Joe Yonan

Journalist, cookbook author

Washington, DC

Joe Yonan

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



Whether you call it cheese, cheez or trees, this vegan mac is creamy and packed with savory depth

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With coconut, avocado and a tart dressing, these noodles won’t leave you hungry

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Free Range on Food


This quick rice dish will put an end to all the lentil confusion

As versatile and nutritious as they are, lentils can be confusing. Even once you learn the differences in cooking times and textures among red, brown, green and black varieties, along comes something to muddy the issue. Here’s an example. By “green lentils,” do I mean the large, khaki-colored ones, sometimes called brown lentils — or on some packages called just plain lentils?
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It’s time you mastered the dark art of tofu. This noodle dish will help you.

Recently, a colleague confessed to being tofu-challenged. She had tried cooking it years ago and was so disappointed in the results she never tried again. But a stellar dish of crispy tofu in a Laotian restaurant prompted her to want to get back on the horse. So she asked me: What are the secrets?
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This creamy soup will make you a black-eyed-pea believer

Sometimes I get the feeling that too many people eat black-eyed peas annually — on New Year’s Day. While I love the Southern tradition of black-eyed peas and rice (hoppin’ John), often eaten with greens, I’m here to say that black-eyed peas deserve a place in your repertoire the rest of the year, too.
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Mushroom-walnut ‘meatballs’ add a plant-based dose of retro comfort to your pasta game

That’s because I’m the grandson of Assyrian immigrants, and I have fond childhood memories in the 1970s of eating koufta, a ball of rice and meat somewhat like the filling of a stuffed pepper (without the pepper). Koufta and its Middle Eastern kin, sometimes spelled kofta, are considered precursors to the Italian polpette that led to Italian American meatballs.
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The secret to crisp, fast and gluten-free pizza? Chickpea flour.

My favorite recipes are those that open up a new lane of cooking and prompt me to imagine that lane leading in all sorts of new directions. Take the Pesto Socca Pizza I came across recently in “The Ultimate Vegan Book,” a collection of more than 600 recipes by seven authors. Now, I’ve used chickpea flour in myriad ways, starting with pancakes that take shape in France, called socca, and in Italy, known as farinata.
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This Mexican-style sandwich tastes like it took you hours to make

Sandwiches can be fabulous vehicles for repurposing leftovers — the roasted vegetables from last night’s dinner, plus a little cheese and/or pickles from a jar, plus a condiment made from the weekend’s salsa. Or they can be as from-scratch as you dare, based on a new round of roasting, braising or stir-frying, plus a DIY aioli, homemade pickles or even your own freshly baked bread.
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‘People who don’t look and sound like you are ... the people you should invite to your table’

In the introduction to his gorgeous new cookbook, “Season: Big Flavors, Beautiful Food” (Chronicle Books), Nik Sharma writes, “Mine is the story of a gay immigrant, told through food.”. I spoke with Sharma, 38, for a Smithsonian Associates program on Oct. 11. Edited excerpts of our conversation follow:
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This hearty fall soup doesn’t skimp on the spice

The weather, at least in the Mid-Atlantic, has finally started agreeing with the calendar. The chill in the air makes me happy for two reasons: I get to wear fall clothes, and I get to make real soup again. Not the gazpachos and other lighter, chilled soups of summer but piping-hot, fortifying bowls.
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Attention, food police: This vegan bourguignon passes muster

soon? it will feel like fall. In the meantime, I’m trying to push the season in my kitchen by turning to the cozy flavors of stews even though it’s far from sweater weather outside. This quick vegan take on French bourguignon doubles down on the traditional mushrooms and enrobes them — along with shallots, carrot and herbs — in a gorgeous red wine sauce that pools beautifully on or around mashed potatoes.
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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 editor of "America The Great Cookbook" (Weldon Owen, 2017), a work to benefit No Kid Hungry that was named among the best cookbooks of 2017 by the Atlanta Journal Constitution and the San Francisco Chronicle. He is also 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 multiple 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.