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"


The best reason to eat beans and grains together: They’re delicious

Much has been written about the classic combination of legumes and grains. There’s a persistent myth involved, though: the idea that you have to combine the two to get a so-called “complete protein,” or protein that contains all the essential amino acids found in animal protein. In fact, some legumes, grains and other plant-based foods can be complete sources of protein on their own.
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From Delmonico’s to Chez Panisse: The 10 restaurants that shaped American dining

Between Instagram, reality TV and $500 tasting menus, it’s easy to think we live in an age of unparalleled food obsession. But almost 150 years ago, a restaurant in New York was serving ostentatious, 14-course meals with French touches that would rival anything we could imagine today. The biggest difference?
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Free Range on Food


Proof that vegetables are cool: They’re getting the Lucky Peach treatment

When I saw an advance copy of “Power Vegetables! ,” the second cookbook by Peter Meehan and the editors of Lucky Peach magazine, my first thought was that vegetables — and even vegetarianism — might now be officially hip. The signs of hipness have been there for a while, especially in the way chefs are treating meat-free cooking at restaurants like Vedge and V Street in Philadelphia; Dirt Candy, Nix and the upcoming ABCV in New York; and, frankly, countless places on the West Coast.
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How two vegan chefs find inspiration in a world of (sometimes meaty) cooking

I’ve made no secret of my affection for the cooking of Rich Landau and Kate Jacoby, the couple behind Vedge, the Philadelphia bastion of vegetable-focused fine dining, and its more casual sibling, V Street. As executive chef, Landau coaxes powerful flavors and textures out of the humblest produce, while Jacoby brings similar pop to her desserts (not to mention drinks).
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A chef’s tip for Jersey-style eggplant Parm: Don’t mess with Mama’s recipe

This is one of the few dishes I didn’t choose to gussy up,” says chef Michael Friedman of All-Purpose pizzeria in the Shaw neighborhood of the District. “It is what it is.”. It’s also Friedman’s ode to the New Jersey cooking of his childhood: His mother made a style of eggplant Parm in which the main ingredient doesn’t get breaded and fried.
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The easiest way to approximate ground beef in a taco: Go nuts

When I was a kid, ground-beef tacos were on my mother’s regular dinner rotation. Any time-stressed cook knows why: All she had to do was quickly fry up some ground beef, grate some cheese, chop an onion and set out bowls of all those plus some salsa, sour cream and taco shells, and let her kids make their own.
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The simple, summery pita-bread salad that will make you forget panzanella

On my annual list of summer salads, there’s always fattoush. Like panzanella, its Italian cousin, fattoush makes use of leftover bread and combines it with fresh produce. This Middle Eastern dish often employs pomegranate molasses and tart sumac in its dressing, but variations abound. I may like it even better than panzanella, and not just because it represents the cuisine of my people (or close to it, anyway).
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Jackfruit isn’t the meat substitute it’s cracked up to be, at least not without help

From the first time I heard of it, something nagged at me about jackfruit. I’m not talking about the ripe version, those huge specimens that offer up sweet fruit, once you know how to cut them down to size. No, I mean the green jackfruit that’s used as a meat substitute because of the way its texture mimics that of pulled pork.
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A frittata made even easier — and tastier, thanks to Middle Eastern flavors

Thank goodness for the frittata. Along with the chopped salad, the pasta bowl, the soup and the taco, this egg dish represents one of my go-to strategies for showcasing vegetables — and sometimes leftovers — in a new, but still quick, way. I let the eggs cook, lifting them around the edges periodically to let some of the liquid run underneath so they set in layers.
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You don’t need your stove to make this crunchy, spicy, vegan wrap

Where would vegan cuisine be without nuts? It would be less interesting, I’d say. We wouldn’t have cashew cream (and all its uses), we wouldn’t have almond and so many other nondairy milks, and we wouldn’t have all those tacos, “meatballs” and other dishes made with ground walnuts instead of beef.
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A quick way to infuse the taste of summer tomatoes right into your pasta

It’s so easy to take advantage of summer’s tomato bounty: The triple-S rotation of sandwiches, salads and soups will dispatch the beauties effectively and deliciously. And then there’s pasta. Even when the weather is so unbearably hot I resist bringing a pot of water to boil, I can’t keep tomatoes separate from noodles for too long; the marriage is too right.
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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.