March 18, 2023

It is hard to believe spring is right around the corner, and Lent is here! For people who celebrate Lent, this may mean not eating meat on Fridays during Lent. Think of this as a great opportunity to add in omega-3-rich seafood to build a balanced meal. Did you know that 95% of Americans, and 80% of people worldwide, are not getting enough EPA and DHA omega-3s? This March, Hy-Vee dietitians are celebrating National Nutrition Month® and will be offering a FREE Omega-3 Index Screening where you can have your level tested. Plus, a dietitian can also help teach you how to easily add in more omega-3-rich seafood to your diet.

Omega-3 fats are essential, which means the body cannot make them but instead must get them from foods we eat, like fish. Omega-3 fats are a part of our cells and are needed for many functions in the body. They play a role in making hormones that regulate blood clotting, heart health and inflammation. Omega-3 fats appear to help the heart beat steadily, help lower blood pressure, improve blood vessel function, lower triglycerides, and decrease inflammation in the body. Some studies suggest omega-3 fats may even play a role with better sleep and lower rates of anxiety and depression. Of course, more research is needed, but all evidence currently supports the recommendation of enjoying seafood twice per week.

Salmon is a great variety of seafood to start incorporating into your diet, as it is a good source of omega-3 fatty acids and low in mercury. Here are three balanced meal ideas utilizing fresh, frozen or canned salmon. Or, whip up the Blackened Salmon recipe below for an easy weeknight meal.

• Frozen salmon burgers: Follow the directions on the package to grill or bake. Serve on a bun with a slice of tomato, lettuce leaves and a dollop of chipotle mayo or your preferred condiment. Pair the salmon burger with raw vegetables and hummus and a fruit-and-yogurt parfait.

• Canned salmon: Build a balanced salad with mixed greens, cherry tomatoes, shredded carrots, bell pepper strips, canned no-salt-added beans, canned salmon, sliced avocado, slivered almonds and a vinaigrette dressing. Enjoy with a piece of fruit.

• Salmon portions: Season with your favorite herbs, then bake in the oven, grill or pan-fry until the thickest portion reaches 145°F internally. Pair with a bag of microwaveable broccoli and a bag of microwaveable rice. Add a sprinkle of cheese to the broccoli and enjoy your meal with a glass of milk.

Blackened Salmon
Serves 2

All You Need:
Blackened Salmon:
2 (4 oz each) skinless Wild Alaska Salmon, ½-to-1-inch-thick
2 tbsp chili lime seasoning rub
1 tbsp packed Hy-Vee brown sugar
2 tbsp Hy-Vee salted butter, melted
Lime zest, for garnish
Lime wedges, for garnish
Avocado-Tomato Salad:
2 cups lightly packed spring mix
1 avocado, seeded, peeled and cut into wedges
½ cup halved Hy-Vee grape tomatoes
2 tbsp Hy-Vee Short Cuts chopped red onions
¼ cup Hy-Vee Select white balsamic and honey vinaigrette

All you do:

  1. Pat salmon dry. Measure thickness of fish. Combine seasoning rub and brown sugar in a small bowl. Brush both sides of salmon with butter; coat both sides with seasoning mixture.
  2. Preheat a charcoal or gas grill for direct cooking over high heat. If using a charcoal grill, remove grill rack from the grill and place an 8-inch cast-iron skillet directly on the hot coals. If using a gas grill, place skillet on grill rack. Heat for 5-10 minutes.
  3. Add salmon to skillet. Sear for 2 to 3 minutes for ½-to-¾-inch-thick fillets or 3 to 4 minutes for 1-inch-thick fillets or until deeply browned. Carefully flip fillets and grill until fish easily flakes when tested with a fork (145 degrees). Garnish salmon with lime zest and lime wedges, if desired. Serve with Avocado-Tomato Salad.
  4. Avocado-Tomato Salad: Toss together spring mix, avocado, grape tomatoes and red onions in a medium bowl. Just before serving, toss with Hy-Vee Select white balsamic and honey vinaigrette. Divide between two serving bowls and serve with Blackened Salmon.

Recipe source: Connect with your Hy-Vee dietitian this National Nutrition Month® for a variety of nutrition services including our Omega-3 Index Screening Tour by visiting The information is not intended as medical advice. Please consult a medical professional for individual advice.