The Expanding Circle

…health, the environment, and social justice…

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Until he extends the circle of his compassion to all living things, man will not himself find peace.
– Albert Schweitzer, French philosopher, physician, and musician (Nobel 1952)

I originally started this blog under protest.  Even though it seemed incredibly dull to me, I had several people ask me how I cook and what I eat.  Sometimes it’s because I’m vegan, and sometimes it’s because I seem to have unraveled the mystery of yeast bread.  Some friends suggested that I start a food blog, and I was reluctant because I couldn’t think who would want to read it.  But I identified a possible audience, people who are curious for various reasons about what a vegan eats, or looking for meatless meal ideas, and it turns out that people are interested.  I also quickly began including my thoughts on any topic that could be related to food, including energy, sustainability, the environment, obesity, cravings, animal welfare and rights, school lunches, and peace.

After two years of posting every single day on what I had for dinner (I dropped the repetitive breakfast and lunch after just a few months), I decided I’d pretty well covered my original plan of sharing meal ideas, and also there are now tons of other vegan bloggers who are covering this area well.  There are two years of menus on this blog, covering the seasons, traveling, and holidays.  Just select from the recipe categories along the top or, to see how I put it all together through the year, select the “Menus” Category along the left side.  If you want a particular time of year, most of the Archives from before 2011 will be menus.

So now, while I occasionally post a new recipe, it is mostly comments on news, books, conversations, etc.  And it’s not only my blog focus that has changed since the beginning.  I took an online course, The Biology, Psychology, and Politics of Food, which completely changed my view on why we make unhealthy choices, and also began studying and practicing meditation and Buddhism, both of which have had a huge influence on me.  You can check out the “Contents” menu on the right of the upper menu bar for a somewhat up-to0date listing of the non-menu posts.

DISCLAIMER: I make no pretensions to being a great cook.  Sometimes I make something fancy that takes hours, and other times it is cold cereal standing over the sink.  You’re on your own for the cereal recipe.

Here’s a note on Recipe Copyright.

I don’t accept any ads or money/products from businesses in return for what I write.  It’s just me, writing what I think.

10 Responses to “About”

  1. Great blog Tinako! I like your sense of humour. 🙂

  2. henry said

    I think I will spending a lot of (virtual) time here. Thanks for the gift of your blog.

  3. dontdontoperate said

    Oh my goodness! You know, one of the hardest things for me in trying to be vegan has been the boring meals I’ve made. I may just be coming to this site a lot in the future! Kudos!

  4. I love to see what other vegan’s eat 🙂

  5. I agree with Idreamoftahini! I’m new in the world of Veganism and am looking to expand my cookbook!! I’ll be checking back often!

  6. Rae Sikora said

    I love this site! I am going to send folks over here who ask me what a vegan eats!

  7. Love your blog – especially the lunch boxes. Can’t wait to see what you dream up next!

  8. CAJEL said

    I just stumbled upon your blog this evening. I love it! Wow! Thank you so much for all the work you have done to put together so many resourses in one place.

    One thing I find disturbing about a lot of the Vegan community is that there is too little recognition of the importance of Whole foods. I like to see recipes that integrate Veganism with low processed foods. Enough of the white flour and sugar cupcakes. I appreciate that you incorporate whole wheat flour in your baked goods for example.

    • tinako said

      I do try to use whole wheat flour, especially in breads. I want to try using more whole wheat pastry flour in desserts. I have a mix of dessert recipes (or ingredient options) I use, some greasy with white flour and lots of sugar, and some very whole-grain-and-prune-puree. The greasy ones make me feel a bit sick, so I usually prefer the healthy options, reserving the sugary stuff for potlucks where I want to impress non-vegs.

      I get your comment about the vegans often relying on processed foods, but I think it’s important to remember that they are not the only ones. Most Americans rely on processed food – our culture is immersed in it, and so when someone changes to a vegan diet, often for animal rights reasons as opposed to health, it would be strange if they did automatically abandon their previous processed-food habits.

      Thank you for your comment. I hope the blog is helpful.

  9. Hey Tinako! I was just looking at your artwork on ‘Expanding Circle’ and I was so impressed with it. You are very talented! Anyway, I had a thought I wanted to run by you. I would love to feature your ‘how I went vegan’ story and ‘how I became’ an artist story on my blog. I think you’re interesting and talented and that your story is something that people would really respond to. If you’re interested, please let me know. You can reach me by email at Celeste:)

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