Meet the Hudson Valley food blogger behind Phokmeat

All photos by Kaitlyn Magno,

We are in 2022 and your diet is still not vegetable? Kaitlin Magno, Fishkill resident and the face behind the food blog Phokmeatis there to facilitate the consumption of your green vegetables.

Kaitlin Magno was a military brat. Born in Maui, Hawaii, she traveled to the United States (Nevada, Tennessee, Kentucky, Texas) and even spent time in South Korea before moving to San Antonio. It is therefore not surprising that she has seen – and tasted –many of different foods. Throughout her family’s hikes, there has been one constant: cooking for others. “Meals with friends and family are a big thing in Hawaii because we loved getting together and sharing all types of food, including Japanese, Filipino, Chinese, Korean, and Portuguese,” she says.

But one thing that sets Magno apart from its heritage is plant-based cuisine. In 2016, his perspective on the meat industry changed dramatically, after watching documentaries like Cowspiracy, Forks on knivesand What is health. Magno went vegan for a few months, but it didn’t quite work out for her. Today, she identifies as a flexitarian – mostly plants, almost no meat. Reducing the meat gave Magno more energy, less brain fog and bloating, fewer rashes, and better sleep. The one thing she couldn’t leave behind? Cheese. “Vegan cheeses don’t replicate exact flavors. Plus, cheese makes everything taste better.

Magno launched her food blog at the height of Covid in 2020. She was a stay-at-home mom, became really was bored as the days started to blend together and was looking for something fun and inspiring to do. Enter Phokmat. pronounced fuh-k-meat, it covers everything plant-based and heritage-inspired, from Hawaiian-style poke bowls to vegetable stir-fry noodles or vegan unagi kabayaki (a traditional Japanese eel dish). The gorgeous images and simple recipes will inspire you to experiment with plant-based cooking and taste new flavors.

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Favorite vegetable? Brussels sprouts. It’s funny because I hated them until I learned to cook!

Alternative to meat? Impossible mark.

Your favorite vegetable milk? Soy because it’s so versatile, especially in Asian dishes.

Are there any good vegan cheeses? For grilled cheese, I like Follow Your Heart American and Gouda slices. They really melt!

Any thoughts on aquafaba as an egg substitute? It’s great when you need a good rise in a baked recipe. Other than that, I prefer flax eggs. (Flax seeds replicate eggs when 1 tablespoon is mixed with 3 tablespoons of water.)

Favorite vegetable snack? Grilled chickpeas.

Where do you buy? I buy products from Adams Fairacre Farms. For Asian ingredients, I love Welcome Oriental Grocery in Poughkeepsie.

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