Healthy Movie Night Snacks: Zucchini Spears and Protein Balls

Great evening spent watching one of my favorite mini series ever "North & South," the British movie not to be confused with the US civil war movie with Patrick Swayze and Kirstie Alley with the same name. This is Elizabeth Gaskell's "North & South" 4-part British miniseries, sort of Pride & Prejudice set in the Industrial Revolution. If you love period movies put this on your must watch list. I read on twitter that it was the 10th anniversary of the film and I watch it at least once a year so it seemed like the perfect day to pop it in. Ummm and the star Richard Armitage is great eye candy to spend the evening with.

Of course I needed some healthy protein packed movie snacks. Well they were actually lunch for me. I'm a cheap date ;) I made one savory and one sweet one because the movie is a drama (savory) and romance (sweet.)

These Baked Zucchini Spears are way healthier than the deep fried, batter dipped, county fair zucchini and they are delicious...

Shelly's Baked Zucchini Spears

4 small Zucchini
1/4 cup Parmesan Cheese, grated
1/2 teaspoon Onion Powder
1/2 teaspoon Garlic Powder
1/2 teaspoon Italian Seasoning (I used McCormick Perfect Pinch Sicilian Seasoning)
Kosher Salt and a few twists of Black Pepper, to taste
2 tablespoons Olive Oil

Place a cooling rack on top of a baking sheet and spray the rack with nonstick cooking spray. In a Gallon Ziploc bag combine Parmesan (grate it yourself, not the can kind) and seasonings. Cut the zucchini spears. Trim top and bottom then half each zucchini and half again, making 4 spears from each zucchini.

Place in another Gallon Ziploc and add oil. Zip the bag up and shake it around to make sure the oil coats each of the spears. Remove a piece or 2 at a time and toss in bag of cheesy seasoning mix. Place zucchini spears onto the rack.

Bake at 350 for 20 minutes then broil for 2-3 minutes or until golden brown. Serve with Parmesan Yogurt Dip

Serve with Parmesan Yogurt Dip
3 oz. Greek Yogurt, plain
1 Tablespoon Parmesan, grated
1/2 teaspoon Oregano
Salt to taste

Mix till well blended.

Leftover zucchini spears heat up great or you could chop them up and make a batch of my Egg Bites or a frittata. These also make a great side dish or appetizer for a BBQ night or Patio Picnic with some cheese, cold cuts, etc.

More Eggface Zucchini Recipes

For my sweet movie treat I made a batch of Protein Power Balls. Lots of variations on this one on the blog, usually based on what I have on hand protein-wise (see Cook's Note below.)

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Shelly's Protein Power Balls

1/4 cup Big Train Spiced Chai Protein Powder
1/4 cup Vanilla Protein Powder
1/4 cup Almond Meal
1/2 cup Ricotta Cheese
1/4 cup "Stuff" (any combo of Chopped Nuts, Dried Fruit, SF Chocolate Chips, Chopped-up Protein Bar, Cereal, whatever you like)
Optional Coatings: A couple of Tablespoons Unsweetened Coconut (toasted or untoasted to roll) Crushed Nuts, Protein Powder, Powdered Peanut Butter or Unsweetened Cocoa

Mix all ingredients till thoroughly combined. Roll into walnut size balls. Ricotta water content can vary (I use whole not part skim) so if needed add little more of one of the dry ingredients (you want moldable play dough consistency.)

Roll in unsweetened coconut (or other topping choice.) Place in fridge to firm before serving. Keep leftovers refrigerated. You can also freeze them and defrost in the fridge as needed. Makes 16.

Cook's Note: Any protein powder will work in this, though if you don't like it as a shake you probably won't like it in a ball. A favorite is Chike High Protein Iced Coffee and Chocolate (gluten & lactose free protein powder). At the holidays Celebrate Vitamins Chocolate Mint Protein rolled in crush SF Peppermints are sooo good. This time I did a Big Train Spiced Chai Latte and Vanilla combo. If you like things sweeter add a packet of sweetener to taste. For my "stuff" I added a combo of Toasted Almonds, SF Chocolate Chips and Dried Cranberries.

More High Protein, Weight Loss Surgery Friendly Snacks on my Pinterest Page.