Joy Manning

I'm Philadelphia magazine's restaurant critic, the co-author of Almost Meatless, a freelance writer, as well as a full time serious eater.

  • Website
  • Location: Philly
  • Favorite foods: Fancy cheese, tacos al pastor, mali kofta, cookies, perfect roast chicken, real southern barbecue, bacon, heirloom tomatoes, homemade basil pesto, pizza, anything properly pickled, homemade mayo, onions, and (of course) coffee, beer and red wine.
  • Last bite on earth: My husband's oatmeal-chocolate cookies. And ice cream.

Latest Comments

Meat Lite: Pinto and Pork Tacos

@arwend--No! I have come to believe that soaking the beans is the surest way to ruin a pot of beans.

Meat Lite: Portobello and Herbed Ricotta Sandwiches

@plazmaorb--it's true, making the mixture ahead and letting it sit for a time would encourage the flavors to mingle. I didn't include that because I was really going for quick and easy, which Serious Eaters have specifically requested of me in the past. And as for the grated shallot, well, I urge you to give it a try. Shallots are pretty mild and grating them eliminates the possibility that you'll chomp down on a chunk. One of my proudest moments in the process of writing Almost Meatless with Tara was when I suggested adding grated onion to our cauliflower-chicken salad recipe. Tara later said she thought it wouldn't work, that the flavor would be too sharp, but she ended up really liking it. I bet you will too.

Meat Lite: Quinoa Pilaf with Sweet Potatoes, Kale, and Bacon

CanadianFoodieGirl--I also often make these (and other) recipes without meat and I love my bottle of liquid smoke. It definitely lends great flavor to many meatless dishes. Good thought!

'Gourmet, Unbound,' an Online Celebration of the Magazine

I sent one, Maggie! I'm excited to see the project take shape.

Meat Lite: Black Beans and Rice, My Way

Hi, @all, sorry if this part isn't perfectly clear.

Start the bean cooking process by putting the beans (and the water and the chorizo) in a Dutch oven on a stovetop burner over high heat and bring it to a rolling boil.

Once this vigorous boil has been achieved, kill the heat on the burner, lid the beans/water/chorizo and then transfer the pot to your preheated 250 oven.

Bringing them to a boil kick starts the softening/cooking process. Again, I'm really sorry if that wasn't clear. I really want people to try this. As Tara can attest, I really have been dogged by this bean cooking problem for years. I have been obsessed with getting them exactly right. And this is what has done it for me. It's amazing how effective the gradual cool down in the oven is at finishing the beans so they are perfectly tender but not broken or mushy.

So please try--and ask other questions if you have them!

Meat Lite: Black Beans and Rice, My Way

Thanks Robin! And I'm sorry for the typo, Serious Eaters. Thanks for letting us know so that it could be fixed.

Meat Lite: Spaghetti with Tomato-Braised Kale

Squeezebottle--I think maybe the kale excess relates to high number of CSA participants who write for the site? It's in season right now. I sure have had a lot of it in recent weeks. And I must say that my husband is typically not crazy for kale, but he ate this recipe and the leftovers enthusiastically. Another thing is that kale is so phenomenally nutritious that there's no such thing as to many encouragements to eat it.

Meat Lite: Tortilla Espanola con Chorizo

prunesaregood: I used whatever variety of potato arrived in my CSA. They had a yukon gold appearance and texture. Hope that helps!

In Great Ideas: Breakfast Polenta

This looks good. If you haven't tried it yet, I suggest bulgur wheat for breakfast. It cooks in less than 10 minutes. I add chopped toasted nuts, maple syrup and splash of buttermilk (or plain milk) to mine. Really healthy and delicious, too!

Meat Lite: Hybrid Banh Mi

It's true you can get a very cheap banh mi if you live near a shop. But, if you've seen Food Inc. or read up on the issues of factory farming, you may believe that cheap meat has a steep hidden cost and, therefore, prefer to make your own.

This recipe does have a few steps and takes time (though, really, roasting the pork is very simple and makes for fast future meals), but it's delicious and provides the peace of mind you only get when you know where your ingredients come from.

Meat Lite: Stir Fried Bok Choy with Soba Noodles

Greenteacup--good point about the veggie stock. A nice homemade mushroom broth would be earthy and delicious.

Meat Lite: Bulgur 'Risotto' with Roasted Asparagus

This is the exact bulgur that I used:

All bulgur is steamed, dried and ground--"whole" bulgur would be a wheat kernel.

Meat Lite: Bulgur 'Risotto' with Roasted Asparagus

GoodStuffNW--I was THIS close to using farro instead! I want to give that a try, too.

The Real Emotions Behind the 2009 James Beard Foundation Awards

Thanks for the inside scoop, Ed, and those Serious Eats staffers who were tweeting last night. Great coverage!

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 64: The Road Not Taken, The Food Not Eaten

Way to go Ed! I'm astonished by and jealous of your continued weight loss. I also plan routes/whole trips based on what seriously delicious things I can discover along the way.

I would not have gone the turkey sandwich route, probably. If what I'm eating is not seriously delicious I want it to be seriously virtuous. I've been trying to make lunch my pile-o-vegetables meal lately.

Photo of the Day: Philadelphia's Largest Apple Turnover

I LOVE Famous Fourth Street. Especially the desserts. In fact, my husband and I love the carrot cake so much we had it at our wedding (as you can image, a whole cake is ginormous. One slice feeds four!) instead of a traditional wedding cake. It's the best ever.

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 60: How Much Should I Weigh? Part II

Ed, last weekend I read Rethinking Thin by Gina Kolata. I highly recommend it. It provides a lot of interesting information and an unusual perspective on what you, me and all of us "should" weigh.

Meat Lite: Moderately Meaty Cassoulet

Clarification: it's my take on cassoulet, which in my research proved to be a highly adaptable dish with few specific parameters. I saw recipes including all kinds of things, including kielbasa! Originally, I wanted to include the traditional duck leg confit, but as it turns out, it's a little pricey and a little hard to find--two qualities most people want to avoid. It is indeed a casserole--a cassoulet-inspired casserole. My apologies to cassoulet purists who may have taken offense!

Ed Levine's Serious Diet, Week 59: How Much Should I Weigh?

I think about this all the time. I think the official government guidelines are one piece of information that's part of bigger picture. When you consider how different we are, it seems absurd that everyone of the same height should weight roughly the same. What really bothers me, though, about those numbers is that striving to be thinner that your body wants to be can set you up for failure big time. If you can't get down to that weight, you might give up. If you do, and it's too hard to maintain, you might feel like a failure and give up. Right now in my own weight loss/weight management journey I seem to have leveled off at a weight. I'm trying to get comfortable with it because the messages I'm getting from my own body are saying that this is where I belong. That's better information that I'm going to get from any official chart.

Irish 'Potatoes' from See's Candies and Oh Ryan's

I ate 1 million Oh Ryan's Irish Potatoes growing up and I still love them. I had no idea until this year that Irish Potato candies were not well known outside of PA. Today I was down at the decidedly not-Irish Italian Market, but my favorite candy shop there, Anthony's Chocolate House, does carry their own house-made Irish potatoes and they are pretty good.

'The Atlantic' Food Site Launches Today

I don't care how it looks. I'm pretty excited. The Atlantic is one of my only non-food magazine subscriptions and this will give us more good food coverage. Thanks for posting this, Ed!

Serious Sandwiches: Tony Luke's Roast Pork Italian, Philadelphia

Right, Adam--my eyes skipped right over those magic words: sharp provolone. This thread is making me hungry.