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creative cooking with quark: the lake district dairy co.

cooking with quark just got interesting thanks to the lake district dairy co. with creamy garlic & herb, zingy tikka and tasty tomato & basil, the quark based sauces are said to be naturally high in protein, low in fat and yet deliciously indulgent. the lovely lot over at the dairy sent me their new sauces to try, along with the components to create a diverse range of recipes. 

with a mouthwatering menu and fresh ingredients, i couldn't wait to see how the sauces fared on filling me up, balancing out fresh flavours and feeling a little bit naughtier than they actually were.

first up was spaghetti "quark"anara with the garlic & herb. rather than the usual double cream sauce in a carbonara, the nutritional elements of 100g sauce come in at 75 calories, 5.6g sugar, 1.5g fat (0.4 saturates) and 0.7g salt with no artificial colours or preservatives at all.  i'm afraid to say there are 345 calories and 37g of fat in 100g of double cream.*

simply stir in to your pasta, ham, peas and parsley, then season to your taste. this was a delicious and tasty meal with minimal washing up (unusual for me!) and lots of flavour. i would have served with wholemeal pasta too, to make it even less guilt free.

*now erase that from your mind for the next time you're having dessert.

next up was the tikka biryani, which i chose to make with chicken style quorn fillets. again a very simple, tossed together dish, which had one of your five a day with the spinach. top with coriander and toasted almonds and you're good to go! 

i actually found this one extremely mild and added red chillies to it. this is probably a good thing as it suits all tastes, though perhaps a little tip on the carton would be nice to inspire those who love to spice it up.

lastly was the gnocchi dish. i was actually supposed to make a tomato and herb gnocchi bake with this, as with the ingredients and recipes provided. however, the tub had accidentally burst open (oops!) and i had to get creative! so with some salmon fillets from my freezer, a touch of lemon and dill and the last garlic & herb sauce, i made my final dish. 

this was baked salmon with garlic and herb gnocchi, with mange tout, peas, spring onion, lemon and dill. i enjoyed the dish, if i say so myself, although think that the gnocchi would have been better crispy. i will definitely have to try the sauce in a bake at some point! if i do get to try the tomato & basil, i'll be sure to share my thoughts on that too.

overall the sauces are brilliant really. simple to stir through a variety of dishes and cuisines, a definite improvement on cream and leave you feeling full. i think when naturally low fat products are done right and aren't full of nasties, then they can be a fantastic thing. packed with protein, they would be perfect for vegetarians seeking those extra nutrients too. 

very delicious indeed -  a thumbs up from me.

note: i was sent the sauces and complimentary ingredients for purposes of review. all opinions are honest and my own.


  1. There are always times when I can't be bothered to cook a full on meal from scratch, so more often than not I'll turn to a ready made sauce from the shop - the tikka biryani one sounds interesting, and I love the idea that you spiced it up yourself, a good tip as I love to do that too! x

    1. These are great for that - I was very impressed! Less guilt and less washing up :) Won't stop me eating cake though...