What’s For Tea, Jean?   

Jean Friend from Chadderton, Oldham gives us her lockdown diet lowdown as part of our “What’s For Tea” series in partnership with the GM Nutrition and Hydration team:

“I’ve lived on my own for 31 years – my partner lives in Longsight. I’ve been enjoying throwbacks of black and white Sherlock Holmes movies on YouTube to keep me company while I eat my tea!

Occasionally, I think I could do with someone cooking for me, but I do enjoy trying new recipes to keep things exciting. I have recently found that I quite like macaroni cheese – I couldn’t stand it at one point. I make mine with leeks and mushroom topped with wholemeal bread crumbs and cheese to give it a bit of a twist.

I also always make sure I have batch-cooked sauces on standby in the freezer when I can’t be bothered to cook.

I have ulcerative colitis so I’m usually the one asking; “Can I have the blandest thing on the menu?!” I can’t eat spicy stuff, so I keep food appealing by trying to make it colourful – I’m a tomato lover! – I love making a homemade pasta sauce and bung in loads of veg out of the garden.

My go-to meal for the days I want something to thrill my appetite will be something with pasty that goes with chips – you can take the woman out of the North and all that.

Sometimes I have a cooked veggie breakfast but over this period I have got back into making my own yoghurt from Easiyo. It’s live and I’m hoping it might have a positive effect on my condition. I am also going to look into making my own Kefir for the same reason.

I was lucky enough to have the ingredients in to make my own bread and have baked the odd banana cake when they have been overripe.

My drink of choice? It’s Earl Grey for me – but being an Owdamer, I drink it out of a pint pot rather than bone china!

What’s for tea tonight? A right treat: homemade chickpea paella with salad, homemade dressing with jersey potatoes on the side. Lovely!”

Losing weight is not a normal part of ageing. For quick tips and easy ways to make sure you’re eating and drinking well during the pandemic, visit: https://www.ageuk.org.uk/salford/about-us/improving-nutrition-and-hydration/


  1. Do you make crumbles, Jean? If so, what do you put in the topping? I add chopped up almonds and porridge oats.
    Hope you are keeping well.
    Best wishes – Lucette

  2. I’ve only just seen your comment Lucette. I have got a great recipe for a plum crumble that has muesli and cubes of almond paste in the topping. I guess the almond paste wouldn’t make it to everybody’s taste.


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