Sunday, March 22, 2020

44 Easy and Healthy Recipes With Pantry Staples and Frozen Foods

As we avoid going outdoors, it means fewer visits to restaurants, grocery stores and markets – and cooking more at home. If you’re on the hunt for easy and healthy recipes – pantry foods and freezer food items are your best friends. Indeed, they’re nourishing, satisfying, easy and budget-friendly.

Four easy and healthy recipes of burgers, beans curries and masala fish

Don’t fret; we’ve made it super easy for you by sharing some of your favourite comforting recipes using pantry foods and essential frozen food items. We’re talking beans, lentils, frozen fruits and vegetables, canned and frozen fish, grains, nuts and seeds. Plus, if you’re working from home with an unpredictable schedule, easy and healthy recipes are the way to go. Below, you’ll find a collection of Desi~licious recipes using pantry foods and freezer essentials.

Easy and Healthy Recipes

Rice, Quinoa, Oats, Pasta


1. Holiday Persian Rice

Holiday Persian Rice | Desi~licious Ethnic Recipe

Persian rice infused with the luxurious scent of saffron and cardamom – jewelled with crunchy carrot matchsticks, tart dried cranberries and protein-rich chickpeas to create a desilicous show-stopping rice dish for your holiday menu. Yes, it’s as good as it looks.

Check out this recipe

Persian rice in a round tray surrounded by fresh parsley, grilled eggplant and a traditional fabric

2. Zarda (Sweet Rice With Nuts & Coconut)

Zarda (Sweet Rice With Nuts & Coconut) | Celebratory Recipe

This Zarda Sweet Rice is a healthier twist to a traditional recipe; with half the sugar and less fat. The rice is cooked in nuts, cardamom, sugar, coconut and dried fruits, and finished with saffron milk, to create an irresistible end to your meal. Celebrate Eid and delight your guests with this festive recipe!

Check out this recipe

bowls of zarda (sweet rice) on a gold tray

3. Ginger Lime Chicken with Broccoli

Serve with frozen steamed broccoli and boiled rice.

Ginger Lime Chicken with Broccoli

Forget the Chinese takeaway this week and try this speedy meal. Lean, light and luscious, these chicken strips are coated in ginger, lime and soy sauce – without any additional salt. Done and dusted in under 30 minutes, you won’t be able to resist this succulent ginger-lime chicken with broccoli.

Check out this recipe

Ginger lime chicken with broccoli on a white plate


4. Quinoa Mung Bean Salad

Quinoa Mung Bean Salad

This refreshing, light, yet satisfying salad will definitely help to energize you through this Monday. Any day of the week in fact! Simple to pull off and high in protein and fiber; this super bowl is packed with vitamins and minerals. A sprinkle of sumac gives a tart, citrusy flair that will excite your taste buds! This one IS a SASSY salad!

Check out this recipe

Quinoa Mung Bean Salad Recipe

5. Quinoa Lentil Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Quinoa Lentil Stuffed Zucchini Boats

Enticing stuffed zucchini boats! Super-yummy and packed with nutrition, these adorable boats are the perfect way to have fun with kids in the kitchen! Discover how to turn a simple vegetable into a delicious, and satisfying dish with an easy filling of sautéed onion, garlic, tomatoes, quinoa, and brown lentils.

Check out this recipe

Stuffed zucchini boats

6. Warm Asparagus Tomato Quinoa Salad 

Warm Asparagus Tomato Quinoa Salad | Easy, One-Pot, Spring Dish

Done and dusted in under 30 minutes, this simple one-pan Asparagus Tomato Quinoa Salad is rich in taste; infused with flavours from peppers, garlic and cumin. The perfect meatless one pan meal for easy prep and cleanup. Who’s in?!

Check out this recipe

asparagus tomato quinoa salad

7. Vegetarian Quinoa Pilau Recipe

Vegetarian Quinoa Pilau Recipe | Gluten Free, Family Dinner

Inspired by the traditional rice pilau, this enticing and super-healthy gluten free Vegetarian Quinoa Pilau Recipe, aka “qui-lau” is bursting with flavour, and so simple to pull off. Infused with the aroma of cumin, coriander and garam masala, this recipe is one you will want to add to your repertoire. Satisfying and finger-licking good!

Check out this recipe

plate of quinoa pilau with tomato, water and empty plates and forks on the side


8. Vegan Cranberry Apple Crumble

Vegan Cranberry Apple Crumble Recipe | Desi~licious RD

This Cranberry Apple Crumble recipe is a sweet and tart delight! It’s easy to make, vegan, gluten-free and packed full of nourishing ingredients. Yup, it’s my Desi~licious healthier spin on dessert, using wholegrain oats, relying on the sweetness and flavour of dried cranberries, apples and coconut. And guess what? It isn’t loaded with added sugar either! No matter what season, this luscious recipe will satisfy that sweet tooth.

Check out this recipe

flat-lay image of dish with cranberry apple crumble topped with sliced apples with dried cranberries in a bowl

9. Homemade Granola

Homemade Granola | Easy, Healthy Breakfast

Now you can easily create your own homemade granola – minus the preservatives. A plant powered recipe, made with real pumpkin and fiber rich oats, heart healthy almonds and sunflower seeds, and naturally sweetened with maple syrup – this recipe is the perfect choice as a healthy breakfast or nourishing snack.

Check out this recipe

homemade granola parfait layered with yoghurt and dried prunes

10. No Added Sugar Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies

No Added Sugar Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies | Easy And Healthy Recipes

Probably one of the easiest, healthiest and most delicious Chocolate Oatmeal Cookies you’ll ever make. Rolled oats, ripe bananas, dates, cacao and cinnamon come together to create an incredibly soft, unbelievably chewy, and absolutely wholesome cookie recipe. Just blend, spoon, bake and enjoy!

Check out this recipe

A tray of chocolate oatmeal cookies on a table with a bunch of bananas, rolled oats and a glass of milk

11. Masala Egg Oatmeal 

Desi~licious Masala Egg Oatmeal Breakfast | Easy Ethnic Recipes

Looking for easy and healthy breakfast ideas? Take your oatmeal to the next level with my savoury Masala Oatmeal Breakfast recipe – featuring eggs. It’s the ultimate busy-bee brekkie, bursting with nourishing heart-healthy ingredients. A creamy, rich amalgamation of rolled oats, onion, peas and tomatoes. All mixed with eggs, chillies and cilantro, and infused with traditional South Asian spices to create a spicy and Desi~licious breakfast. 

Check out this recipe

bowl of egg oatmeal breakfast topped with mange tout and lemon slices


12. Tomato Sauce Pasta

Serve sauce with pasta, spaghetti.

The Best Tomato Sauce Recipe

Want to learn how to make the best tomato sauce at home? My family says it’s easily the yummiest homemade tomato sauce they’ve ever had. A luscious blend of sweet grape tomatoes, simmered in garlic, oregano and black pepper to create a rich and hearty sauce. Quick, easy, and you won’t believe how ONE recipe transforms into three heart healthy meals. Indeed, busy weeknights call for low-effort, nourishing recipes that are insanely delicious!

Check out this recipe

flat lay of a bowl of pasta topped with the best tomato sauce and chickpeas and a herbs decorated on the side

If you’re on the hunt for easy and healthy recipes with pantry foods and freezer food items, here are 44 Desi~licious recipes to power you through! #healthyrecipes #dietitian
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Easy and Healthy Recipes With Canned Food


13. Desi Pumpkin Bean Burger

Desi Pumpkin Bean Burger | Healthy Ethnic Recipes

Just in time for Fall, these easy and healthy Desi Pumpkin Bean Burgers are an excellent alternative to store bought vegan burgers. Kidney beans, pumpkin and oats infused with curry powder and cumin, to create a healthy ethnic recipe – that’ll knock your socks off! Served on a bed of alfalfa microgreens and topped with creamy guacamole. Just tuck in! 

Check out this recipe

Two Desi Pumpkin Bean Burgers on a bed of alfalfa microgreens topped with guacamole in burger buns on a black tray

14. Superfood Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Superfood Vegetarian Chili Recipe

Cozy up with a warm bowl of this hearty superfood vegetarian chili recipe. Chock full of vegetables and spices, you’ll surely enrich your health with a flood of healing nutrients. Perfect as a make-ahead healthy one pot wonder – that’s also freezer-friendly. I promise, it’s finger-licking good!

Check out this recipe

2 bowls of superfood vegetarian chili on a traditional Pakistani straw basket with herbs and tomatoes

15. Daal Makhani | Coconut Lentil Curry

Daal Makhani | Coconut Lentil Curry | High Protein, Vegan, Gluten Free

Rich. Spicy. Exquisite. A mouthwatering and aromatic Indian dish, Daal Makhani is a thick, hearty lentil curry, made with brown lentils and red kidney beans in a creamy coconut and tomato sauce and seasoned with traditional Indian spices. This meatless meal is a guaranteed winner! High protein, vegan and gluten free.

Check out this recipe

daal makhani in a silver bowl on a round tray on top of a maroon velvet cloth with maroon flowers and roti in the background

16. Bharazi (Vegan Coconut Curry)

Bharazi (Vegan Coconut Curry) | Easy East African Recipe

A classic from Nairobi, East Africa, this easy Vegan Coconut Curry, aka Bharazi, will make your taste buds dance. Perfect as a one-pot dinner, this mouthwatering creamy sauce is infused with the flavors of coconut, onions, garlic, ginger, turmeric and cilantro – to create a flavor-packed plant powered dish. Meatless Monday….check!

Check out this recipe

bowl of pigeon peas coconut curry (bharazi) with red roasted pappers and lemon segments on a tray with mandazi (coconut bread)

17. Vegetarian Kebab Recipe

Desi~licious Vegetarian Kebab Recipe | Healthy Ethnic Recipes

Perfect for times when your pantry is low in ingredients, and you just need something quick and simple. This kebab recipe creates succulent and soft vegetarian kebabs (Shammi kebab-style) that are packed with protein and rich in flavour! Made with black beans and sweet potato, and infused with traditional South Asian spices, to create a healthy ethnic food recipe – that the entire family will love.

Check out this recipe

seven round shammi vegetarian kebabs on a floral plate with red chilli chutney in the middle

18. Slow Cooker Black Eyed Beans Curry (Lobia)

Slow Cooker Black Eyed Beans Curry (Lobia) | Eco-Friendly Recipe

Who doesn’t love a bowl of warm curry? Going green doesn’t have to mean expensive ingredients or going organic. This budget-friendly meal is a game changer if you’re looking for a hassle-free recipe. Super simple, and brimming with flavor, this hearty bean curry is sure to satisfy hungry tummies. Perfect for a busy weeknight! Vegan and gluten free.

Check out this recipe

Slow Cooker Black Eyed Beans Curry lobya


19. Mediterranean Quinoa Chickpea Salad

Lunch in a Jar: Mediterranean Quinoa Chickpea Salad

On a hunt for a simple and easy way to enjoy lunch at the office? Try this gluten free, low GI and portable Mediterranean Quinoa Chickpea Salad in a jar. It’s delicious, nourishing and oh so satisfying – minus the sogginess!

Check out this recipe

jars filled with layered quinoa chickpea salad

20. Kale Salad with Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

Kale Salad With Spicy Roasted Chickpeas

A refreshing and flavorful kale salad, tossed in a creamy avocado-herb chutney and topped with slightly-crispy spicy chickpeas. Now that’s one salad you won’t be able to resist.

Check out this recipe

kale salad with chickpeas in a white bowl

21. Vegetable Dip

Holiday Veggie Dip Platter | Easy and Healthy Recipes

Feast your eyes on this stunning easy and healthy plant-based platter. Featuring a sweet and creamy veggie dip made with roasted bell pepper, chickpeas, avocado and dried cranberries centred around an assortment of vegetables, fruits and toasted naan bread to create a beautiful and simple holiday centrepiece.

Check out this recipe

A colourful holiday veggie dip surrounded by carrots, cucumbers, peppers, snap peas, naan bread and blackberries

Canned Fish Recipe Ideas

22. Salmon and Quinoa Mason Jar Salad 

Salmon and Quinoa Mason Jar Salad

Looking for healthy low carb lunch ideas? Learn how to make this make-ahead delicious salmon mason jar salad. With layers of colorful vegetables, heart healthy salmon, and fibre-rich quinoa – all made complete with the dressing of your dreams! Super easy, fresh and oh so satisfying!

Check out this recipe

salmon mason jar salad

23. Tuna Cutlets

Tuna Cutlets

A delicious and super-simple lunch or light supper option, this tuna cakes recipe is one to add to your arsenal. Using simple and readily available ingredients, this one is ready and on your table in just 30 minutes.

Check out this recipe

plate of tuna potato cutlets with white dip and carrots and lemon

Canned Pumpkin

Mini Homemade Pumpkin Pies | Easy and Healthy Recipes

Homemade pumpkin pies at their best. No gluten, no dairy and no bake! A creamy pumpkin-cashew filling with a rich nutty-date crust, these are the perfect dessert choice this Fall. Think you don’t have time to pull off a pie, these are done in under 30 minutes, and top our easy and healthy recipes list! Vegan and free from from refined sugar.

Check out this recipe

a row of homemade pumpkin pies topped with pecans with pumpkins in the background
Spiced Pumpkin Date Cupcakes | Reduced Sugar

Welcome fall with these soft, moist and reduced sugar Spiced Pumpkin Cupcakes. The rich flavour of pumpkin spice and cinnamon, with the creaminess of pumpkin puree, make these morsels a perfect snack or make-ahead breakfast. This one’s a keeper!

Check out this recipe

pumpkin date cupcakes
Chocolate And Pumpkin Breakfast Smoothie| Easy and Healthy Recipes

This dairy-free Chocolate and Pumpkin Breakfast Smoothie is perfect if you’ve got a sweet tooth and after an easy and healthy nourishing breakfast recipe. It’s rich, creamy and decadent. Plus, with zero added sugar and bursting with good-for-you ingredients, it’ll surely power you through till lunchtime!

Check out this recipe

two bowls of chocolate and pumpkin smoothie breakfast topped with raspberries, pomegranate and nuts

Easy and Healthy Recipes For Desserts With Nuts, Nut Butter, Seeds And Dried Fruits

27. No-Bake Cranberry Energy Bites

No-Bake Cranberry Energy Bites | Easy Healthy Recipes| Desi-licious RD

You just can’t beat convenient no-fuss recipes, that taste mmm, mmm delish. These 4-ingredient easy and healthy no-bake cranberry energy bites pack a protein punch. They’re desilicious and gluten-free. An ideal snack before dinner, post-workout or as an elegant holiday dessert.

Check out this recipe

bowl filled with cranberry energy bites with pink flowers and dried cranberries in the background

28. Spicy Vegan Peanut Butter Tofu

Spicy Vegan Peanut Butter Tofu | Gluten Free, Healthy

Crispy on the outside and silky on the inside, these scrumptious Vegan Peanut Butter Tofu cubes are coated with a garlicky, nutty and Sriracha glaze to create an unbelievably simple and flavour-packed recipe. Add to salads, stir-fries, curries or enjoy ‘as is.’ Meatless Mondays just got even better!

Check out this recipe

Filo Cups with Apple Cranberry Salsa | Easy Holiday Recipe

One of my favourite party tricks is filo cups! These elegant cranberry and apple cups are a cinch to make and perfect for entertaining.Tangy cranberry salsa made with green apple, fresh cilantro, and squeeze of lime juice. A light dessert idea that’s super delicious!

Check out this recipe

bowl of cranberry and apple salsa with filo cups on a wooden board with dried cranberries
Raspberry Vegan Bars | No-Refined Sugar

These deliciously nutty no-bake Raspberry Vegan Bars are creamy, tangy, and jam-packed with antioxidants. The perfect healthy dessert or snack, that contains no refined sugar – but tonnes of favour and goodness! Gluten free.

Check out this recipe

five raspberry vegan bars with a raspberry on each slice, placed on a wooden board with sprinkle of chopped nuts and a gold fork
5 minute Pistachio-Apricot Laddus (Balls)

These 5 minute pistachio-apricot laddus are the perfect sweet and crunchy treat. Discover this healthier twist with no added sugar, no butter and no cooking!

Check out this recipe

5 minute Pistachio-Apricot Laddus (Balls) recipe
How To Make Chia Pudding With Strawberry Nice Cream | Desi~licious RD

A cold and creamy dessert, this Vegan Chia Pudding with Strawberry Banana Nice Cream will make your taste buds dance. Frozen strawberries and bananas are blitzed into a delicious soft serve ice cream, that’s dolloped over a thick and creamy chia pudding – all without any added sugar. You’re welcome!

Check out this recipe

vegan chia pudding in a glass topped with strawberry nice cream and fresh strawberries

Sweet Potatoes

Crispy Baked Sweet Potato Wedges | Easy And Healthy Recipes

Looking for an alternative to regular potato fries? Discover these salty-sweet thyme baked sweet potato wedges. Full of flavour, and super easy to pull off. And of course so good for you! A great dish to bring to a BBQ or cook out. Vegan and gluten free.

Check out this recipe

pile of baked sweet potato wedges on a wooden round board with two bowls of dipping sauces
Easy Roasted Brussels Sprouts Recipe With Sweet Potatoes | Desi-licious RD

What could be a better dish for your holiday menu, than this easy and healthy roasted Brussels sprouts recipe with sweet potatoes and dried cranberries – full of flavour and natural sweetness! If you’re not a Brussels sprouts fan, this desilicious recipe will change your mind!

Check out this recipe

Plate of easy and healthy roasted Brussel sprouts recipe with sweet potatoes and cranberries

Easy and Healthy Recipes With Freezer Foods

35. 4-Spice Basa Fillets Recipe

4-Spice Basa Fish Fillet

Simple, yet uncompromising on flavour, this blend of spices  works well with other types of fish and seafood. The tried-and-true ones from my kitchen are salmon, cod, haddock and shrimp. Mouthwatering masala Basa Fish Fillet recipe…just close your eyes and savour it. 

Check out this recipe

spicy basa fillets on a tray with lemon slices and cilantro on top and flowers around the tray

36. South Asian Fish Biryani Recipe

South Asian Fish Biryani Recipe | Desi~licious RD

Desi-liciously spiced with layers of fragrant basmati rice, grilled peppers and flaky masala haddock fillets, cooked in a tomatoey sauce infused with cardamom, cinnamon, cumin, and saffron to create a biryani recipe that’ll knock your socks off!

Check out this recipe

tray of south asian fish biryani with a cinnamon stick on top

37. Spicy Okra Recipe (Bhindi)

Okra Recipe (Bhindi) | Vegan, One Pan Indian Dish

Ready to make meal planning a breeze? Try this simple and mouthwatering 20-minute okra recipe (Bhindi). An all-time favourite Indian and Pakistani dish, this recipe is bursting with nutrition and flavor. If you’re tired of eating the same ‘ol veggies, this has your name written all over it!

Check out this recipe

pkra (bhindi) in a bowl with roti and lemon slices

38.Shrimp Curry

Coconut Shrimp Curry

Are you looking for a protein-rich, flavour-packed meal and don’t have much time? This coconut shrimp curry can be on your table in literally 15 minutes. It’s elegantly spiced and insanely desi-licious. What can be faster, easier and more tasty than seafood?!
three bowls of coconut shrimp curry on a bed of basmati rice garnished with fresh cilantro leaves

39.Easy Lemon Pepper Salmon

Easy Lemon Pepper Salmon | Low Carb, 20-minute Recipe

Primed for a weeknight dinner, this easy and healthy flavourful Lemon Pepper Salmon recipe can be on the table in just 20 minutes. This one-pan wonder is by far the easiest fish recipe you’ll ever make. Flaky, juicy, tangy and absolutely desilicious.

Check out this recipe

Lemon Pepper Salmon fillet served Buddha bowl style on a bed of spinach with peppers, avocado, orange segments and grilled plantain

Easy And Healthy Frozen Desserts Ideas

40.Strawberry Kiwi Banana Nice Cream

Strawberry Kiwi Banana Nice Cream | DIY 3-minute, No Added Sugar Recipe

Learn how to make Strawberry Kiwi Banana Nice Cream. 3 minutes and 3 ingredients is all you need to whip up this super-simple and delicious treat – right at home. A light and refreshing dessert with zero added sugar, but tonnes of natural flavour. Can you resist?

Check out this recipe

cup of kiwi banana nice cream and a red rose

41.Chocolate Cupcakes With Strawberry Buttercream

Chocolate Cupcakes With Strawberry Buttercream | Desi-licious RD

Easy, delicious and full of Frozen fun – these homemade chocolate cupcakes with a smooth strawberry buttercream are the perfect kids’ party dessert. With moist frozen strawberries hidden in the centre, and decorated with Anna and Elsa toppers, they’re the ideal addition to any Frozen-themed party!

Check out this recipe

a collection of chocolate cupcakes with strawberry buttercream on a cake stand with Frozen princess toppers

42.Pineapple Mango Smoothie

Pineapple and Mango Smoothie

Creamy, thick and with all the Summer feels, this healthy tropical Pineapple Mango Smoothie, is truly sunshine in a glass. Super easy to pull off; it’s made in under five minutes, and uses 100% whole foods to create the perfect refreshing treat to cool you down! Vegan and 5-year old approved.

Check out this recipe

two coconut bowls filled with pineapple mango smoothie decorated with sliced bananas and fresh strawberries

43.Pineapple Coconut Ice Lollies

Pineapple Coconut Ice Lollies Recipe | Vegan, Easy and Healthy

Beat the heat with this easy and healthy homemade pineapple coconut ice lollies recipe. Creamy coconut milk blended with chunks of pineapple, banana and a dash of turmeric, to create a vegan decadent delight. Insanely delicious and with zero added sugar,  they’re a coconut lover’s dream!

Check out this recipe

Pineapple Coconut Ice Lollies in a coconut shell on a bed of ice in a tray with a spoon of turmeric and sliced pineapples around

44.Healthy Watermelon Strawberry Popsicles

Healthy Watermelon Strawberry Popsicles | Desi~licious RD

Stay hydrated with these bright and cooling no-added sugar watermelon strawberry ice lollies. The perfect healthy treat for a hot Summer’s day. Its not only the kids who will devour these!

Check out this recipe

3 strawberry popsicles on ice on a round plate decoratd with fresh watermelon and flowers

I’d love to hear from you! What easy and healthy recipes are you leaning on during this time? What types of recipes would be helpful for you and your family? Let me know in the comments below!

If you try any of these recipes, would love to hear from you! Leave a comment, rate them, or share a photo and hashtag with #desiliciousrd on Instagram, Facebook and twitter!  Can’t wait to see your photos.

Desi~liciously Yours,

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