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Illinois food bloggers spotlight

New York may get the lion’s share of the glory when people talk about foodie culture, but make no mistake — Illinois deserves to be in the spotlight, too. Among the state’s culinary accolades? In 2017, Bon Appétit magazine dubbed Chicago the “best restaurant city” in America. And from Evanston to Peoria to Oak Park, the state’s foodie meccas include much more than just the Windy City.

New York food bloggers spotlight

Naturally, food bloggers contribute to the state’s rich food culture by sharing their own unique recipes with local flair. If you want a taste (pun intended) of what Illinois has to offer, check out this list of its incredible food bloggers.

Chicago Food Girl

If you spend enough time browsing Mina Im’s Chicago Food Girl blog, it will likely come as no big surprise that her background is in communications, digital media and writing — she has a knack for sharing things in a way that just sort of sucks you in.

Although her Insta feed is largely devoted to documenting her travels and raving about Chi town’s best restaurants (all of which is eye candy!), Im’s blog boasts a fantastic “eating in” section full of recipes for home.

A Blended Balance

Although Ali Kreider isn’t strictly a food blogger, this central Illinois-based foodie makes our cut because we basically feel like her blog is food for the soul. Using food (along with fitness, nutrition, meditation and mindfulness), Kreider strives to live a life with less stress and anxiety. Her blog and social feeds reflect that — you’ll find everything from weekly workout ideas to the healthy recipes that fuel them.

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Turns out when you do enough soup Sunday’s by the last one of the year you don’t even need a recipe! . Tonight I put together my own creation, Spicy Beef Taco soup, and it was delicious! For not following any recipe, I’m pretty proud of how well it turned out. It’s totally #whole30compliant, #paleo, #dairyfree, #grainfree, flavorful and spicy 🌶. . Here’s what I did: 🌶 Chopped 2 bell peppers and sautéed them with 2 teaspoons minced garlic and 1 tablespoon of minced onion in 1 tablespoon of avocado oil in large soup pot until veggies are softened. 🌶 Add 1lb ground beef and 2 tablespoons @primalpalate Taco Seasoning to soup pot. Cook until beef is browned. 🌶 Add 1 can fire roasted diced tomatoes and 2 cups beef bone broth. Bring to boil about 5-10 minutes. 🌶 Stir in 1 tablespoon lime juice and 1 tablespoon nutritional yeast. 🌶 Divide and garnish with avocado and cilantro. . Next time I would use fresh onion, cilantro and add a jalapeño but for working with what I had, this was really tasty! . I haven’t decided yet if #soupsunday will continue weekly in the new year but suffice to say soup Sunday in 2018 has ended on a high note! . #whatimeating #whatsfordinner #whole30 #januarywhole30 #primalpalatespices #whole30recipes #whole30approved #whole30dinner #paleodiet #paleorecipes #paleolifestyle #paleodinner #spicy #foodforfuel #soup #tacosoup #soupseason #chambana #champaignurbana #illinoisblogger #instafood

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Back for Seconds

You know that feeling when you’ve never actually met someone, yet you feel like you’ve made an instant connection? Well, prepare to meet your newest virtual bestie. Stephanie Brubaker is the endlessly upbeat, sparkle-obsessed, sugar-lovin’ mama of five food blogger BFF you never knew you needed until just now. The fact that she believes wholly in the sanctity of peanut butter and chocolate as a combo should tell you something. But also, check out the totally dreamy dessert recipes she posts — they’ll make you wish she was in your real-life circle of friends.

Bake and Destroy

If you need a bit more vegan badassery in your life (and, really, who doesn’t?), look no further than Bake and Destroy’s Natalie Slater. A former baker-slash-journalism major, Slater decided to start a food blog in 2006 devoted to her original vegan recipes — recipes which, in her own words, are inspired by her love of “pro-wrestling, punk rock, heavy metal and junk food.” Intrigued? You should be. From Moroccan chickpea omelet to strawberry mint cacao cheesecake, her recipes are rockstar status.

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Listen, if you don’t like green bean casserole this post ain’t for you. 💅🏻Tune in tomorrow when I post a selfie or a hot dog or something more to your liking. 👋🏻 If you *do* like green bean casserole, boy howdy are you going to be excited about this one. Tap the link in my bio for my Vegan Green Bean Casserole Pizza recipe. 💫 Guaranteed to fuck you up and give you life this Thanksgiving. ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ ⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀⠀ #vegan #veganfoodshare #veganrecipes #veganfood #veganpizza #veganthanksgiving #thanksliving #greenbeancasserole #whatveganseat #chicagovegan

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Maggie’s Fresh Kitchen

As the mother of three young kids, Maggie Jeninga knows how stressful it can be to figure out which foods are best for growing bodies — and, even trickier, how to use those foods to make recipes finicky little eaters will want. Empowering families to feel confident in the kitchen and what they’re feeding their families was Jeninga’s initial inspiration.

What makes her blog even more special is Jeninga’s pursuit of balance, not perfection. She’s real, she’s funny and she isn’t shy about the fact that family is her focus.

Blissful Basil

Illinois spawns an impressive number of vegan foodies, and Ashley Melillo is a prime example. This former school psychologist created Blissful Basil based on her passion for plant-based food, and with the notion that all food should be both nourishing and enjoyable. Her recipes are so dreamy and delicious that they blow away any preconceived notions about vegan food being boring or one-dimensional.

Everything Erica

As the name of the blog implies, Everything Erica isn’t just a food blog. It’s a corner of the internet where founder Erica Eckman comes to discuss all things lifestyle. But here’s the thing, food and babies are her favorites. Her recipes — think pumpkin oatmeal bowls and buffalo chicken egg rolls — are easy, wholesome and interesting. And, if we’re really being honest, she’s just fun! At the risk of sounding cliché, Eckman has a true appetite for life that is inspiring.

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Gluten-Free Potato Latke Recipe! Save this beauty right now 🙌🏼! Tonight I made my famous potato latkes, but halfway through, I completely went off script and reinvented them (for no other reason than I had a few leftover potatoes from Thanksgiving I wanted to use 😂). I also feel so bloated and thought if I could remove the flour, I’d feel a little bit better about eating all the starch! The result was FANTASTIC (although this photo isn’t my best). Here’s how I did it: 1️⃣Peel, chunk and boil 1/2lb of yukon gold potatoes until fork tender. While boiling, grate 1lb of peeled russet potatoes. 2️⃣ Take half of the Yukon gold potatoes and rice them into the grated potato. Take the other half of the Yukons and blend with half an onion in blender. Combine potato mixture. 3️⃣ Add in 2 eggs, 1/4 cup of cheddar cheese, salt, pepper, garlic salt and onion powder. Stir until well combined 4️⃣Heat grapeseed or vegetable oil over medium heat. Add a spoonful of your latke mixture and let cook well on one side. It will fall apart if you flip to early. Flip, cook other side and when finished, let drain on paper towel. Now for a poll 👉🏻. I like mine with sour cream, but my hubby loves applesauce! What do YOU like?!

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The Kittchen

When it comes to finding the best food inspo, there’s nowhere Kit Graham won’t go. No, really — this avid traveler-slash-foodie has ventured (and chowed down) all over the world. She typically posts about her travel experiences once a week on The Kittchen and fills the rest of her feed with yummy food stuffs. Fun fact? She runs the Windy City Blogger Collective, a supportive community for Chicago-based bloggers.

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Beef Tenderloin. I tested my recipe twice and filmed a video this week. Thank goodness it’s delicious because we’ve been eating it every night this week. The other good news is that I published a very detailed blog post sharing everything you could ever want to know about how to buy and prepare beef tenderloin. I’ve even made a step by step video. I asked about sharing my blog posts in swipe ups and got a big response so I’m going to start doing it regularly. I’ve had my recipe site for 7 years… so I have a library of over 1200 recipes 😳 If you are ever looking for something specific just send me a DM 🙂 #theeverygirlcooks #f52grams #gloobyfood #windycitybloggers #recipes #feedfeed #foodblog #foodblogger #beeftenderloin #cooking #foodblogfeed #christmasdinner

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West of the Loop

Cook county resident Emily Paster originally envisioned herself having a high-octane legal career — until, that is, she started her family. After being home for back-to-back babies and indulging her love of cooking during any downtime, she realized that’s where her heart is.

California food bloggers spotlight

Thus, West of the Loop was created. In addition to posting recipes and expounding on the joy of feeding friends and family, Paster is also the co-founder of the Chicago Food Swap, one of the nation’s most dynamic food swap groups.

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