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"



Here’s how to make your avocado even more craveable: Grill it.

Who says you can’t cook an avocado? We’re so accustomed to using it raw, for that silky texture it brings to sandwiches, salads, grain bowls, tacos, smoothies, ice creams, gazpachos and more, but rarely do you see dishes that involve heating it. Avocados take particularly well to grilling, indoors or out.
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The most unexpected (and welcome) guest at your next cookout: Carrot dogs

This plant-based take on hot dogs gives carrots a roasted red pepper treatment: Char (either on the grill or under the broiler) and steam them, and then peel off the skins. They end up nicely cooked and lightly smoke-tinged, making them perfect for a cookout. Choose the largest, thickest carrots you can find; they shrink during cooking, and you can always trim the narrow end to fit the bun.
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Finally, you can make a Superiority Burger at home

The first time I tried the title item at Brooks Headley’s little New York sensation of a restaurant, Superiority Burger, I thought: What’s the big deal? It tasted really good, but it certainly didn’t remind me of a beef burger, not in the way that the lab-concocted Beyond Burger and Impossible Burger do.
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Every steak needs a good sauce. Even a cauliflower steak.

The last time I made cauliflower “steaks,” I was playing with the chicken-fried idea and I served them with a miso-mushroom gravy. This time, my approach is lighter and brighter. In this recipe by Jodi Moreno in “More With Less” (Roost Books, 2018), they’re coated in a chickpea-flour batter, pan-fried and served with a chunky, sharp sauce made from thinly sliced scallions, grated ginger, sesame oil and lime juice.
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A taco recipe that proves: Less is more

You can stuff all manner of ingredients into a taco. Read enough modern cookbooks, in fact, and you’ll see far too many taco recipes that involve multiple sub-recipes (in different sections of the book, no doubt) for sauces, pickles and fillings. By the time you’re ready to assemble the tacos, you’re also ready for a nap.
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For those who can’t get enough avocado toast — or are sick of it already

The following question may be divisive: Have you had enough avocado toast, or have you only just begun? Whichever way you answer, I think I’ve got a dish for you. From the guys behind the online video channel Bosh comes this hybrid: Avocado Toast Pizza. It’s just exactly what it sounds like, a pizza crust topped with the familiar, great combination of avocado and things tart (lemon), spicy (chiles) and green/grassy (cilantro).
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This pea salad includes a welcome kick of heat

Your definition of comfort food depends, of course, on what you find comforting, and for most of us it’s something nostalgic. Beyond that, it could be anything, really: A cupcake. Mac and cheese. Enchiladas. Fried rice. I’ve got a lot of comfort foods, but one that I had nearly forgotten about is pea salad.
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Chef Lidia Bastianich’s immigrant success story

The title of the first chapter of Lidia Bastianich’s new memoir provides the first clue that her memories of childhood are going to include more than idyllic days of climbing fig trees and milking goats. It’s “Giuliana,” for the name she was called the first five years of her life. And the story of how and why it changed involves a baby smuggled in a bag out of a hospital in the middle of the night, a secret baptism — and plenty of risk.
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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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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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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.