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"



Free Range on Food


A vegan Caesar salad to conquer them all

I used to like a kale Caesar as much as the next vegetarian. But its ubiquity has ruined it for me. Now, no matter how much I massage those leaves or make sure my dressing is nice and punchy (thank you, garlic), I find myself missing good old lettuce. I often want more from a salad, too. If meat eaters can bastardize their Caesars with chicken or shrimp, I can add seasonal ingredients like, say, asparagus and peas.
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Free Range on Food


Free Range on Food


Here’s evidence that a great bowl of ramen doesn’t need pork or chicken

Speaking selfishly, I think one of the great benefits of the boom in American ramen joints is the growing presence of plant-based bowls. No longer do vegans and vegetarians need to avoid noodle houses altogether just because every broth in the place is based on an animal stock. of course! one of the hottest places in town is Grand Central Market’s Ramen Hood, where every dish is vegan.
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The easiest way to turn a sweet potato into a burger

There are veggie burgers, and then there are vegetable burgers. What’s the difference? To my mind, it’s this: A veggie burger is a patty made of a carefully concocted blend that typically includes beans, grains, various flavorings and a binder. A vegetable burger, on the other hand, is just what it sounds like: a vegetable on a bun.
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A smoky-sweet dressing takes this black-eyed-pea dish to another level

Some ingredients seem born to go together. Apples and cheddar. Watermelon and feta. Chocolate and tahini. I’m not sure what genius first combined oranges and chipotle, but it had to have been in Mexico, soon after Columbus brought oranges to the Americas, since smoked chiles such as chipotle date to the Aztecs.
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This simple soup unlocks cabbage’s sweet side

I have unfortunate childhood memories of cabbage and cabbage soup. When I was a kid, my mother’s boiled cabbage would send me running from the house — from the smell. Later, she and at least one of my older sisters spent many unhappy months on the then-trendy cabbage soup diet, complaining with every bite.
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These mushroom skewers with peanut sauce will make you forget chicken satay

Indonesia’s famous satay typically features chicken, grilled on skewers and served with a spicy peanut sauce. Most vegan versions I’ve seen sub in tofu, tempeh, seitan or another soy- or wheat-based meat substitute. As much as I love all of those (with a special place in my heart for Indonesia’s own tempeh, of course), any one of them can be off-putting to home cooks: especially meat eaters, but even vegetarians and vegans.
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One of Louisiana’s best stews becomes veg-friendly

Anytime I can bring the flavors of Louisiana into my kitchen, I’m happy. Many traditional dishes are off-limits to a vegetarian or vegan, but the smart use of spices and other ingredients can bring them back within reach. This is just what Jenné Claiborne does so beautifully in her new book, “Sweet Potato Soul” (Harmony Books, 2018).
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Beans on toast is basic. This is special.

Believe it or not, toast can be topped with other-than-avocado foods. Take beans, for example. The Brits have long been obsessed with their classic beans on toast, but their preferred method involves canned baked beans and a thin slice of sandwich bread. No offense, but when I put beans on toast (or crostini or bruschetta, if you’re feeling Italian) I like to think it through a little bit more and try a little harder.
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An ode to Hellman’s mayo, the lone star of my childhood sandwich

I had a white-bread childhood, at least at the table. My mother served meatloaf blanketed in Campbell’s cream of mushroom concentrate, cooked-to-death broccoli-cream cheese casserole, “Texas salad” — and lots and lots of Wonder Bread. My favorite thing to put on slices of that fluffy, tasteless white loaf was just as white: an obscenely thick smear of Hellman’s mayonnaise.
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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.