Joe Yonan

Journalist, cookbook author

Washington, DC

Joe Yonan

Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post
Weeknight Vegetarian columnist
Author of "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook"


Branded, and over it: You don’t have to sell me on the place I chose to eat in.

They call it “retargeting.”. Using cookies to track your Internet shopping and browsing, advertisers bombard you on every page you surf with images and links to the very things you were last considering. Annoying from a consumer’s point of view, sure, but from the advertiser’s perspective it’s smart — and often, I have no doubt, effective.
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How to turn asparagus into a bowl of pasta that sings of spring

Spring is a glorious time for seasonal cooks, especially us plant-based ones, because, well, it’s obvious, isn’t it? Out with the turnips, in with the asparagus! Early in asparagus season, I find it hard to resist simply steaming, blanching or even broiling them, and eating them with a simple sauce.
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Given a little steam, broccoli can become a star player

I’m a brassica believer. Give me cauliflower, cabbage, kale, Brussels sprouts or broccoli, and I’m happy. But I also realize that everyone doesn’t feel the same way. They’ve had stinky, mushy cabbage, or tough kale, or drab and overcooked broccoli, and they can’t imagine it can be any other way.
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This mushroom’s made for stuffing

I’ve made no secret of my mushroom love. As I’ve written, I like to divide them into two categories: the interesting varieties (oysters, shiitakes, morels, puffballs and the like) that I find at the farmers market or forage; and the less-interesting ones (buttons, creminis) I buy at the supermarket.
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An easy grain bowl built on roasted tofu, broccoli — and a killer dressing

Sometimes it feels like I’m running a fast-casual restaurant out of my home kitchen, with a nightly clientele of just two. What grain would we like for the base of our bowls? What protein? What vegetable? What dressing, and what crunchy topping(s)? That’s when things are working the way I’ve planned, and I’ve got all of the above — in multiple choices, sometimes!
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They look like crab cakes, but these vegetable patties can hold their own

These are made from hearts of palm and artichoke hearts, spiked with a little Old Bay and nori flakes, with no jumbo-lump anything included. So why wouldn’t I call them Vegan Crab Cakes? They’re clearly meant to look and even taste like the seafood classic. But I’d rather not set up unreasonable expectations.
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DIY tortillas take time. These bean-topped corn cakes don’t.

When I think of corn and beans, I naturally think of Mexico, where they — along with chile peppers — form the bedrock of the cuisine. The corn is typically in the form of masa, made into such delights as tortillas, tamales, tostadas and the rimmed masa boats called sopes. Making masa from scratch isn’t for the lazy.
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A whole-grain risotto that lets you skip the stirring

I have a risotto conflict. I love the traditional dish — made with arborio, carnaroli or another short-grain white rice that swells up and combines with the cheese and butter to get so wonderfully creamy. But like so many other health-conscious cooks, I’m also trying to favor whole grains whenever possible.
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Thank your roasting pans for this all-season salad

For us Mid-Atlantic folks, this has been a strange winter, weatherwise. Overall, it has been much milder than usual (with the exception of a frigid week in December). Then last week, we saw 70 degrees one day — and 30 the next. That can do a number on you in the kitchen, or you can consider it liberating.
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The fun guy in me can’t imagine a world without mushrooms

Have you heard the one about the mushroom who walks into a bar? I will spare you the whole shebang, but the punchline is, “I’m a fungi!”. I tell that joke far too often, partly because I have a third-grade, knock-knock sense of humor (don’t get me started on interrupting cows) and partly because I will take any excuse to talk about mushrooms.
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How to make spectacular (and vegan) chocolate truffles from just a few ingredients

All you need are two ingredients plus your coatings of choice to create a delicious set of truffles for a special someone this year. Bonus: They’re vegan! The first time I made truffles from chocolate ganache, it was a revelation: How could just two ingredients, chocolate and cream, set up to form such a perfect texture?
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5 Diets, Week 4: The home stretch on Whole30, Weight Watchers, Buddha’s Diet and more

Five Washington Post staff members have each embarked on a different 30-day program to change our eating habits. A month ago, we each outlined our diet of choice, explaining the whys and hows — along with our expectations of the challenges to come. Since then, we’ve been sharing weekly updates on our progress, including the obstacles, stumbles and victories.
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Joe Yonan

Joe Yonan is the two-time James Beard Award-winning Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post and author of "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook” (Ten Speed Press, 2013), which was named among the best cookbooks of 2013 by The Atlantic, The Boston Globe, and NPR's "Here and Now.” In 2011, he wrote “Serve Yourself: Nightly Adventures in Cooking for One,”. which Serious Eats, David Lebovitz, and the San Francisco Chronicle named to their best-of-the-year lists.

Joe was a food writer and Travel section editor at The Boston Globe before moving to Washington in 2006 to edit the Post’s Food section. He writes the Post’s Weeknight Vegetarian column and for five years wrote the Cooking for One column, both of which have won honors from the Association of Food Journalists. He also writes regularly about his efforts to grow food on his 150-square-foot urban front yard. His work from the Globe and Post has appeared in four editions of the “Best Food Writing” anthology.

In addition to his writing and editing, Joe frequently speaks about his work at conferences, book festivals and other events, and has taught many cooking classes through such venues as Central Market, Stonewall Kitchen, Culinaerie, L’Academie de Cuisine and SideTour.

Joe, who grew up in West Texas, spent 2012 in North Berwick, Maine, on leave from the Post to learn about growing and homesteading from his sister and brother-in-law and to work on “Eat Your Vegetables.” He is a graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and the Cambridge (Mass.) School of Culinary Arts.