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"


Want to get food on the table for little money? Make time to cook.

When Leanne Brown decided to create a cookbook as her thesis project for her master’s degree in food studies at New York University, she had no idea that she was about to become a publishing phenomenon. Brown, who wrote the book to help food-stamp recipients learn how to cook delicious meals on their allotted $4 a day, posted it as a free PDF on her Web site in spring 2014.
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Pimento cheese brings a Southern touch to a Mexican party dip

‘I eat pimento cheese every week,” says Edward Lee. “I can’t tell you how many times. It’s always the same: pimento cheese on a Ritz cracker.”. The Korean American chef, who has two Southern restaurants in Kentucky, makes his own version of the classic, of course, spiking it with a little gochujang, a Korean chili paste.
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Chickpeas, in flour form, power another versatile, easy dinner

I’m on a chickpea tear. There seems to be nothing this little bean can’t do (have you heard of aquafaba?) , and I’m determined to explore all its possibilities. One dish I’ve been making for years uses chickpeas in ground form. It goes by various names in its various iterations and homes — socca in Nice, farinata in Genoa, cecina in Tuscany, chila in Mumbai — but I think all modern cooks need to know how to make one no matter where they live or what kind of cuisine is their favorite.
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In praise of a high-protein whole grain you probably haven’t eaten lately

I’m attracted to underdog ingredients: the lesser-known, the slightly obscure, the quirky. When kale is the green of the moment, I want to talk about mustard greens. When all I hear is quinoa, quinoa, quinoa, I’m apt to bring up barley. Sell me on tofu, and I’ll counter with tempeh. 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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Another chickpea achievement: A quick, easy, delicious pasta sauce

You know all those times I’ve written that a smart way to plan for a busy week is to make big pots of things like beans on the weekends, refrigerate or freeze them, and then use them during the week? Well, here’s an excellent example of how efficiently your cooking can go when you’ve followed that advice.
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A cookbook that will make you want to travel, or at least cook like you do

Heidi Swanson makes everything beautiful. Her new book, “Near and Far,” is inspired by her travels, and it’s full of the sort of cloudy-day photography and offhand-but-unerring combinations of flavors that make me want to fly to Morocco and spend all day shopping in the souks and then cooking with rose petals and harissa.
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A recipe that proves vegetarian cooking can be quick and easy, too

Have you heard this dig at vegetarian cooking: that it takes too long? Vegetables take more care, more time — and, particularly for a dinner party, more trouble to put together in interesting ways than your standard meat-and-sides approach, some folks have told me. I heard that many times from some cooks helping me prepare for a book-release party a few years ago.
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A spicy twist on beans, greens and grains

The days (and nights) are starting to get cooler, there’s a whiff of the approaching fall in the air, and I’m starting to crave heartier food. Know the feeling? The gazpachos and salads of summer’s prime are starting to seem a little less appealing, and I’m ready to start heating up the kitchen again.
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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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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.