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"


5 Diets, Week 1: How we did on Whole30, Weight Watchers, Buddha’s Diet and more

Five Washington Post staffers have each embarked on a different 30-day program to change our eating habits. Last week, we each outlined our diet of choice, explaining the whys and hows — along with our expectations of the challenges to come. Every week this month, we’re updating you on our progress, including our obstacles, stumbles and victories.
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A winter warmer of a vegetable stew that’s creamy without cream

If there’s a walking, talking advertisement for the power of food to provide energy, it’s got to be Tess Masters. Anyone who has met her, seen her or read her work knows that the actor, cook and author behind the popular Blender Girl blog (and cookbook of the same name) is a whirlwind of positivity, words and ideas.
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Shrink the ‘window of eating,’ and maybe I’ll shrink, too

Editors’ note: With better eating in mind for the new year, five Washington Post staffers each embark on a month-long effort to change their daily habits. Watch for weekly updates at I’m like most people I know: I eat too often, too much, too quickly — and much of it very late in the day (i.e., night).
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This one-skillet mushroom dish makes for an easy, homey dinner

Like many people, I have two styles to my cooking: for company, and for me and my partner. For the former, mostly on the weekends, I spend more time on dishes that are perhaps a little flashier and usually (but not always) more involved, and even if I get creative, I typically start with a solid base of dependable recipes.
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A glaze that can make tofu taste like the holidays

I can’t say I miss ham. But there’s one aspect of holiday ham, in all its retro glory, that I do miss: that sticky-sweet glaze. Just the thought of it makes me want to put on an ugly Christmas sweater and turn on the Bing Crosby. Thankfully, there are plenty of vegetarian items to which you can apply such a glaze just as festively, but the most hamlike would have to be tofu.
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A simple vegan sandwich full of creaminess, spice and crunch

Anything chicken can do, chickpeas can do better. At least I think so, but I am admittedly biased. I don’t know if it’s just the possibility for wordplay, but I am drawn to every recipe I have ever seen that uses the beans in place of the poultry in a classic, or at least well-known, treatment. I’m talking about kung pao chickpeas, butter chickpeas, chickpea a la king and the like.
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How to make simple Italian gnocchi that just happen to be gluten-free

I’ve long thought more people needed to know about Roman-style gnocchi. The dish is quite different from the lightly boiled potato dumplings that most of us think of when we consider gnocchi. As much as I love the typical iteration, the Roman version — squares of semolina (or sometimes polenta) layered in a casserole dish, topped with butter and cheese and baked — is much easier to pull together at the end of a busy workday.
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The pantry staple that makes even a simple lentil soup something special

The problem is that I love it so much, I can’t have much around or I’ll start nibbling, and a snack becomes a mini-meal. Not the end of the world. But dried fruit is a pretty great ingredient in lots of dishes, from smoothies, salads and rice pilafs to dips, sauces and stews (especially tagines, the Moroccan slow-cooked dish that often includes prunes or dried apricots).
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The vegetarian dish that will make Thanksgiving guests — and their hosts — happy

When you’re a vegetarian guest at someone else’s house for dinner, you have three choices: You can ask the host (politely, of course) to keep your dietary choices in mind when meal planning. You can keep quiet and hope for the best. Or you can take matters into your own hands and offer to bring something.
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A strange-but-delicious broccoli sub suddenly becomes doable at home

I first tasted it, as so many others have, at No. 7 Sub in Manhattan: roast broccoli, pickled litchis, salty cheese, pine nuts, fried shallots. It was astonishingly good, but I didn’t seriously think about trying to make it at home because, well, I imagined the prep (and shopping) time for each element and assumed this would be one of those restaurant dishes best experienced at the restaurant.
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A Mexican soup that’ll warm you — but won’t tax you

How can a soup be both filling and light, easy yet complex? That’s what I wondered when I first made and tasted the Caldo of Sweet Potato and Chard in Jason Wyrick’s new book, “Vegan Mexico.”. The answer, at least in this case, is about the ingredients: few in number, but carefully chosen for big impact.
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When comfort requires potatoes, pull out your grater and skillet

Ask a dozen people what their ultimate comfort food is, and you’ll get a dozen different answers. For me, the answer would change depending on season and mood, but it would often involve potatoes. I boil and bake and roast them (sometimes in combination), and, of course, I pan-fry them. I cube them to make hash browns, I grate them for latkes.
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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.