Planning can make or break you and your Progress. Plan on enjoying this Black Bean Veggie Chili.

Here’s a tip my clients have given me: In the first week when your most motivated to cook, you should make large portions; label them Phase 1, Phase 2, and Phase 3; and freeze them so that you have them on hand for later weeks. I always suggest sitting down at the beginning of each week and filling your meal map, planning the foods that you’re going to eat for the whole week, and then creating a grocery list for all the ingredients; you’ll need. You might even consider repeating the same meal maps for week one and week three, and week two and week four.

If you don’t have a slow cooker, I strongly suggest you get one. And, you can borrow another one or two from a friend or neighbor (they probably have one they can dust off or pull out of the garage). I own three. You can never have enough slow cookers! One night a week I make three separate meals - maybe I’ll do Corned Beef Brisket and Cabbage, the Minestrone Soup, and this Black Bean Chili. All the prep and kitchen cleanup typically takes me less than an hour; then before I go to bed I turn everything on low and in the morning I have eighteen hot, delicious home-cooked meals waiting for me. I let them cool, portion them into Tupperware or freezer bags, label them for each phase, and stick them in the freezer to grab on the go when I have no time to cook. I can't wait for you to try these recipes! 

Black Bean Veggie Chili

Phases 1 and 3 | Serves 12
Prep Time: 20 minutes | Total Time: 2 hours, 50 minutes


  • 1 1/2 tablespoons olive oil (Phase 3 only; use broth or water for Phase 1)
  • 2 onions, chopped
  • 8 garlic cloves, chopped
  • 2 1/2 tablespoons chili powder
  • 1 tablespoon ground coriander
  • 2 teaspoons chipotle chile powder (if you like a milder chili, use less)
  • 2 14.5-ounce cans fire-roasted tomatoes
  • 1 pound dried black beans, rinsed
  • 2 teaspoons dried oregano
  • Sea salt
  • 1 2 1/4-pound butternut squash, peeled, seeded, and cut into 1/2-inch cubes (about 3 cups)
  • 1/2 cup quick-cooking barley
  • Lime wedges
  • Diced red onion or green onion
  • Chopped fresh cilantro
  • Pickled jalapeño rings


  1. Heat the oil (or broth/water) in a heavy large pot over medium-high heat.
  2. Add the onions and cook until soft and beginning to brown, stirring often about 8 minutes.
  3. Add the garlic; stir 1 minute.
  4. Sprinkle the chili powder, coriander, and chipotle powder over; stir 1 minute.
  5. Stir in the tomatoes with juice, beans, and oregano. Add 10 cups of water. Bring to a boil, reduce the heat to low, cover, and simmer until the beans are tender, stirring occasionally, about 2 hours (time will vary depending on the freshness of beans).
  6. Season to taste with salt and (if you like) additional chipotle powder. (DO AHEAD: The chili can be made to this point up to 2 days ahead and refrigerated. Rewarm the chili over low heat before continuing.)
  7. Stir the squash and barley into the chili. Simmer uncovered over medium-low heat until the squash and bulgur are tender, about 30 minutes.
  8. Season to taste with salt and chipotle. Divide the chili among bowls. Squeeze lime wedges over the chili and garnish with red or green onion, cilantro, and pickled jalapeño rings.

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