I’m always on the lookout for new food products and heard about Quark a few weeks ago from another Dietitian so had been looking and looking everywhere in Liverpool for this Quark ingredient which none of the supermarkets seemed to stock! Then on Friday my partner and I rode to Southport where we came across a Morrisons that stocked Quark so I picked up a tub to check it out.
So what is Quark anyway and what’s so great about it? The tub says that it is a ‘naturally fat free spoonable soft cheese’ which doesn’t sound particularly appetising, but basically it is a really low fat (as in like 0.4g/100g quark low fat) neutral flavoured, almost tasteless ingredient that is a bit like a combination of natural yoghurt, creme fraiche, cream cheese, sour cream and normal cream. If that makes any sense…. 🙂
Nutritionally, this is how it compares to other similar products:
|Quark||Natural yoghurt (regular fat)||Cottage cheese||Cream Cheese||Pure Cream||Sour cream|
|Energy kJ (kcal)||270 (63)||367 (87)||529 (125)||1384 (329)||1397 (332)||1534 (389)|
|Saturated fat (g)||0.2||2.8||3.5||20.4||23||24.7|
The name Quark itself has a German origin, is a common food product in a number of European countries although it is slowly becoming more widely available throughout the western world.
Last night I thought I would do a bit of experimenting and see how Quark held itself up as a substitute for cream in a pasta dish I concocted. My partner was a bit doubtful as to whether this was going to work (and taste any good), but both he and his mate enjoyed this last night for dinner – even going for seconds!
- Vegetable stock cube
- 3-4 chicken breasts, chopped
- 1 red onion chopped
- 2 cloves of garlic, chopped
- 2 cans of chopped tomatoes
- tablespoon of tomato puree
- 1 zucchini (courgette) chopped
- 1 capsicum (pepper) chopped
- handful of fresh chives and basil
- sprinkle mixed herbs
- fresh cracked pepper
- 100g quark
- 200g chopped spinach
- Cook chicken in deep frying pan/saucepan until slightly browned
- Add onion and garlic and cook until soft
- Add canned tomatoes, tomato puree, zucchini and capsicum and cook well
- Cook pasta in boiling water with vegetable stock cube, drain well
- Mix herbs and pepper into chicken/tomato sauce and allow to reduce and thicken
- Put cooked pasta into a non-stick pan, add Quark and stir well over low-med heat
- Add spinach to quark pasta, allow to wilt and mix well.
- Serve quark pasta with tomato chicken sauce, fresh basil and a sprinkle of parmesan cheese