Easy-to-make and always-enjoyed meal-in-one. Gluten-free. Freezes well.

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  • Preparation Time

    10 minutes
  • Cooking Time

    60 minutes
  • Difficulty Rating

  • Health Level

  • Serves



  1. 1 Tbsp / 15 ml olive oil
  2. ½ cup / 120 ml onion chopped
  3. l lb. / 454 g ground hamburger or turkey, preferably lean organic pastured
  4. ½ cup / 120 ml sweet bell pepper, chopped
  5. 2½ cups / 600 ml stewed tomatoes
  6. 1 tsp / 5 ml ground black pepper
  7. 1 Tbsp / 15 ml chili powder
  8. 1 clove garlic,  minced (optional)
  9. 2 tsp. / 10 ml blackstrap molasses or raw sugar
  10. 1 lb / 454 g gluten-free whole grain spaghetti or other noodles, uncooked
  11. 3 qt/L water
  12. 2 cups / 480 ml pinto or similar beans, cooked/canned


  1. Warm oil in large lidded skillet over medium-high heat.
  2. Add onions, and saute until translucent, about 5 minutes.
  3. Add ground beef or turkey and bell pepper, and saute until browned.
  4. Drain excess fat, and add tomatoes and cooked beans.
  5. Add seasonings and sweetener to the meat mixture, and stir well.
  6. Reduce heat to low, cover skillet, and simmer for about 30 minutes.
  7. Meanwhile, bring water to boil in a 4-qt/L pot and add pasta.
  8. When pasta is tender to taste, drain and add to meat mixture.
  9. Cover and cook for an additional 20 minutes.

Serving size: 1 cup / 240 ml

Exchanges per Serving: 2 Carb, 1 Protein, 1 Fat, 1 Veg

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Comments 36

    • Hi, HappyHanna9. In the toolbar above your finished menu, you will see the “Exchange mode” button – when you click on it, you will see the exchanges you are allotted for each meal and day. Exchanges translate to the following approximate nutritional values:
      1 carb exchange = 15 grams of carbohydrates + up to 3 grams of protein
      1 protein exchange = 7 grams of protein + up to 5 grams of fat
      1 fat exchange = 5 grams of fat
      1 fruit exchange = 15 grams of carbohydrates
      1 vegetable exchange = 5 grams of carbohydrates + up to 2 grams of protein
      1 sweet exchange = up to 15 grams of carbohydrates + up to 5 grams of fat
      1 free exchange = up to 5 grams of carbohydrates or up to 2 grams of protein or fat
      At your current weight, your estimated needs are about 117 grams of protein, 195 grams of carbohydrate, and 90 grams of fat each day. These amounts will decrease as you lose weight.

    • Hi, Dorothy. Yes, you can have 1.5 servings instead of lunch. The way you can tell is by comparing the “Exchanges per Serving” at the end of the recipe to those allotted to you – you can see these by clicking on the “Exchange mode” icon in the toolbar above your menu. The match doesn’t have to be perfect.

    • Hi, Marilyn. The amount of carbs is individualized for each person. We encourage high-fiber sources of these carbs, so that the amount of available carbs will be quite low. If you have done better with 100 grams per day, you can substitute some of the starchy sources with protein foods. You can view your exchanges by clicking on “Exchange mode” in the toolbar above your menu, and swap one for one.

  1. One thing that bothers me is most of the recipes are for too many servings, I am one person by my self. It is impossible to work the portions out and I can only freeze so much, maybe you could cut down at least to 4 portion size then it would be easier to handle, I think as it is I will have to cancel at the end of my trial period I’ve tried the set menu but it is really quite bland. This was just a suggestion. I will see what happens to my weight on the set menu.

    • Hi, Dawn. Compare the exchanges listed at the end of the recipe to your allotted exchanges (visible by clicking on “Exchange mode” in the toolbar above you menu), and swap in the recipe. The match doesn’t have to be perfect.

    • Hi, Lucy. Do you mean nutritionally? If so, they equal 30 grams of carbohydrate, 13 grams of protein, and 10 grams of fat. If you are asking with regard to your daily allottment in this plan, you can compare those numbers by clicking on “Exchange mode” in the toolbar above your menu.

  2. I have just been diagnosed with Diabetes I have high cholesterol, high blood pressure and was told to follow the calorie count GI book! I found it to overwhelming to follow and would like to try this. What would you recommend me first trying out. I have also just joined the gym for excersise

    • Hi, Marylou. You have come to the right place! This entire program is based on principles of managing blood pressure, cholesterol, and sugar. Other than continuing to exercise on a regular basis, I suggest you try the personal version of our Menu Planner application (the right-most option here: https://www.trimdownclub.com/menu-planner) so that you can select the specific foods to go in your menu. There you will be guided by our color-coding system wherein the healthiest foods are in the lighter blue shades. Your menu doesn’t have to be perfect, and certainly not right away, but gradually work your way toward something with a score over 90.

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