The Happy Vegetarian
Chef Way: Dried porcini mushrooms flavor these crisp, creamy-centered croquettes, which Traunfeld serves in walnut-size balls.
Easy Way: Use shiitake mushrooms in place of porcini, and make the croquettes larger for a vegetarian main course.
Chef Way: Traunfeld toasts and grinds whole coriander seeds before pureeing them with roasted cauliflower, tahini paste, lemon and cilantro.
Easy Way: Use ground coriander from a bottle to season this bright, tangy recipe.
Chef Way Jerry Traunfeld soaks dried white beans overnight before boiling them and stewing them with caramelized onions, garlic, Parmigiano-Reggiano cheese and rosemary.
Easy Way Instead of soaking white beans, use ready-to-eat canned cannellini beans.
Chef Way: For this version of chevda, an Indian snack mix, Traunfeld tosses puffed rice cereal with coconut, raisins, nuts and a variety of spices and flavorings, including fresh curry leaves and amchoor (tart dried-mango powder).
Easy Way: This sweet-salty bar mix comes together beautifully without the amchoor and curry leaves—just substitute lemon juice and bay leaves.
Chef Way: Traunfeld uses French-style lentils grown in eastern Washington and Idaho. Sometimes he likes to use Moroccan mint, which is like spearmint but a little bit more spicy and savory.
Easy Way: Use any good French green lentils and regular mint for this hearty main-course salad.
Chef Way: The seasoning in this strudel includes ajwain seed, a common Indian spice.
Easy Way: Instead of ajwain, opt for caraway, which has a very similar flavor.