Breakfast: Tacos With Chilli And Purslane

Purslane is a slightly bitter, salty green used in Mediterranean and Indian cooking. You can get it at farmers’ markets in spring and summer, or order it online (or buy seeds and grow it yourself). It’s worth seeking out, because it’s higher in omega 3s than any other leafy green veg – higher than some fish oils – as well as being packed with fibre and vitamin A. Omega 3-rich eggs are laid by hens that fed on flaxseeds, chia seeds and fish oil – and they’re also chock-full of protein, vitamins and fat-fighting nutrients.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • ½ medium onion, chopped
  • 90g purslane, stems discarded
  • 1 chilli pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
  • 4 omega 3 eggs
  • 4 corn tortillas
  • Salt, to taste

To make

  1. Heat the oil in a large skillet over medium-low heat. Add the onion and cook for about ten minutes until translucent.
  2. Add the purslane and chilli and cook for about two minutes until the purslane is wilted.
  3. Beat the eggs well, then clear a space for them in the skillet and pour in. Slowly mix in the other ingredients as the eggs scramble.
  4. When the eggs are almost set, heat the tortillas in a dry skillet.
  5. Season the egg mixture with salt, divide among tortillas, wrap and serve – with fresh salsa if you like.

Lunch: Spinach Salad With Winter Squash And Walnuts

Winter squash includes pumpkin and butternut along with less well-known varieties like acorn and delicata – and just 150g provides one-third of the recommended daily intake of vitamin C, a nutrient research shows is directly related to the body’s ability to burn fat. Walnuts pack the best omega 3 punch of any nut or seed and are also loaded with disease-fighting antioxidants,a combination, that’s highly protective against heart disease, one recent study found. Walnuts also help lower blood pressure and decrease blood vessel inflammation when you’re stressed.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 1 butternut or other winter squash, peeled, de-seeded and cut into 1.5cm cubes
  • 5tbsp olive oil
  • 1¼tsp salt
  • 220g spinach
  • 2tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • ½tsp Dijon mustard
  • 80g walnuts

To make

  1. Preheat oven to 230°C/gas 8.
  2. Toss the squash with 1tbsp olive oil to coat, season with 1tsp salt and spread in a single layer on a baking sheet. Bake, stirring after 20 minutes, until tender and lightly browned, about 30 minutes total.
  3. Add to a bowl with the spinach.
  4. Combine the remaining olive oil and salt with the lemon juice and mustard in a jar and shake vigorously, or whisk in a bowl until emulsified. (For texture and added omega 3s, add 1tsp chia seeds.)
  5. Toss the dressing with the squash and spinach, top with the walnuts and serve.

Snack: Haricot Bean Hummus

Beans are a great source of belly fat-fighting fibre – half a can gives you nearly a day’s recommended intake of omega 3s. Haricot beans (aka navy beans) are packed with filling protein and brimming with vitamins and minerals, and studies show that these beans in particular can help battle diabetes and obesity. Flaxseeds are high in omega 3s and can help fight symptoms of cardiovascular disease like hypertension, studies show.

Ingredients (makes 6 servings)

  • 400g can navy beans
  • 2tbsp lemon juice
  • 2tbsp tahini (or olive oil)
  • 1 garlic clove, peeled
  • ¼tsp ground cumin
  • ¼tsp salt

To make

Combine in a food processor until smooth. Serve with flaxseed crackers.

Dinner: Chia-Crusted Tuna With Wild Rice And Red Lentil Pilaf

Tuna is one of the richest sources of omega 3s, while wild rice has twice as much fibre and protein as brown rice but fewer calories. Also, lentils boost fat metabolism and regulate your appetite because their slow- digesting fibre triggers the release of acetate, a molecule in the gut that signals the brain when it’s time to stop eating. Mustard seeds are also high in omega 3s – a tablespoonful provides almost 300mg.

Ingredients (serves 2)

  • 2 tuna steaks
  • 2tbsp olive oil
  • 3tbsp mustard seeds
  • 3tbsp chia seeds
  • 875ml beef stock
  • 220g wild rice
  • 1 onion, chopped
  • 6 garlic cloves, minced
  • 110g red lentils
  • 110g white rice

To make

  1. Coat the tuna with olive oil, then with the mustard and chia seeds.
  2. Put 1tbsp oil in a cast-iron skillet and heat over a medium-high heat. Add the tuna and cook for three to four minutes, then flip and cook for another three to four minutes. Rest for five minutes, then slice.
  3. For the pilaf, bring 500ml of stock to the boil in a saucepan. Add the wild rice and simmer for 30-40 minutes until cooked, then drain and reserve.
  4. Meanwhile, heat 1tbsp oil in a saucepan over medium heat. Add the onion and cook for five minutes. Add the garlic, lentils and white rice and cook, stirring, for three minutes. Add the remaining stock, bring to a boil, then reduce the heat, cover and simmer for 20 minutes. When cooked, mix with the wild rice and serve.

Cheat Meal: Fontina, Tomato And Anchovy Pizza

Put anchovies on your pizza and just a couple of slices will get you more than halfway to your daily quota of omega 3s. The superfish is also rich in calcium and potassium (both essential weight-loss minerals) as well as vitamin A. And with research continuing to show that high-fat products like cheese may help reduce the risk of obesity, dairy’s made a dietary comeback. Fontina has high levels of butyrate, a fatty acid that’s been proven to boost fat metabolism. It’s not widely available in the UK but gruyère, emmental and taleggio are all decent substitutes.

Ingredients (serves 4)

  • 2 medium onions, chopped
  • 1tbsp olive oil
  • 1 pizza base (12-14in/30-35cm, shop-bought or home-made,)
  • 220g fontina cheese, grated
  • 3 plum tomatoes, sliced
  • 16 anchovies

To make

  1. Preheat oven to 230°C/gas 8.
  2. Heat the oil in a pan over medium heat. Cook the onions until tender and beginning to turn brown, about 15 to 20 minutes, then allow to cool.
  3. Place your pizza base on a pizza stone or baking sheet lined with parchment or sprinkled with cornmeal. Sprinkle the dough with about a quarter of the cheese, then cover evenly with the onions, then the rest of the cheese. Place the tomatoes on in a single layer, and finish with anchovies laid decoratively over the top.
  4. Bake for about ten minutes or until the cheese is bubbling and the crust edges are browned.

This is an edited extract from Eat This, Not That For Abs! The Ultimate Six-Pack In Less Than Six Weeks – And A Flat Belly For Life! by Mark Langowski and the editors of Eat This, Not That! (Galvanized Books)