Easy paprika, garlic and red onion lamb meatballs and spaghetti recipe

Yesterday I made these really easy paprika, garlic and red onion lamb meatballs with spaghetti for dinner. They are honestly so tasty, I can’t wait to have the leftovers for dinner today. They’re also really quick and simple to make – so perfect for feeding the family. If you want to know how I made them, then keep reading. Everything is detailed below!

Ingredients:
1 x pack of minced lamb
2 x garlic cloves
1 x red onion
1 x egg
2 x tbsp caster sugar
1 x 400g can of chopped tomatoes
2 x tbsp paprika
1 x pinch of garlic sea salt
1 x pinch of ground pepper
1 x tsp thyme
1 x tsp mixed herbs
2 x tbp flour (any)
Spaghetti (however much you want!)

Method:

  1. Dice your onion and garlic cloves and put them into a mixing bowl
  2. Add your minced lamb and season to taste. I added lots of paprika, garlic sea salt, pepper and thyme but you can season them however you want. This is just how I think it tastes best
  3. Crack your egg into the bowl and start grinding the mixture together in the bowl, with your hands. This isn’t as messy as it sounds! Make sure that you’re evenly distributing the seasoning so that every bit of lamb is covered and that there are equal chunks of onion and garlic throughout the mixture
  4. Pour your flour into a plate and prepare a plate or dish to put your meatballs in. Then, take even chunks of the seasoned meat mixture and roll them into balls. After rolling each one, roll them into the flour as this will help them to keep their shape
  5. Then, pop them onto your plate or dish and put them in the fridge for at least 20 minutes to chill and soak up all the flavour
  6. Set aside a pot of boiling water for your spaghetti. Also take a large frying pan with a bit of oil (I used olive oil) and wait for it to heat up on a medium-high heat. I put the hob on 5 for this step
  7. Once your pot is boiled, add enough spaghetti. The amount is entirely up to you
  8. Take your meatballs out of the fridge and fry them all until they are golden brown. You can do this in batches if you have lots of them to fry and they don’t all fit
  9. While the meatballs are browning and the spaghetti is cooking, pour your chopped tomatoes into a bowl and add your sugar and mixed herbs
  10. Once the meatballs are brown, add the chopped tomato mixture to the pan and leave it to cook for 8-10 minutes. I turned mine over while they were cooking to make sure each meatball was coated in sauce
  11. Drain your spaghetti and add this directly to the pan with the meatballs and sauce. Serve straight from the pan and enjoy!

Note: 1 pack of minced lamb made 6 meatballs and 3 burger patties for me. You could probably make about 10-12 meatballs with one pack, however.

Annie’s Chiswick

In today’s post, I’m back with yet another restaurant/venue review. Going out for dinner is one of my favourite things to do, but it can quickly become old when you’re going to the same places all the time. There are only so many times I can order the pollo spinaci calzone from Zizzi before it makes me sick to my stomach to even speak of.
On Wednesday evening I went for a cute little date night with one of my friends, who booked us a table at a restaurant in Chiswick called Annie’s. I can’t fault this place at all. The décor, the food, the service – I just want to say now that I highly recommend you go and try it. 
The setting was very cosy and intimate. It had a sort of shabby chic décor with dim lighting and only a handful of tables. I think I saw five or six tables in the restaurant, including ours. Although I’m not sure if there is an extra seating area towards the back or not. But it was exactly the kind of relaxing setting you picture yourself in after a long day of work. Not overly busy, not overly quiet. Just very mellow.
At first, when I looked at the menu, I was surprised to find that it was so small. The starters and mains were printed on one A4 sheet and the drinks were all listed on the back. I thought this would mean that there wasn’t much to choose from, but there was quite a variety in terms of the dishes. I remember seeing lamb, chicken, pork, seafood. There was a lovely looking chilli prawn starter that I would love to try if I went back for example. The dishes on the menu were mouth watering and I was starving, so I was immediately sold on getting myself at least a starter and a main for sure.
Starter – Lemon Marinated Chicken Skewers Tzatziki & Flatbread

I would never usually choose flavours like this, but as I’ve said I’m trying to experiment more with food. I don’t usually like lemon either but the flavours of the tzatziki meshed so well with the salad and the crunch of the flatbread added a nice texture to the dish. It was also the perfect portion size for a starter.

Main – Roast Pork Belly with Cabbage, Bacon, Onions & Apple Compote

This main was probably the best pork I have ever tasted in my life. It was literally melting in my mouth, came away from the crackling with such ease and it was packed with flavour. The cabbage was cooked perfectly, not too hard or too mushy and I even ate some of the crackling which I wouldn’t usually do. I just can’t believe how soft the meat was, it was cooked perfectly. If you go there and you like pork, you have to try this main. I had a side order of chips with it just to give myself something more substantial as I can’t really just eat a piece of meat and some vegetables, but the dish on it’s own was definitely a stand out.

DessertApple and Plum Crumble with Custard
Finally, the dessert that made my life. When crumble is done right, it is like an absolute dream for my palette and this one was almost done perfectly. The crumble itself was very sweet, with a nice crunch on top. And thank god it wasn’t made of oats as I hate when the crumble part of crumble is made of oats – that isn’t crumble! The flavours of the plum and apple were amazing. The sweetness of the apple and the crumble itself were cut by the slight sharpness from the plums and there was a gorgeous sauce from the stewed fruit running through it all. This is only the second time now that I’ve had a plum crumble but I really enjoyed it and would even go as far as saying that I kind of prefer plum to apple crumble now! My only criticism is that the plums were sliced and I do prefer my fruit in a crumble to be slightly smaller. Taste wise however, it was perfect.
I ended up paying £40 for my meal in total, which isn’t too bad but definitely isn’t cheap either. However, I have paid this kind of price for food before and I haven’t felt that it was as worth it. For example, restaurants like Burger & Lobster and Dishoom, where the food is tasty but perhaps slightly over-priced. At Dishoom, they charge you separately for the meat, the sauce and the rice to go with it and although delicious, I feel that their pricing system is just a way of exhausting customers of their funds. At Annie’s I felt that everything I paid for was 100% worth the price.
My final comments are all positive. Even though the portion sizes were almost too substantial that I couldn’t eat all of my dessert, I would rather have too much than too little for the prices they charge. It was only a shame as the food was so incredibly yummy. But if you do go, you will definitely be getting what you pay for and it will be money well spent!

Gym Update: Playlist and Workouts

In recent months, the gym has quickly become one of my favourite places. I find that going to the gym makes me feel better about my health and my body image and also makes me a lot more aware of what I’m putting into my body. I also just love the feeling of finishing that final rep when squatting or doing a lunge and feeling like your legs are going to give way. When you get to the end of your workout and realise how much you’ve achieved it makes you motivated to go back and see how far you can push yourself the next time.
I’ll always do 30 minutes of cardio, whether that’s on one machine or a mixture of different ones. Sometimes I do twenty five on the cross trainer and five on the rowing machine. Recently, I’ve been absolutely loving the step machine; so at the moment I’ve been doing twenty minutes on the cross trainer and ten on the step machine on about level 5. I always have a playlist downloaded on my phone that I listen to on shuffle to help me get through. Currently, the top songs I’ve been listening to are:
Charli XCX – Boys

Martin Solveig, Ina Wroldsen – Places

Cash Cash, Conor Maynard, Sagan – All My Love

Halsey – Now or Never

Camila Cabello – Havana

Felix Jaehn, Hitimpulse – Cut The Cord

Dua Lipa – New Rules

The Chainsmokers – Roses

David Guetta, Justin Bieber – 2U

Louisa Johnson – Best Behaviour

Drake – KMT

Ella Vos, R3HAB – White Noise
I like to listen to a mixture of different tempos so that I can ease myself into my workout. If a song starts out and it’s too upbeat then I end up feeling really sluggish when I’m only about five minutes into my workout and I then don’t get the most out of my exercise. I’ve also found that when it comes to cardio, trying to go the fastest you can on the cross trainer or treadmill isn’t always the best way to burn calories. Sometimes I’m in a really energetic mood and can go quite fast on the cross trainer, which is great. However, I burn more calories by going at a pace that I can actually maintain for the whole twenty minutes. It’s definitely not slow as I do like to push myself, but it’s also not as fast as I could be going. This is what works for my body but it might be worth bearing in mind for yourself too.
I watch a lot of fitness videos on YouTube so I always go over to the mats after my cardio to do some floor exercises with my weights. As my gym doesn’t have many of the machines I like using, I have to think of a lot of exercises myself. For the first month or so of going, this was fine. I’d do two sets of 10 of 15kg squats with the bar, followed by 10 reps of squat pulses and a 20 second squat hold. I’d do some lunges. I’d do 30 sit ups and 30 Russian twists using a weighted ball and then I’d do a 30 second plank. But then I got bored.
I got told about an app by a colleague at work called the 30 day fitness challenge. Now I don’t use this as an actual 30 day fitness challenge because I think those kinds of things are just a little bit silly. What happens after the 30 days? Do you just pat yourself on the back and say well done? I don’t know. But I use the app because it gives me different exercises and different repetitions to do and it times it all for me. Each day gets harder and there are some rest days, but it has allowed me to introduce some exercises into my routine that I never would have thought of doing. Fire hydrants, donkey kicks, jump squats etc. The app also has little demonstrations of the exercise and really easy to follow instructions on how to do them. And best of all, it’s free!
So if you need some playlist inspiration or you want some more exercises to do at the gym, then there you go!
With the weather changing and the sky getting darker, it can be difficult to find the motivation to go to the gym. I’ve found that taking my gym gear to work and then going straight from work to the gym just doesn’t work for me anymore. I get to the gym feeling sluggish in all my work clothes as if I’m carrying the whole day with me. It’s much easier for me to go if I just go home and get changed first. I then walk to the gym which acts as a little warm up for me and by the time I’m there, I feel more energised and ready to go. I’ve also found that going after work when I finish at 6 o’clock isn’t always the best option for me as the gym is always so busy and I can never get on any of the machines I like. I much prefer going on the days when I finish slightly earlier or the days I have off, when the gym is emptier and has just been cleaned. It’s also quite nice going before work when I start just a little bit later as it makes me feel more awake for the day ahead.
With the gym I think it’s just important to find what works for you. The gym doesn’t have to be a place of dread. Trust me, I still love a chocolate bar, a double cheeseburger, a can of coke. Just because I go to the gym doesn’t mean I’m suddenly saying no! If you only go twice a week that’s better than nothing, so don’t bother listening to the people that tell you it’s not worth the money. Unless your membership costs something ridiculous like £90 a month, of course. And also, do the exercises that work for you. Just because the guy next to you is doing a two minute plank, doesn’t mean that’s what you need to be doing. You just need to make sure you feel the burn as you walk out and if you do, then you’ve done a fabulous job!