12 Healthy Recipes Made From Foods With Long Shelf Lives

Time to put all those beans to good use.

Not sure what to make with all your fresh, frozen, and nonperishable foods? Try these 12 healthy recipes made from foods with long shelf lives. / Photograph courtesy of Erin Morrissey.

Earlier this week, we gave you some tips on how to be a responsible grocery shopper and pantry stocker, especially now that only “essential” businesses are open.

Now that you’re swimming in beans and quinoa, you’ve got to decide what to make out of it all. In times like these, it’s important to be practical with your cooking, so that you’re maximizing all your fresh, frozen, and nonperishable foods — and, ya know, not letting your taste buds get bored.

That’s why we turned to local nutritionists, dietitians and recipe bloggers for their go-to meals that are nutritious and require minimal ingredients. Below, find 12 recipes for healthy (and easy!) meals made from foods with long shelf lives. Bonus: many of them are freezer-friendly!


Banana blender muffins, from recipe blogger Erin Morrissey

Blender banana muffins. / Photograph courtesy of Erin Morrissey.

Blend two cups rolled oats, one teaspoon baking powder, ½ teaspoon baking soda, ½ teaspoon salt, ½ teaspoon cinnamon, two eggs, two bananas, ½ cup applesauce, ¼ cup maple syrup, and one teaspoon vanilla extract. You’ll want a smooth batter, but don’t over-blend. Pour into lined and greased muffin tins. At this point, you can add some blueberries, diced apples, chopped walnuts or chocolate chips. Bake for 18 to 22 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit, or until an inserted toothpick comes out clean. Store at room temperature for up to two days or refrigerate for up to one week.

Mexican street corn avocado toast, from recipe blogger Sarah Schutz


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Warm one teaspoon coconut oil or butter in a skillet over medium heat. Add ½ cup thawed frozen corn and cook for about five minutes, until corn is charred and blistered. Add ½ teaspoon chili powder, juice from half a lime, and ¼ teaspoon salt, tossing to coat. In a small bowl, mash together one ripe avocado, juice from the other half of the lime, and a dash of salt and pepper. Toast 2-4 slices of preferred bread with avocado mash, then with charred corn mixture. Top with cotija or feta cheese and cilantro, if desired.

Baked oats, from dietitian Melissa Bailey

Baked oats. / Photograph by Melissa Bailey.

Mash two ripe bananas in a large bowl. (You can sub one cup of pumpkin or one cup of applesauce.) Add in three cups rolled oats, two teaspoons baking powder, one teaspoon cinnamon, and ¼ cup maple syrup, stirring together. Add in three cups preferred milk and two eggs, whisking until combined. Batter will be thin. Pour into a greased 13 x 9 pan and top with chocolate chips, if desired. Bake for 35 to 40 minutes at 375 degrees Fahrenheit, or until center is firm. Let cool for 20 minutes before serving. Can be frozen for up to six months.


Vegan macaroni-and-cheese, from Gal Cohen, dietitian at OnPoint Nutrition


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Cook eight ounces of preferred pasta according to instructions on the package. Blend together ¾ cup raw cashews (soaked for 20 minutes if blender isn’t super high-speed), ½ cup preferred non-dairy milk, one clove garlic, two tablespoons nutritional yeast (can sub two tablespoons of grated Parmesan cheese for non-vegan mac-and-cheese), ¼ teaspoon salt, and a pinch of paprika (optional). Mix with cooked pasta over low heat. Refrigerate for three to five days or freeze for up to two months.

Mexican quinoa casserole, from Morrissey

Mexican quinoa casserole. / Photograph courtesy of Erin Morrissey.

Bring one cup of quinoa (rinsed and drained) and two cups of water to a boil in a small saucepan. Cover with lid. Once boiling, reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes or until liquid is absorbed. Turn off the heat, let sit for a few minutes, and then fluff with fork. While quinoa is cooking, heat one tablespoon of olive oil in a large saucepan or Dutch oven. Add one diced yellow onion and cook until soft. Add one pound of ground turkey and two cloves of minced garlic, breaking up with a spoon.

Once turkey is all the way cooked through, reduce heat and add one can of roasted tomatoes, one can of black beans (drained and rinsed), and one can of corn (drained and rinsed). Stir in spices (two teaspoons cumin, two teaspoons chili powder, one teaspoon smoked paprika, one teaspoon salt and pepper, ¼ teaspoon cayenne powder — or a packet of taco seasoning) and one cup of water. Add the juice from one small lime, and let simmer for 15 minutes on low. Turn off heat and stir in cooked quinoa. Pour mixture into a baking dish (8 x 11 works great) and top with cheese if desired. Bake for 20 minutes at 350 degrees Fahrenheit. Refrigerate for up to one week, or freeze for up to three months in a sealed container.

Super-easy stir-fry, from nutritionist Cristina Hoyt


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Cook ½ cup of brown rice according to package directions. In a saucepan, add one bag of preferred frozen vegetables (mixed veggies work great!), preferred protein (e.g., canned chickpeas, canned chicken, frozen shrimp, frozen chicken, tofu), 1-2 tablespoons of sesame oil, and one tablespoon of soy sauce, and cook over medium-high heat (time depending on type of protein and if it’s canned or frozen). Garnish with sesame seeds or ginger, if desired. Store in the fridge for up to five days or freeze for up to three months.

Pasta with cauliflower cream sauce, from Schutz


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Heat one teaspoon of olive oil in a medium-size pot over medium-high heat. Add ½ of a sliced white onion and let cook for about four minutes, until soft. Add three cloves of crushed garlic and a pinch of red pepper flakes and cook for 30 seconds. Add three cups of fresh or frozen cauliflower florets and one cup of vegetable stock or water to the pot. Cover with a lid and let the cauliflower steam for five minutes, or until you can pierce it easily with a fork. Transfer to a blender and blend until smooth. Add one and a half tablespoons of nutritional yeast, one and a half tablespoons of sea salt, ½ tablespoon of lemon juice and ½ teaspoon of soy sauce and blend again. Toss sauce with eight ounces of your favorite pasta, cooked to package directions. Refrigerate for up to one week or freeze for up to six months.


Roasted chickpeas, from Bailey

Roasted chickpeas / Photograph courtesy of Getty Images.

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. Toss one can of chickpeas (drained and rinsed) with one tablespoon of olive oil or melted coconut oil and spread evenly onto sheet. Season with a pinch of salt. Bake for 18-20 minutes at 400 degrees Fahrenheit, until chickpeas are golden and crisp. Let cool for five minutes. Consume as is or toss with toppings, such as chili powder and cumin, cinnamon and sugar or cocoa powder. Store in an airtight container for up to five days.

Peanut butter and chocolate chip energy bites, from dietitian Liz McMahon


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In a bowl, mix one cup of rolled oats, ½ cup of ground flaxseed meal, two tablespoons of chia seeds, and one teaspoon of cinnamon. Mix in ½ cup of maple syrup, one cup of peanut butter (or preferred nut butter), and one teaspoon of vanilla extract. Fold in ¾ cups of semi-sweet chocolate chips. If too wet, add ¼ cup more oats. If too dry, add in extra peanut butter or maple syrup. Refrigerate for 20-30 minutes, then form into balls. Can be frozen for up to one month.

Red lentil chipotle dip, from Schutz

Red lentil chipotle dip. / Photograph courtesy of Sarah Schutz.

In a small pot, bring one cup of split red lentils (drained and rinsed) and three cups of water to a boil over medium-high heat, then lower to a simmer. Cook uncovered for about eight minutes, until the lentils are mushy and falling apart. While the lentils are cooking, blend together three cloves of chopped garlic, two chipotle peppers in adobo (or one tablespoon chipotle-flavored hot sauce), two tablespoons tahini, one tablespoon lemon juice, one teaspoon tomato paste, and one and a half teaspoons ground cumin in a blender or food processor until combined.

Drain the cooked lentils, then add them to the blender or food processor with the garlic and chipotle mix. Blend until everything in the dip is combined and smooth. Season with salt and pepper to taste. For best results, cover and chill the dip in the fridge for around one hour to firm up. Garnish with olive oil and a sprinkle of paprika. Serve with your favorite chips, crackers or cut-up veggies. Refrigerate for 3-4 days in a plastic container or up to one week in a glass container.


Sweet and salty bites, from Cohen


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In a food processor, pulse two cups of pretzels and ¼ cup of peanuts until crumbly (not too fine). Add two cups of medjool dates and pulse until they’re fully chopped. Add two tablespoons almond butter (or preferred nut butter) and ¼ cup of water and blend until a thick mixture forms. Roll into balls (makes about 15) and refrigerate on a baking sheet. Melt ½ cup dark chocolate chips with one teaspoon of coconut oil in 30-second intervals in the microwave. Remove balls from the fridge and dip each one in chocolate. Top with sea salt (optional) and leave in the freezer to set for 10 minutes. Store in the fridge for up to three weeks or the freezer for up to three months.

Pumpkin chocolate chip mug cake, from Schutz


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Stir ¼ cup flour (whole wheat or all-purpose), ½ teaspoon pumpkin pie spice, ⅛ teaspoon baking powder and a pinch of salt in a medium-size coffee mug. Add two tablespoons maple syrup, two tablespoons preferred milk, ½ teaspoon vanilla extract, one and a half tablespoons canned pumpkin puree, and one tablespoon coconut oil. Fold in 1-2 tablespoons chocolate chips. Microwave for 60 seconds. If it doesn’t look done after 60 seconds, zap it for another 30 seconds. Alternatively, place the mug in your air fryer at 350 degrees Fahrenheit for 15 minutes. Top with preferred nut butter, nuts, or yogurt.

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