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I Heart Tomatoes (Recipe: Simple Weeknight Ground Beef Chili)

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It is no newsflash to Dine & Dish readers that I’m a little perturbed that I still live in Kansas. I always thought I would be out of this state at some point, but 37 years later, I am still about as firmly planted as one can be. It’s fine, really. I’m getting used to the idea (which is exactly what I tell myself so that I don’t fall into some deep stupor about my fate as a lifetime Kansan.)

One thing Kansas does have is the best tomatoes in the summertime. There is nothing better than a vine ripened tomato, taken fresh off the vine, rinsed off, sliced and eaten….oh who is kidding who? I don’t really bother slicing it! I love fresh tomatoes in Kansas. There is nothing really much worse than wintertime and the tomatoes we get from our supermarket though. As juicy and flavorful the tomatoes of summer are the opposite can be said about the dull, flavorless tomatoes that seem to be in our produce section this time of year. That is why I am a huge fan of canned tomatoes! As a tomato lover, I love the vine ripe flavor and the ease of use canned tomato products offer for use in recipes! I can get a little taste of summer even when it is cold and dreary outside.

ConAgra, the maker of Hunt’s tomato products, provided some research surrounding tomatoes and heart health that makes me appreciate being able to eat tomatoes all year long too.

  • Recent studies have suggested that the distinct combination of nutrients found in tomatoes may have a measurable impact on heart disease prevention.
  • According to a study reported in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition, lycopene absorption is 2-3 times greater in canned tomato products than raw tomatoes.
  • Using Hunt’s tomatoes is a great way to get a significant source of fiber, Vitamin C and the antioxidant lycopene into your diet.
  • Hunt’s tomatoes are flash-steamed to help them keep their backyard-garden-fresh taste, are 100 percent natural and contain no artificial preservatives or ingredients.

All this health news about tomatoes is pretty awesome, isn’t it? If I can keep tomatoes as a part of a lifestyle of healthy diet and exercise, I’m sure to be around for my kiddos for a long, long time…. which is a good thing, even if I’ll still be in Kansas!

This recipe is one of my favorite, weeknight chili recipes. No need to tear open a pouch of chili seasoning. Just use some of the spices you have on hand in your spice cabinet and you are good to go! A delicious, comforting, tomato filled chili recipe perfect for warming little bellies this winter!

Recipe: Simple Weeknight Ground Beef Chili

  • 1 pound lean ground beef
  • 1 cup chopped onion
  • 1 clove garlic, minced
  • 1 large can Hunt’s diced tomatoes, (28 ounces)
  • 1 can (15 ounces) Bush’s Chili Beans (medium seasoning), with liquid
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 to 2 teaspoons chili powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1/8 teaspoon pepper

In a large saucepan brown ground beef with onions; add garlic until softened. Drain off excess fat. Add remaining ingredients; bring to a simmer. Cover and simmer until heated through.

I was compensated to help spread the word about the health benefits of Hunt’s tomato products, however, the opinions in this post…about Kansas and everything else, are my own.

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  1. We need to make more chili here. My mom used to make it as a staple winter recipe, and yet I rarely, if ever, do. Thanks for the reminder at the wonders of a good chili, Kristen.

  2. i adore chili…and the simple kind is ALWAYS the best! hurray for tomatoes!

  3. As a fellow Kansan, I completely agree with your opinions about the deliciousness of summer tomatoes and the lack thereof in the available winter varieties at our stores. I love love love tomatoes and can’t wait to try this easy chili recipe.

  4. What a great recipe. I love a good simple chili. No fancy stuff for me :)

  5. Wonderful recipe, Kristen. I love a good chili. We’ve been making turkey chili almost every week since the Summer. James can’t get enough of it. Going to have to try your recipe next week when we get back from Disney.

  6. I love a good chili recipe!!! Great picture!

  7. They didn’t pay you to talk about Kansas, lol?! My favorite thing to make for lunches during the week is a big crockpot full of chili. Love the easy recipes too!

  8. Great no-fuss recipe. My family loves chili and I’m loving this recipe.

  9. I am always looking for quick weeknight meals! I love that first photo, it’s stunning!

  10. I have been thinking about chili lately….the colder it gets, the nicer it sounds! I’m with you on tomatoes….nothing better than a fresh tomato from your own garden (or your mom and dad’s garden!)

  11. I’m a chili girl, yep, it’s true. And this just looks like a big warm hug on a cold winter’s night, can’t wait to dive in!

  12. Tomatoes are pretty amazing. I love that bowl where you served your chili, and the recipe sounds simple and delicious.

  13. i kind of envy you living in Kansas. I crave a simpler life for me and my family and for some reason I idealize that that is what you have. however, with 4 kids, I guess life is just not that simple!!! chili looks yummy!

  14. Katie @ Healthnut Foodie says:

    How did I never realize that you are from Kansas? What part? We just moved back to Kansas City after a 10 year hiatus. Tomatoes grown on Kansas soil are amazing!!


  15. I love that opening photo – the bowl upon bowl gives great perspective.

    We certainly miss our sweet summertime tomatoes, but find ourselves turning to canned tomatoes very often during the winter months. The health benefits and flavor are both huge incentives.

  16. Kristen – Thanks for the chili recipe and the info regarding tomatoes. I’m a fan of Hunts products. For the past several years I’ve been buying their large can of spaghetti sauce for making pasta dishes. Not only do I love the taste but also the price point which doesn’t break my piggy bank.

  17. Chili is one of our winter mainstays – good source of fiber and lycopene from the tomatoes w/a little kick tossed in for good measure! Sometimes I wonder if I’ll ever live near water again – especially during the summer when all I see are corn fields!

  18. Having been to Kansas I do understand your thoughts, however it does have merits – thankfully ruby red tomatoes are one of them :) Your chili sounds wonderful & the photo is lovely!

  19. Oh gosh, I’ve been craving chili the last couple of days (I’ve even been tweeting abou it.) Finding this wonderfuol and easy recipe just made my day. Lovely photo btw!

  20. My grandma came from a small town near Wichita, and she made the best chili! And canned tomatoes are so useful: my Mom and her brothers would take cans of tomatoes with them when they went out to horseback to check the cattle. It was food and drink together.


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