  • 1 tbsp Worcestershire sauce
  • Tabasco sauce, to taste (5-10 drops)
  • 2 cups Responsible Choice clams, chopped

All you do:

  1. Add diced potatoes to a pot, and add just enough water to top the potatoes. Boil until tender, then keep potatoes in the water but remove from heat.
  2. Heat vegetable oil over medium heat add salt pork and render out fat for 10 to 15 minutes, or until slightly brown.
  3. To the salt pork pan, add butter, onions and celery. Cook for 20 minutes or until onions are translucent.
  4. Add flour and cook for 5 minutes. Add 1/2 quart of clam juice and stir constantly until thick. Add remaining clam juice.
  5. Add milk and potatoes, including the water used for boiling.
  6. Cook mixture for 20 minutes, stirring occasionally so as not to let mixture stick to the bottom. If the soup starts to stick, take off heat and let rest for 10 minutes, then resume cooking. Soup will taste starchy if not fully cooked.
  7. Add salt, pepper, Worcestershire sauce, Tabasco sauce and Responsible Choice clams. Simmer for 5 more minutes. Serve with crackers and salted butter.

Responsible Choice Salmon with Chimichurri Sauce

This week’s Hy-Vee Responsible Choice seafood ad gives you the perfect opportunity to try this recipe. Our fresh, delicious Responsible Choice salmon can be prepared in a variety of ways. I suggest cooking a salmon filet in a pan with a little oil, three minutes a side, turning only once over medium to medium-high heat. Alternatively, bake the salmon in a 350-degree oven for about 15 to 20 minutes, checking for an internal temperature of 145 degrees.

When the salmon is done, spoon Chimichurri Sauce (recipe below) over the filet and enjoy. This sauce also makes a great topping for cooked tuna.

Chimichurri Sauce

Serves 4.

All you need:

  • 1 small onion, chopped
  • 1/2 cup olive oil
  • 1/4 cup red wine vinegar
  • ½ cup freshly chopped cilantro
  • 4 cloves minced garlic
  • 1 tbsp ground oregano
  • 1/4 tsp ground red pepper
  • 1/4 tsp ground black pepper
  • 1/4 cup fresh chopped parsley
  • Juice of 2 limes

All you do:

  1. Add the rough-chopped onion and oil into the blender and pulse until fine.
  2. Add vinegar, cilantro, garlic, seasonings and lime juice to the blender. Blend to the point where it is a thick green liquid.
  3. Let stand for 2 to 3 hours before serving. It will improve over time. Keep in refrigerator up to 3 days.

Verlasso Salmon: Responsibly Sourced


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

“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

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

Serves 4.

All you need:


  • 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


  • 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

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

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”

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.