Lions Plate: Healthy Snack Alternatives

By Julia Dzurillay
Columnist

If you’re drowning in Carte Blanche points and guilt from eating T-Dubs’ fries, you are not alone. I can’t count how many times I’ve wandered down to T-Dubs for mozzarella sticks at midnight, only to feel greasy and groggy the next morning. Now that I live on my own and cook for myself, I’ve learned a few recipes and hacks that still let me have all my midnight cravings, but with less guilt.

Switch out chips and dip for pepper strips or raw carrots and hummus. Switch out curly fries with barbecue sauce for fresh zucchini fries. Switch out buttered popcorn with crispy, roasted chickpeas. Sneaking vegetables into your daily snacks is a great way to keep your body feeling good — all it takes is a walk to the nearest farmers market and a walk to the nearest oven. You’ll even feel a little better about skipping the gym.

Zucchini Fries are a delicious, healthy alternative to snack on. (Flickr)

Cheesy Zucchini Fries
Ingredients:
2 zucchini
1 egg white
1/4 cup milk
3/4 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
1/4 cup seasoned bread crumbs
Olive oil for pan

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 425 degrees.
2. Cut zucchini into thin strips.
3. In a small bowl, mix the egg white and milk. On a large plate, combine parmesan cheese and bread crumbs.
4. Dip zucchini strips into the egg mixture. Roll them in breadcrumb mixture until thoroughly coated.
5. Drizzle olive oil in small, even amounts on a baking sheet to prevent sticking. Place zucchini on baking sheet. Bake for about 25 minutes, or until the fries are golden brown.
6. Let cool at least five minutes before enjoying. Add more cheese if desired.

Chickpea ‘Popcorn’
Ingredients:
1 can chickpeas (15 ounces)
2 tablespoons olive oil
1/2 teaspoon sea salt
2 teaspoons chili powder

Directions:
1. Preheat oven to 400 degrees.
2. Rinse and drain chickpeas. Dry with a paper towel.
3. Place chickpeas in a large bowl. Add olive oil and salt. Toss until chickpeas are evenly coated.
4. Add chickpeas to a baking sheet. Roast chickpeas for 20 minutes, flipping them every five minutes. Remove from oven once they are golden and crispy.
5. Let cool 10 minutes. Sprinkle with chili powder and more salt, if desired.