Tag: appetizer

Homemade Pizza Combos {Paleo, Vegan}

If you grew up in the 90s or knew a kid who did, chances are you at least knew about the tasty snack gems known as Combos.

These little hollowed out pretzel logs were stuffed with all sorts of flavor-packed goodness, from cheddar cheese to pepperoni pizza.

I could house a bag of Combos in a matter of minutes, and my absolute favorite flavor was Pizza. They were addictive!

And after taking a look at the ingredient list, I can see why.combos info

As a kid, I couldn’t have cared less about the ingredient lists of the foods I was eating.

(Which would explain why things like Toaster Strudels, Gushers, Fruit by the Foot, Sour Patch Kids, Dunkaroos, Funyuns, and Little Debbie Swiss Rolls were perfectly permissible snacks on a regular basis :))

But, as an adult, who feels better than I’ve ever felt, I do care.

I don’t follow a strict set of “rules,” per se, but I do make sure that the food I eat is real (not a chemical concoction), whole (an avocado vs. a Cheeto), unprocessed (is a plant vs. made in a plant) and health-promoting.

I prioritize the “fuel” I put in my body and make sure it’s high quality, going to give me energy, and make me feel good…because I like feeling good.

Don’t you? 🙂

I was inspired to “upgrade” Combos and bring some of the same flavors to a healthy snack bite. When Bill and our friend, Brian, tried one for the first time, they said it tasted like Pizza Combos…YES!

One of the best parts is that they are no-bake, so they come together quickly. These are snacks you (and your kids) could have every day!

paleo poppers pizza bites


  • 1 cup almonds
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  • 1 small clove garlic, chopped
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried thyme
  • 1/2 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried oregano
  • 1 teaspoon dried basil
  • 3 tablespoons almond butter
  • 2 tablespoons sun-dried tomatoes (I used Trader’s Joe’s jarred ones, since they were soaked in olive oil. If you only have dried tomatoes, soak them in hot water for about 30 minutes to soften them and add 1 teaspoon olive oil to the final recipe for moisture.)
  • 1/4 cup hemp seeds
Some of the ingredients in this yummy recipe!

Some of the ingredients in this yummy recipe!

Coating (Optional but awesome)

  • 1/4 cup raw cashews
  • 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt


  1. Process almonds in a food processor until they reach a fine meal, about 30-45 seconds.
  2. Add remaining ingredients through hemp seeds and process for about 60 seconds, or until the mixture looks like this and clumps together.clump The longer you process, the longer the oils from the nuts and seeds release and bind everything.
  3. Form the dough into 1 inch balls and set aside.
  4. In a mini food processor (or the bigger ones you just used), make the cashew coating, and process until it reaches a fine texture.
  5. Roll the dough balls in the coating and store them in a glass container in the refrigerator.
  6. Enjoy!IMG_9367

    And this is what my kitchen looked like afterwards...:o)

    Aaand this is what my kitchen looked like afterwards…:o) It’s okay to make a mess. It makes me feel like a mad scientist!

Protein-Packed Pumpkin Spice Dip {Gluten-Free, Vegan}

I’ve been experimenting with lots of dips/spreads recipes lately. I enjoy guacamole, hummus and salsa as much as the next person, but sometimes I want something different!

Besides, I like any excuse to use pumpkin when it’s in season 🙂

There are some secret ingredients in this recipe that might surprise you…like chickpeas!

I know it might sound strange, but you can’t taste the chickpeas, even though they pack in protein and fill-you-up fiber.


The health benefits of this dip don’t stop there:

  • Pumpkin is an excellent source of filling, energy-boosting fiber and vitamins C and A, both of which support a healthy immune system.
  • Almond butter is a great source of protein, healthy fats (good for our brain, skin, heart, and joints!), as well as several other vitamins and minerals like magnesium, vitamin E, and manganese.
  • Ginger and cinnamon are anti-inflammatory and are warming spices, perfect for the cooler, drier weather of fall and winter.

pumpkin spice dipIMG_7163 IMG_7161

Pumpkin Spice Hummus

This sweeter spin on a traditionally savory dip makes for a great appetizer option for a fall party.

  • 1 15-ounce can chickpeas (AKA garbanzo beans) (rinsed and drained)
  • 1 cup pumpkin puree
  • 1/4 cup almond butter
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1 teaspoon vanilla extract
  • 1 teaspoon pumpkin pie spice
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon fine grain sea salt
  1. Process all ingredients in a food processor until smooth. Add more spices, if you prefer. Serve as a dip for fruit or your other favorite snacks.

I enjoyed this dip with pear and apple slices. Sprinkle crushed pecans on top and mix some raisins in for an extra treat 🙂

Everything ready to go in the food processor. A blender will work, too!

Everything ready to go in the food processor!

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