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Carb Loading Cajun Chicken Pasta Recipe

Jan 15, 2019 | Nutrition, Nutrition for Running, Pre Run Training Nutrition, Uncategorized | 13 comments

We bought our house almost solely because I fell in love with the kitchen. We haven’t had to do anything other than buying a new fridge, curtains and table. We are still debating what lights and chairs to buy (turns out Tom and I have quite different taste when it comes to dining room chairs!).

We love the large, bright room and spend most of our time in here. The breakfast bar is one of my favourites spots in the house – it’s where I work instead of in the study (I hope Tom is prepared for a lot of scientific papers to be spread over the kitchen when I start during my dissertation).

This year, I’m excited to share a lot more recipes on here and sharing more nutrition advice!

For my first recipe of 2019, I am partnering with Queen of Quark to celebrate World Quark Day (yep, it’s a thing!).

For those that haven’t heard of Quark, don’t worry, although it’s been around for a while, it has been growing in popularity recently. Quark is an it’s classified as acid-set soft cheese, or more simply described as a mix of yogurt and cottage cheese.

Quark is great for runners because its naturally low fat (rather than processed to be low fat so fat isn’t replaced by sugar), high in protein and a source of calcium.

Creamy Cajun Chicken Pasta

For vegetarians, simply double the number of peas and tomatoes, and omit the chicken. You might also want to half the spice mix, depending on your flavour preference!

This is the perfect pre long run or post run fuel, with a mix of protein, carbs and fat. I love making it as a quick, simple supper after an evening workout – and the leftovers make great packed lunches (esp if you add a little more Quark to the cold pasta).


  • 1tsp Cayenne Pepper
  • 1tbsp Smoked Paprika
  • 1tbsp Ground Cumin
  • 2 Chicken breasts
  • 1tbsp Olive oil
  • 1 large or 2 small red onions, finely sliced
  • 1 red pepper, finely sliced
  • 2 large tomatoes, roughly chopped
  • 400g pasta
  • 200g peas
  • 1 vegetable stock cube
  • 150g plain Quark

Preheat oven to 200C (180C fan). Mix together the spices and sprinkle most of them evenly onto a large plate (hold back about 1/4 of the mix).

Put the chicken breasts between two large pieces of cling film or greaseproof paper. Bash with a rolling pin until the chicken is 2cm thick.

Press the chicken breasts into the spices until thoroughly coated. Heat the olive oil in a large non-stick frying pan. Sear the chicken for 2 mins on each side, until golden. Remove the chicken and transfer (leaving as much of the oil behind in the pan) to a roasting tin and roast for 15 mins.

Bring a large pan of water to the boil and cook the pasta according to pack instructions. When the pasta has 2 mins left, add the peas and cook for until soft. When cooked, drain, saving 500mls of the pasta water and dissolve the stock cube into the water.

Meanwhile, fry the onion and pepper with remaining spices for 10 mins over medium heat (add a splash of water if they begin to stick). Stir in the tomatoes and cook for a further 5mins.

Add the stock to the vegetables and turn up the heat. Bring to the boil, turn down to simmer and allow to reduce slightly. Stir in the pasta mixture.

Once chicken is cooked through, slice into thin strips and add to the pasta. Remove from the heat (this bit is very important otherwise your mix will curdle!) and stir through the Quark. Season and serve.

For more Quark recipes download the two free E-book’s from the Queen of Quark website – or you can order a hardcopy of The Ultimate Quark Guide and Cookbook. I’ve got two copies to giveaway… to enter comment below with type of recipes you’d like to see on my blog this year!


  1. Kaleingit

    I’d definitely like to see more easy meals, and especially things which can be meal prepped for lunches etc. That is where I tend to get stuck in a rut :p this looks delicious, can’t wait to try it!

    • charlotte

      Sure! Love meals that multitask as packed lunches, and post run all I want is something quick and easy!

  2. Kristi

    I’m looking for easy recipes too, especially after a hard workout.

    • charlotte

      Agreed! after a hard workout the last thing I want to do is spend ages cooking!

  3. Maureen

    Yum! I’m looking for easy snacks that have a mix of carbs/protein/health fats. It’s so hard to get a solid snack that doesn’t leave me hungry 10 minutes later.

  4. Ruth Ford

    I’d love to see more vegetarian recipes – one of my new year’s intentions!

    • charlotte

      Sure! I’m trying to incorporate more suggestions within the meat recipes to make them veggie – like adding more peas and reduced the spices in this one!

  5. Colette

    Looks a great recipe! I’d love to see more veggie options or veggie adaptations – trying to eat less meat. Also I eat gluten free so recipes that are either naturally gluten free or adaptable would be great too! Thanks!

    • charlotte

      Sure! I’m trying to share more info about the recipes including swaps you can make to ensure things are vegetarian/gluten free etc!

  6. Hannah

    Love this! I made my first recipe with Quark just a few weeks ago and can’t believe I hadn’t discovered it before!

  7. Bethan

    This looks so good! I’ve been using Quark for years and love it, it’s so versatile and makes a really good alternative to cream (which can be a little cloying), plus it’s really good value. Also I love that there is a Queen of Quark!!

  8. Kathy

    Looks yum!! I’d never heard of quark until I started doing slimming world (and I did think it was only ever used by slimming worlders!!). Def interested in quick and easy recipes, esp ones that can be saved for lunch the next day, if it doesn’t all get eaten that is! X

  9. Isla

    This pasta dish sounds so good! Definitely going to try this 😀


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