Rocco’s Super-Light Mexican Chili

Wow -thanks for all your comments yesterday clearing up the confusion I had over the Athena/weight classifications on races – I had no idea!  You guys are so smart. 😀

Guess who got up and went to the gym yesterday?  Yep, my 101 Day Challengers know that I wanted to swim twice this week and run a 5k outside.  I was happy when I walked by the pool on my way to the locker room that there were three lanes open – woot!

I just decided to go slow and steady.  Like running outside, I tend to go too fast, and then have to stop.  I am happy to say that other than adjusting my goggles a couple times, I was able to swim for 40 minutes without stopping.  And then I hit the hot tub, and then the eucalyptus steam room.  What a great way to start the day. 😀

And I put on make up and fixed my hair – who am I?!  I had my lunch packed in my car in a cooler, but decided I’d pick up McDonald’s oatmeal for breakfast – I accessorized it by adding 1/2 a sliced banana and an ounce of my homemade granola – a delicious, albiet sweet, and filling breakfast for 10 points.

With weather in the low 70’s, it was impossible not to ride my bike at lunch.  Another 50 minutes of working out and about 8 miles total.  😀 I was hungry when I got back.  One of the dishes I made for my SIL and me this week was Rocco diSpirito’s Super-light Mexican chili con carne with beans.  While I do think my Best Buffalo Chicken Chili is better, this one was good – especially when I added cherry peppers to my bowl. 😀

Rocco’s Super-Light Mexican Chili Con Carne with Beans

  • 7 PointsPlus per cup


  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 1 medium onion, diced fine (left out)
  • 1 green bell pepper, roughly chopped
  • 1 red bell pepper, roughly chopped (I added this)
  • One 28 ounce can plum tomatoes with juice
  • 3 tablespoons chili powder
  • 2 tablespoons ground cumin
  • salt and pepper to taste
  • 12 ounces ground turkey (I used 12 ounces ground chicken breast)
  • One 14 ounce can black beans, drained
  • 1 cup shredded 75% reduced fat cheddar cheese, such as Cabot (I used 3/4 an ounce of real cheese in bowl, same point value)

Here are my quick cooking instructions.  Add garlic, peppers, tomatoes with juice, chili powder and cumin.  Bring to a boil and then reduce to medium low, and simmer for 10 minutes, until the peppers are soft.  I then pureed the mixture, added the ground chicken and black beans and cooked an additional 10 minutes until the chicken is cooked through.   I had mine with 3 points of tortilla chips and mixed in zero point spaghetti squash for a super filling 11 Points Plus lunch. 😀

Because the spaghetti squash was kinda watery, it turned out to be kind of like what Rachael Ray calls a stoup – a cross between a soup and a stew – delicious!

I knew I bought scallops for a reason over the weekend, but for the life of me I couldn’t find the recipe I originally wanted.  So I made one up!  I knew I had polenta in my pantry – Tony loves it, and while I would have loved a spicy red sauce to go over the top, this was delicious just the way it was.  And each serving is only 11 PointsPlus!

Seared Scallops and Shrimp over Parmesan Polenta

  • 2 servings, 11 PointsPlus per serving


  • 3/4 pound sea scallops (ours were big 6 scallops was 3/4 pound!)
  • 10 large shrimp, peeled and deveined
  • 2 teaspoons olive oil
  • 8 tablespoons polenta
  • 2 cups water
  • generous pinches of salt and pepper
  • 1/3 cup parmesan cheese
  • 1 zucchini, sliced

Pat the shrimp and scallops dry and generously salt and pepper.

Bring the 2 cups of water to a boil.  While that’s going, heat a small saute pan with Pam and add zucchini – cook for 5 minutes, or until they start to brown.  Set aside.

When the water boils, add the polenta, stirring constantly for 5 minutes.  While its super smooth at this point, when it starts to cool it thickens up.  Once you remove the polenta off the heat, stir in the Parmesan cheese, and leave in the pot to keep warm.

Now bring a skillet to a super high heat – add oil and then sear the shrimp – I put my garlic on top so it doesn’t burn and toss the shrimp after I turn them to coat.  These only take about 2-3 minutes to cook – put on a plate and cover to keep warm.

Take a sharp knife and cut the top of one side of the scallops to make hatch marks – add another teaspoon of oil to the pan and put this side down first.  Cook 1-2 minutes per side depending on the size of your scallops – I was close to 4 minutes total.

Plate half the polenta on the plate, put scallops and shrimp along the top and add the grilled zucchini.

Hopefully that makes sense – can you tell I don’t write recipes much?!

Be sure to use lose polenta, not the premade polenta in a roll in the Italian aisle.

Since the only real seasoning is salt and pepper (and garlic) generously season the shrimp and scallops.

Here is the final dish – holy shizz this was tasty!

Yep, this one is a keeper!

Stats for Tuesday:

  • 40 minute swim
  • 20 minute hot tub/steam room
  • 50 minute bike ride 😀
  • 34 points
  • average blood sugar 117

Come back tomorrow for a new blueberry scone recipe – I haven’t figure out the points exactly yet, but I think it will be around 6 points – with the lemon glaze!  Make it a great day!

27 thoughts on “Rocco’s Super-Light Mexican Chili

  1. Fantastic job on all the exercise!

    Your dinner looks fabulous. I still haven’t cooked scallops at home. Not sure what I’m waiting for…

  2. Great workouts Biz!!! I totally need to get back into swimming. I was on swim team growing up and it kept me such amazing shape. The chili sounds yummy. I actually prefer turkey/chicken chili to beef. And dinner is just gorgeous. Seems so summery. Hope you have a good one

  3. of course it’s not as good as your chicken chili! This does look good though – love that you added pasta and i’ve never cooked with ground chicken before! I know – must try it!

  4. Yum! I’m so scared to cook seafood at home, I ALWAYS overcook it no matter what :/ You are definitely going to reach your goal this week with how great you are doing!

  5. Great job working out Biz! That does sound like a great way to start the day 🙂 (especially the hot tub!)

    I still have never tried or made polenta in my life….I have to add that to my list of things to make this summer…

    Have a super day – I rode my bike to work again even though it looks like rain, I made it without getting soaked!

  6. You are truly an inspiration when it comes to working out…I don’t know how you do it! Good girl! Everything you made looks great but I can’t eat scallops, unfortunately….got sicker’n a dog on them once and haven’t been able to eat them since. But any other kind of seafood…yummy.

  7. I’ve always been a little afraid to try scallops, but they look so delicious here. I love the idea of eating them with polenta. Thanks for the great ideas!

  8. Oooh, the shrimp and scallops look fantastic! I’m a huge fan of polenta.

  9. If my husband sees the shrimp and scallops with polenta you may have a house guest or I will be making this every night for a week. WOW that looks good. Thank you for the recipe – at least now I know what to make for Father’s Day, his birthday in July and our anniversary. Oh and Friday night’s dinner. [I am not kidding – those are three of his favorite things. WOW]

    Your exercise regimen is amazing – I am shocked that you don’t burn more calories than you eat and lose a bajillion pounds. You are doing great, keep it up!

  10. Great job on the swim! I went yesterday and did 12 laps in a row – couldn’t believe it! 🙂

  11. You are becoming the exercise QUEEN! Good for you.

    Mmmmmmm Polenta. We love polenta – both the soft and hard kinds! You know where there’s a delish recipe for that? Pioneer Woman’s Creamy Polenta. She adds a bit of goat cheese and holy YUM.

  12. I love the “who am I??” after you did your hair and make up – you’re someone who is enjoying her appearance again, and that is awesome! Direct result of losing weight and exercise? Nice!

  13. I adore squash in chili. I often put pumpking or butternut squash in mine in place of beans and let it cook right in the stew. I also adore adding cinnamon and cocoa powder to mine as they both add a lot of depth.

    This sounds delicious.

  14. I have never had luck making scallops they always turn out tough for me. I love your food! You should teach cooking classes!

  15. You are a working out fool! Love it. I also love the sear you got on your scallops. I’ve never been able to get a sear, but I think I know how–don’t you have to get them REALLY dry before cooking? I never do.

  16. The chili sounds great, although I think I would need to spice it up a little, too! Good for you for working out so much… you’re inspiring!

  17. yummmm! Those pics make me want shrimp and grits!!

  18. I’ve never seen scallops scored like that, I love it!! The chili sounds awesome, but like you said…that buffalo chicken chili is hard to beat! Awesome job with the workouts! I am loving your emails and the quotes – so motivating!!!

  19. Wow, I’m in awe of your day’s workout! Congrats! And I love the idea of black beans vs. kidney beans in chili…I need to try that. Your shrimp and scallop dish is amazing…those scored scallops are cooked to perfection….mmmmmm.

  20. Nice workouts!
    I love chili!! I’ll have to check out your other recipe now….

  21. Weighting For 50

    Woo Hoo! You are a workout MAVEN!!! And an amazing chef….your pictures are cookbook worthy!! Have a great day Biz.

  22. Awesome job swimming!! When I swam at my God daughter’s it was about 20-25 minutes and I had to stop, so you ROCK! That shrimp, scallop, and polenta dish looks beautiful – like a restaurant! 🙂

  23. Weather in the low 70’s? I live in the wrong place.

  24. Thanks for stopping by my blog! I literally jumped for joy!

    All of your recipes here look FANTASTIC! Will be back for more 🙂

  25. I love Rocco’s recipes but I love buffalo anything so I will have to try your recipe for Chili. Great job on the exercise 😉

  26. Biz, that shrimp, scallop, and polenta dish looks amazing! You are a scallop cooking pro – I get scared to cook scallops for fear of overcooking them.

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