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"


What’s most satisfying about my winter salads

It features heartier ingredients than those delicate salads of summer, for one thing. And with some exceptions, it’s not typically all raw. But the most important quality of the salads of winter might be the same as the salads of any other time of year: They feature seasonal produce. 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."
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Forget canned soups. It’s so easy to make your own concentrate.

We all love shortcuts to a good soup — and by “good,” I mostly mean one that has well-developed flavor, the kind that can sometimes take a little time. That’s why we buy bouillon cubes, why we make our own stocks and broths and freeze them, why we sock soup away in the freezer to be eaten another day.
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Why I eat oysters and mussels, even though I call myself vegetarian

Every time I speak in public about being vegetarian, the same thing happens, at least once. Someone will approach me shyly, drop their voice to a conspiratorial whisper, and say: “I really want to be vegetarian. But the thing is, I know that every now and then I’m going to want a steak.”. Or a burger.
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The Indian dish that might convince you to keep seagreens on hand

It turns out to be true: There is indeed more to seaweed than the Japanese seaweed salad. 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. View Archive.
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How to fill a simple, rustic winter tart with just three ingredients

If you like savory pies and tarts but find the whole crust process to be intimidating, I’ve got one word for you: galette. In case that doesn’t mean anything, I’ll give you two more: free-form. With a galette, you roll out the crust, sure, but you don’t need to trim it or, really, spend much time shaping it.
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Why a food you have never heard of could be key to feeding the world

If you’re trying to shift your diet toward more nutritious foods — and, especially this time of year, who isn’t? you need to make friends with dried beans, chickpeas and lentils, if you haven’t already. Their nutritional benefits are legendary. Just one example: Studies of the world’s longest-living people (in the so-called “blue zones”) find that such beans are the one specific food they all eat in common.
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Here’s how to enjoy tofu for breakfast, lunch or dinner

The more you cook with it, the more you realize: Tofu really is the great kitchen chameleon. and taste like itself — in a simple, sublime dish of chilled tofu with a spicy topping. Dusted with cornstarch, fried and coated in a peppery-sweet sauce, it can approximate mushrooms or even beef in a hot pot.
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Hot or cold, an apple soup that’s New Year’s party-worthy

As much as I love to eat chunky, hearty soups as the weather gets colder, I’m also a sucker for the kind of purees that can be part of a fancy party: as a plated, sit-down first course or even as a passed appetizer, served in miniature glasses. That kind of soup, in my mind, needs to be relatively simple but powerfully flavored.
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When life gives you kimchi, make pancakes

I have a refrigerator problem. It’s similar to my freezer problem, which is very much like my pantry problem. The problem is that it’s too full, too disorganized. So many condiments, jams, pickles and other long-lasting items are in there, leaving little room for fresh food and leftovers. That means perfectly good food gets pushed behind other perfectly good food, and soon enough, too little of it is perfectly good anymore.
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How we form our food preferences and how we can change them

I got the most heartbreaking email from a Washington Post reader recently. “As I enter the grocery store,” she wrote, “I am seized with a combination of dread and stupefaction. I am surrounded by food, but I have no idea what to buy. I feel the same way when I go to a restaurant. I look at the menu and see nothing I’m interested in eating.
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A four-ingredient ‘cake’ that celebrates the apple

“F our ingredients and time.”. That’s how Fiola pastry chef Kendra Grieco describes her favorite fall-into-winter dessert. It’s a “cake” of apple slices, brushed with butter and sprinkled with sugar, then cooked until they almost melt into something both decadent and bright-tasting, special enough for a holiday meal.
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To keep enjoying winter squash, don’t sweat the varieties. And char it.

After Thanksgiving, with all its orange purees and mashes and soups, it’s easy to tire of winter squash. But if your diet depends on seasonal vegetables — particularly local ones — you owe it to yourself to explore a variety of ways to cook these beauties. In the months ahead, when the produce in farmers markets thins out during the long march toward spring, they’ll still be there, ready for another meal.
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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.