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"


Potatoes baked in butter, then fried in oil: What’s not to like?

Cooking potatoes twice is rarely a bad idea: Think french fries, hash browns, even tater tots. At G by Mike Isabella in the District, chef Elliot Drew takes the concept to another level for the evening tasting menu. Alongside a cauliflower “steak,” he offers crisp potato pieces, creamy and buttery inside, that deserve to become part of any dinner-party host’s repertoire.
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How to make tempeh a staple: Simmer, pan-fry, glaze — and keep

Back in January, I was so bold as to issue a hopeful call that 2015 might be the Year of Tempeh. The reasons: a growing interest in plant-based eating and an also-growing realization that fermented soy is the most nutritious (and easiest to digest) form of that high-protein staple. Well, I can’t exactly say that I’ve seen the tempeh explosion I was hoping for, but I’ve been having my own personal year of tempeh nonetheless.
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Keep your Caprese in salad form. Give me something else in a sandwich.

I have something heretical to get off my chest. Heretical to the locavore, food-obsessed, Italophile crowd, that is. Joe Yonan is the Food and Dining editor of The Washington Post and the author of "Eat Your Vegetables: Bold Recipes for the Single Cook." He writes the Food section's Weeknight Vegetarian column.
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This pan-fried bread gives scallion pancakes a run for their money

At Maketto on H Street NE, one of the must-haves is the scallion bread, a puffier-than-traditional take on scallion pancakes. The bread, which chef de cuisine James Wozniuk developed with owner Erik Bruner-Yang, proves that Maketto’s priorities are flavor and fun, not authenticity. When Maketto opened in the spring, Bruner-Yang says, the bread was sent out by itself — and wasn’t very popular.
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Here’s how to make vegan chorizo — and why you would want to

As anyone who has been reading this column for long knows, I have mixed feelings about mock meats, those (typically) highly processed substitutes for animal protein that are taking up an ever-larger footprint in supermarket refrigerated sections. “sausages” by Field Roast, Upton’s Naturals and Soyrizo — because they taste pretty good and have relatively few ingredients.
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Got grains? Here’s a book to help you cook them — quickly

I have enough grains to fill a normal person’s entire pantry. They occupy half a large cabinet — two big shelves made accessible with pull-out drawers — and sit in Mason jars, in their original bags secured with clamps or twist ties, inside bigger zip-top bags or other containers. Frankly, I’m running out of room.
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A pasta dish that might change how you cook sweet corn

I can’t remember when I first learned that traditional Southern recipes for creamed corn depend not on the addition of actual cream, but on the gorgeous milky pulp that comes when you scrape the cobs (with the back of a knife or with a device made just for this purpose). But it changed the way I thought about the dish — and about sweet summer corn in general.
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How to make a chocolate float for adults

Cold-brewed chocolate -- made from soaking cocoa nibs in water -- is the basis of this fabulous summer drink.
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A chef’s plea to time-stressed parents: Don’t stop cooking

When Curtis Stone’s son, Hudson, was born three years ago, the chef faced the same dilemma so many other enthusiastic cooks do when they become parents. “It can quickly become a chore,” he told me in an interview recently, “and what you used to love is suddenly replaced by, ‘Oh, my God, I’ve got to get that done within the next 12 1/2 minutes?”.
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Why you should get to know cashew cream, even if you eat dairy

If the phrase “cashew cream” doesn’t mean anything to you, then you’re definitely not vegan. Soaked cashews blended with water to create a substitute for cream is a foundation of vegan cooking. Here’s the thing: I’m not vegan. I eat dairy. But I’m also trying to eat more healthfully, and in trying recipes here and there that use the ingredient — and loving them — I’m starting to realize that cashew cream should be on the must-try list for anybody, vegan or not, who wants to cut back on calories and saturated fat.
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Make a salad that captures the essence of Thai cooking

W hen chef Paul Kennedy first went to work for the Mango Tree chain, about five years ago, the company immediately sent him on a 10-week research trip to Thailand. Hired on a Wednesday, flying to Bangkok on Sunday. He went straight from the airport to a restaurant kitchen, where the first dish he made was som tum, the green papaya salad that is a staple of Thai cooking.
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Don’t like zucchini? Change the way you cook it.

Most of the time, when I hear that someone doesn’t like vegetables, I ask a few questions and come to the same conclusion: It’s about texture — typically the texture that resulted from drastic overcooking (or, worse, canning) experienced in the eater’s childhood. Slimy, mushy beets. Soggy Brussels sprouts.
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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.