After all the cooking and shopping that the holidays inspire us to do, I'm looking forward to pulling out some easy recipes that use pantry ingredients that I keep on hand. One of my favorite items to keep in the freezer is frozen shrimp.

I keep both cooked and uncooked versions. Raw shrimp cook up in minutes and have more flavor, so I use them for pasta dishes and easy sheet-pan suppers. But cooked shrimp have their place on my menu, too. I love how quickly they thaw for salads and appetizers and other cold preparations.

The downside to pre-cooked shrimp is the texture is a notch softer. My solution is to buy the large shrimp and then cut it in half. I know this might be counter-shrimp culture, so feel free to leave them large, but the solution works for us.

A super easy go-to recipe for shrimp for us is my Shrimp Pineapple Brochette, which uses easy pantry ingredients — you can even use canned pineapple — to create something that still feels high-end.

It's healthy and versatile, working as either a meal when paired with some greens, a first course, or even an appetizer for parties. Shrimp brings protein and elegance, while pineapple balances out with both sweetness and acid. I use prepared pesto for some fat and flavor, and I highly recommend keeping a jar of prepared pesto in the freezer to scoop out for recipes. But, if you don't have any, just substitute a bunch of chopped herbs, olive oil and lemon juice for an easy, tasty version. And with skewers, I think it goes without saying that you can swap in whatever fruit you have in your kitchen — grapes, grapefruit, orange segments and even canned mango all work beautifully.

Food Network star Melissa d'Arabian is an expert on healthy eating on a budget. She is the author of the cookbook, "Supermarket Healthy."