I did a science project on that and the fastest and safest way to defrost food is to leave it in running cold water.
It is said by food experts that the SAFEST way to thaw out food is to put in in the refrigerator. Most of the things you mention can be cooked straight from the freezer.
The best common way that doesn't damage the food when you defrost it is filling the bowl with water and leaving the frozen food in there. It can take a while but it has its benefits.