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Yasmin Essa

[Recipe] Italian Chicken Balls - Gluten Free, Dairy Free, Paleo/Low-Carb/Grain-Free Option

Makes 13 Balls

Ingredients:
  • 10 oz Chicken Breast
    • Chicken should already be previously cooked
    • If it's available to you and you can afford it, always choose organic and humanely raised poultry
    • I used Halal Organic Chicken Breast from Honest Chops in NJ
  • 2 Eggs 
    • If it's available to you and you can afford it, always choose organic. One step above this is pasture-raised
  • 1 cup baby spinach
    • Use organic if possible
  • 1/2 cup Pasta Sauce
    • I used Walnut Acres Organic Garlic Salt-Free Pasta Sauce
    • You can make your own pasta sauce if you wish
    • If buying store-bought, choose a brand that comes in glass and preferably salt free, or with low amount of sea salt
  • 2 Slices Gluten Free Bread
    • I used Udi's Multigrain Gluten Free Bread
    • You can use any other bread if you want
    • If gluten doesn't bother you, no need to use gluten free.
    • Read my previous blog post here about choosing the best bread for yourself
    • Skip this ingredient if you're looking to make your chicken balls paleo, grain free, and low-carb
  • 1 teaspoon extra virgin olive oil
    • Make sure you are really using 100% olive oil. A lot of brands cut cheap oils like vegetable and soy into their product. These are no good for the thyroid gland, as well as other processes in your body.
  • Food processer
Instructions:
  1. Say bismillah (if that's your belief).
  2. Toast bread.
    • Personally, I don't have a toaster. I do have an electric toaster oven. So I put the two slices on a small piece of If You Care brand parchment paper on bake (400) until they browned. If your regular oven is gas like mine, aim to do smaller jobs like this in the toaster oven (if you have one), as electric appliances don't fume dangerous gases the way gas ovens do.
    • Skip this step if you want your chicken balls to be paleo, grain-free, and low-carb.
  3. Preheat oven to 400.
  4. Process all ingredients except for tomato sauce in a food processor. Make sure bread is cooled down before adding to food processor.
    • If you don't have a food processor, you can mash everything by hand, but I can't guarantee the texture will come out exactly the same
  5. By now, you should have a processed mixture that easily shapes into balls. The mixture should make 13 nice round chicken balls. As you make each ball, place it on a baking dish. For me, I used a glass Pyrex cookware lined with parchment paper.
  6. Once you have all of the balls on your cooking dish, place in oven. Bake for 20 minutes.
  7. Mix 1/2 cup pasta sauce with 1/4 cup water. Once mixed, pour over chicken balls. Cook for 5 more minutes.
  8. Say bismillah (if that's your belief) and enjoy, inshaAllah (Godwilling).

Nutritional Facts:

Regular Version: 1 Ball = 64.2 calories; 6.8g Protein; 2.2g Fat; 3.5g Carbs

Paleo/GrainFree/Low-Carb Version: 1 Ball = 47.3 Calories; 6.3g Protein; 1.7g Fat; 0.9g Carbs
 
 

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Yasmin Essa

Love Note 1: You Are Enough

One of my August 2016 goals is to write a short & sweet handwritten love to share on social media, starting today. Here is the first one. I know a lot of people will like it because it's pretty and makes you feel good. But let's go deeper than that. Do you really believe you are enough? Well, if you're a homo sapien (human), you probably struggle in this area. We all fight inner thoughts of not feeling like we're enough. Some of us more than others. We often look to external sources for validation that we are enough. Some look to money. Some look to power. Some look to material items. Some look to fame. Some look to accomplishments. The list goes on and on. The real truth underneath it all is that no external source will ever make us feel enough. Our worthiness doesn't lie in what we do, or what we have, or what anyone perceives about us. Our worthiness exists in simply being. We are worthy because we are humans. Why do you think it's called human rights? Okay... So if this is the case, why do we struggle so badly with feeling enough? Umm... Ding ding.. It's not too hard to see all the people tearing each other down. The discourse that surrounds us is loud and it's ugly. Advertisements bombard us with ideals that we aren't good enough. Politicians and people in power mock us for things like skin color, ethnicity, religion. Even our own family and friends who may love us dearly put unintentional pressures on us to do more. Let's admit it. We are a society that has lost the power of the now. Right here. Right now. Everything is okay. You're breathing. You are enough. Exactly as you are. Take advantage of that. I can guarantee you there are others in this world who currently don't have the same blessings. You are enough. As you are. Breathe it in. Remind yourself. Over and over again.
 

 
 

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