Ask a Vegan: Hungry Munky
At Hungry Munky, Tamika Scriven and Michael Pacheco focus on creating vegan recipes that will satisfy even dedicated carnivores—showing how easy (and delicious) it is to make the switch.
Tamika Scriven, already a successful entrepreneur as founder of Allure Wigs, initially created her vegan food blog, Hungry Munky, as a side hobby. Working with co-founder Michael Pacheco (and sometimes her mom), Scriven was inspired to counter the lack of vegan foods in her area. “We live in the poor, urban sections of Brooklyn, New York, and therefore see firsthand how challenging it can be to find decent vegan options nearby,” Scriven explains. “Like us, many are either starting out or looking to become vegan but do not know what to eat or how to cook it. That’s why we focus mainly on creating recipes that are also approved by meat eaters, making it easier for those who wish to transition.”
Q: What do you think are some common misconceptions about vegan consumers and/or vegan diets?
A common misconceptions is that we only eat salads and rice cakes for our meals. It is also said that a vegan diet lacks the amount of protein and nutrients that one needs to function throughout the day. Both are far from the truth.
Q: How can pizzerias and restaurants do a better job of communicating their vegan offerings to customers and reach the vegan community?
We believe that pizzerias and restaurants alike can use certain phrases that are popular in the vegan community, such as “cheeze” and “chick’n.” Also, instead of just writing “vegan pizza” on the menu, they should be a bit more descriptive, letting us know if the item is made with soy or gluten, for example.
Q: Why do you see vegan eating as not just a trend but a full evolution of our eating habits going forward (even among meat eaters who are incorporating more plant-based foods)?
We started a blog to share our recipes with transitioning and newly converted vegans. However, we’ve seen quite a spike in the number of meat eaters who follow us. Some have even told us how they made subtle changes, such as switching from cow milk to oat milk. That being said, we do believe that veganism is not just a trend but a transformation, and we dedicate ourselves to helping others adapt to the change.
Q: What strides have you witnessed in vegan food options over the years, and what do you want to see or predict for the future of this space?
We appreciate the fact that there are so many more storebought options currently than there were five years ago. However, we noticed the high spike of vegan items that contain soy. While soy products may enhance flavor, they are possibly linked to health ailments. Therefore, we try our best to omit this ingredient from our recipes. As such, we hope to see vegan food manufacturers eliminate soy as well. There are so many healthier alternatives that can be used instead. We also wish to see a rise in vegan fast-food establishments that offer a wider range of tasty options for us.
Craving vegan comfort food? Check out Hungry Munky’s Carne Frita recipe!