People’s Choice Winner

Our Veggie Chili Cook-Off was really fun. We came, we tasted, we savored and we supported the environment. Here’s one of the winning recipes, Gail Merritt’s 3-Bean Chili, People’s Choice


Gail’s 3-Bean Chili

Better if made 1 day before serving

Ingredients (approximate). Go organic if you can. ;]
Olive oil for sautéing
2 onions, chopped medium-fine
2 carrots, chopped medium-fine
5 cloves garlic, smashed+minced fine+smashed to paste with salt
4 Roma tomatoes, blanched, peeled, chopped medium
1 6-oz can tomato paste
1 15-oz can tomato sauce
1.5 qt vegetable broth
3 c. each: (cooked) cranberry beans, kidney beans, black beans
Spices (salt, pepper, chili powder, paprika, curry powder)Process:
Sauté onions, carrots, garlic over medium heat until cooked.
Add to large pot: vegetable broth, tomato paste, tomato sauce, stir until well-mixed
Add veggies, beans, fresh tomato
Add spices to taste.
Slow simmer to thicken up/cook fresh tomatoes.

Mango Chutney Garnish

 (adds heat, color, sweet)
1 jalapeno pepper, seeded, chopped fine
Equal part red pepper, chopped fine
Equal part red onion, chopped fine
Equal part green onion, chopped fine
2-3 cloves garlic, minced superfine/smashed with salt
Leaves from 1 bunch cilantro, chopped fine
2 cups mango, peeled, chopped medium
Lemon juice


MMMM! The last Monday in May

With Memorial Day upon us, we have MMMM! Meatless Memorial Monday in May.

For those of you who took the challenge to join the South Loop’s MMM! campaign and found it challenging: Thanks for trying. That alone makes a difference. And you’ve almost made it! Just one more day to go and then you can say that you went meatless on Mondays in May!

For everyone who signed the pledge, we’ll be celebrating your commitment to the challenge by entering your name in our raffle. Prizes have been donated by a number of South Loop restaurants that participated in MMM! Winners will be selected at random on Thursday, May 31.

Thanks again to the South Loop restaurants that participated in Meatless Mondays in May…MMM!

We hope you continue to patronize these businesses that signed up to support the environmental and community benefits of this campaign. If you consider making a habit of going meatless on Mondays year ‘round, you will be joining thousands of others around the world. These restaurants are great places for you and your friends to go.

Amarit Thai, 600 S. Dearborn*

The Burger Point, 1900 S. State St.

Bar Louie, 47 W. Polk

Cafecito, 26 E. Congress Pkwy*

Chicago Curry House, 899 S. Plymouth Ct.

Chutney Joe’s, 511 S. State St

Custom House Tavern, 500 S. Dearborn St.

Donna’s Cafe, 1255 S. State St.*

Epic Burger, 517 S. State St.

Flo and Santos, 1310 S. State St.*

Jimmy Green’s, 825 S. State St.

Lou Malnati’s Pizzeria, 805 S. State St.*

Native Foods Cafe, 218 S. Clark St.

Pauly’s Pizzeria, 719 S. State Street.

SRO: Standing Room Only, 610 S. Dearborn St.*

Tamarind, 614 S. Wabash

Tapas Valencia, 1530 S. State St.

Zapatista, 1307 S. Wabash*

* Tasty THANKS to our MMM! campaign sponsors.

In addition to our restaurant sponsors, we also thank Alliance members who contributed to the success of this campaign: Columbia College Chicago, Grace Place Episcopal Church, Prairie District Neighborhood Alliance, and South Loop Neighbors.

Making a Difference, One Green Habit at a Time

Now it’s time to end the suspense for readers who voted in our online “What Do YOU Think?” poll about what makes a difference in terms of mitigating climate change. Just where does eating less meat rank in the scheme of things we can do to make a difference? It’s better for the environment than most people think. The list of things in the order that they actually make a difference:

  1. Drive a more fuel-efficient car
  2. Improve home insulatio
  3. Eat less beef
  4. Drive less
  5. Recycle
  6. Use more energy efficient appliances
  7. Adjust our thermostats
  8. And Fly less

Looking for ways to support green businesses as one of your own green habits?
GHabit is a new app developed by South Loop’s own Milesh Milan that will help – and reward – you for doing just that! About a month ago, Ghabit won the Loyola University’s Sustainability Competition. and a few weeks ago the app went live on iTunes. The Android version will be available mid-June. To learn more, visit:

Next up?

With our MMM! campaign winding down, we are looking at a few projects to wind up:
1. A letter writing campaign to the City of Chicago to urge them to open a site that will receive old appliances that are not accepted at the City’s Electronics/Hazardous  Waste materials recycling center. These old machines do not belong in any landfill! Get your pens – electronic or ink – ready! We’ll be sharing words for you to use. Let’s keep those old microwaves, washing machines, toaster ovens, and all other dead appliances out of the landfill.

2. 4th Annual Greener South Loop Awards. Looking to get involved? Here’s something you can jump in on. Email us to learn how.

3. Green Gardens committee of private citizens continues its good work of keeping public gardens in great shape. Join the fun! Email us to get the schedule and timetable.

Cooking Ideas for MMM!

There are MANY resources available online to help expand our meatless recipe repertoire.

For example, check out the national site for Meatless Monday:

But we know the best recipes are the ones we get from our friends and family.

Post your favorite meatless recipe here by commenting to this post (Leave a Reply, below) – OR, request a recipe for something you have tasted and really loved.


Whole Foods Market – South Loop + MMM!

Whole Foods is partnering with the Alliance on Meatless Mondays in May…MMM!

Mark your calendars for 5-7pm, May 7, 14, 21, and 28 and plan to join team members Emily and Andi at the South Loop Whole Foods. They will be demonstrating – and you can sample – simple and quick meatless recipes straight from the pages of  Whole Foods’ monthly Whole Deal booklet. Recipes are perfect for families on-the-go. Cost: Free

Click here to go the Whole Foods Calendar posting.