10 black food bloggers share recipes so irresistible, you'll want to cook them all ASAP

10 black food bloggers share recipes so irresistible, you'll want to cook them all ASAP

Not sure what to make for dinner tonight? We asked some of our favorite black food bloggers to share their most cherished recipes with us. From a seductively gooey mac and cheese to a healthy jambalaya that packs a spicy punch with fewer carbs, the internet raves over these inventive recipes that don't skimp on flavor.

Some of these black bloggers are self-taught cooks, others are registered nutritionists and others have cooking running through their veins because their ancestors were acclaimed chefs. 

Every recipe below has a story — and those stories reflect the accomplishments, struggles, heritage and culture of these bloggers. One blogger dreamed up a mouthwatering comfort food recipe after a long day at a tough job, while another perfected the art of cornbread after drawing inspiration from the "ash cakes" her great uncle made when working in the fields of a rice plantation. These recipes are the perfect way to bring the past to the present in honor of Black History Month.

Let these bloggers take you and your taste buds on a journey. And if you've been calling your favorite food delivery joint more often than you'd care to admit, perhaps it's time to put down that takeout menu and fire up your oven. Cooking these beloved recipes is the most delicious way you can bring these bloggers' stories into your own kitchen.

Macaroni Pie from Inner Gourmet

Get the recipe here.

Easy as pie? How about cheesy as pie? This spicy macaroni pie from Alica Ramkirpal of Inner Gourmet reminds her of family. "My aunt and I would make trays of macaroni pie for holidays or social gatherings at home. It's such a customizable dish and favored by everyone," Ramkirpal said, explaining that the pie is a popular side dish in Caribbean cuisine. She makes it once or twice a month, either served with stewed chicken or served solo.

What's inside: Every part of this dish is seasoned along the way, Ramkirpal notes. Warm elbow noodles get seasoned with salt, garlic powder, pepper, cayenne pepper. Milk gets seasoned with scallions, onion and garlic. Hubba hubba. 

Pro tips: Set yourself up for success by having all the ingredients prepped and ready to go before starting the recipe, Ramkirpal said. "The cooking process goes smoothly when your ingredients are chopped and liquids measured out."

Abacha from Nigerian Lazy Chef

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Abcacha is a form of local African salad that's a "delicacy" enjoyed mostly by the Igbo-speaking people of Nigeria, Nma Jewel, the brains behind Nigerian Lazy Chef, said. "My great aunt used to make bowls and bowls of it for me and my father each time we visited my father's country home. The smell of the ogiri and the ehuru (African nutmeg) intertwined with the deliciousness of the burnt ukpaka (African oil bean) leaves always does something to my senses," she said.

What's inside: The star ingredients in this local dish include cassava, a starchy root that's similar to a potato, and palm oil, eggplants, oil bean and fish.

Pro tips: The dish can me made a thousand different ways, Jewel said, so don't stress about following a certain method. "Just focus how it feeds your soul," she said.

Low-Carb Jambalaya from Fit Men Cook

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Kevin Curry of the healthy cooking website Fit Men Cook tries to create "calorie-conscious" comfort food so he can eat well without compromising his wellness goals, he said. Case in point: this nutrient-packed jambalaya. Curry makes it whenever he feels like he needs more "spice" in his diet. The dish reminds him of family reunions in Louisiana. "It has been a minute so I appreciate the memories even more," he says.

What's inside: Cauliflower rice gives the same texture as regular rice, but delivers fewer carbs. Chicken, turkey sausage and shrimp pack the dish with healthy protein. (Each serving contains 323 calories with 34 grams of protein — how about that?)

Pro tips: Making cauliflower rice instead of buying it at the store makes the dish even better, Curry said. If you make a big batch of the cauliflower rice, "you can use this throughout the week instead of rice for a hearty and lower-calorie alternative," he said. To make it extra tasty sauté the cauliflower rice with olive oil, garlic and onion.

"Grown-up" Bacon Macaroni and Cheese from Carnal Dish

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Bacon mac and cheese needs no formal introduction, and Resha of the popular blog Carnal Dish claims her version is "truly a hug in a bowl." She dreamed up the recipe after coming home from a "thankless job" and wanting some comfort food to make her feel better after a bad day. 

The cheesy dish oozes sexiness — and the proof is in the pudding, er, mac: "I have a follower who made this dish for her husband one night, and nine months later they had a beautiful baby boy. They affectionately call him 'the mac 'n' cheese baby'" Resha said.

"I make it for just about every gathering, party, holiday event — you name it," said the blogger. "This recipe will become a staple once you try it. You'll look for any excuse in the world to make it, I promise."

What's inside: "Garlicky creaminess, herbaceous notes, a slight natural sweetness and delightful sharpness from the scallions as they cook down, lots of texture with the crispy breadcrumbs, as well as the toasting of pasta ..." Resha waxes poetic. Hungry yet?

Pro tips: "This recipe is incredibly easy, and it's been something people with little to no kitchen experience have been able to pull off beautifully. I'm very proud of that," Resha said. Even so, here are some best practices to keep in mind:

• Grate your own cheese because pre-shredded cheese never melts well, according to Resha.
• Taste everything as you go. "I feel that a lot of people follow a recipe to the letter, but they don't taste it throughout the process, and end up with something either bland, or over-salted," she said.
• Have starchy pasta water on hand. When it comes to mac and cheese, home cooks need to be vigilant when the hot cheese begins to congeal and tighten as it cools. Mixing a bit of starchy pasta water into the recipe will help loosen the sauce, she said.

Grilled Trout with Broccoli Rabe and Raisin Vinaigrette from Pulled Together

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Rashad Frazier of Pulled Together, a food and lifestyle blog and brand, created this light yet filling dish to keep him on track with his 2017 resolution of eating a healthier diet. "It's the sort of dish where both your palette and your trainer are high-fiving-you," he said. Frazier explained the dish reminds him of cooking with dad, who liked to keep it simple in the kitchen and would often say that a dish is only as good as its ingredients.

Since trout is in season right now, Rashad said you should find your local fishmonger and buy it immediately!

What's inside: Grilled trout has a mild fish flavor that's complimented by broccoli rabe sautéed in garlic and olive oil. A dash of honey sweetens the deal.

Pro tips: This dish will taste even better if you pay extra attention to how you grill your trout, Frazier said.

• Make sure your trout is patted dry and rubbed over with olive oil.
• Clean your grill and make sure it is well oiled. "Both steps will tremendously help prevent your fish from sticking and you being cooked like a boss chef!" he said.

Hot Water Cornbread by Southern Souffle

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Erika's inspiration for this cornbread recipe can be traced all the way back to her great-grandfathers. Her family passed down the story recounting how one of her great-uncles made "ash cakes while working in the fields of a South Carolina rice plantation," she wrote on her site. Ash cakes were a mix of cornmeal and water cooked by placing the dough between two leaves and covering it with hot ashes.

"With the improvement of their circumstances, African-American cooks would evolve the ash cake, from hoe cakes to hot water cornbread," she wrote. Though Erika once attempted to make her own ash cakes by using collard greens as an experiment with friends, her current recipe suggests modern cooks use skillets to fry up delectable, sweet cornbread.

What's inside: Cooked in a skillet, these fluffy treats are made from white stone ground cornmeal and sweetened condensed milk to add a hint of sweetness. Erika says the final product has crispy edges and soft, bread-like centers. Sounds heavenly.

Pro tips: The cornbread cooks up quickly so be sure to keep a close eye on them when they're on the stove, Erika writes. Fry them up until the edges crisp up, around two to three minutes for each side. Brushing them with butter before serving makes them extra indulgent.

Stuffed Ranchero Sweet Potato by Food Heaven

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This spud recipe is a real stud in the nutrition department. Sweet potato and black beans make for a nutrient-packed meal, Jessica Jones, one of two registered dietitians behind Food Heaven Made Easy, said. "I make this meal at least once a week," she noted. "It makes for the perfect on-the-go lunch! I simply pack it in a container, bring a fork, and enjoy during my break," she said, explaining that the comforting recipe makes her think of having a good time "tucked on a couch with a bunch of family members under a blanket."  Nutritious and cozy sounds like a winning combo if you ask us.

What's inside: This healthy loaded potato has fiber-packed beans topped with an easy-to-make salsa. Lime juice adds the perfect citrus zest.

Pro tips: If you want to bake the potato in the oven but you want to speed up the process, Jones recommends boiling it for 10 minutes with the lid on before you put it in the oven. Bake until it feels tender. (Without the boiling trick, a potato usually takes around 45 minutes to bake.)

Catfish Cakes from Sweet Savant

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"This recipe is so important to me because it's inspired by father," Demetra Overton of Sweet Savant, explained. "Since he retired he goes fishing several times a week and catches a ton of catfish." She notes that catfish cakes are great with a salad or grits on the side, or it can be served as a burger.

What's inside: Catfish, of course. Overton likes to use Keebler Club Crackers to give the cakes texture, but her dad ops for Ritz crackers. Old Bay seasoning gives the recipe a kick so don't forget it.

Pro tips: If you buy wild catfish and want to tone down the strong fishy flavor, Overton has you covered. Soak the fillets in water, vinegar and lemon juice and pat dry before baking it. In a rush? Farmed catfish has a milder flavor so you won't need to soak it to reduce the fishy factor.

Granny's Banana Bread from Food Love Tog

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This sumptuous banana bread recipe is one of the first things Candace Boyd Wylie of the site Food Love Tog learned to bake with the guidance of her maternal grandmother. "This recipe has become a family staple in my home. "My daughter devours it!" she said. "It reminds me that good food is a connector of people." 

What's inside: Sour cream and a generous dose of butter give this banana bread a moist texture. It's a hearty mixture that's suitable for any season. 

Pro tips: Wylie has no pro tips – she says following the straightforward recipe will yield a delicious sweet bread "in no time."  

Star Anise and Orange Duck Salad from My Life Runs on Food

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Only 25 minutes of prep time is all you need to create this delectable salad that's way more filling than your average plate of greens. "I like creating smart salads with plenty of carbs, juicy and/or savory flavors, fulfilling protein and the occasional creamy taste from cheese," Sanura Weathers, the brains behind the site My Life Runs on Food, said. She likes making the recipe in the winter when citrus fruits are abundant and in season. 

What's inside: Quinoa is expertly seasoned with star anise, crushed red pepper and orange zest before it's mixed into the salad. How bout that? For protein, chopped duck or sliced beef will keep you satiated. 

Pro tips: To save time, Weathers recommends prepping the quinoa over the weekend and using it in weekday lunches. If eating right away, use delicate greens, but if you're planning to eat it the next day, a tougher green (like kale) is better.