Tuesday, September 20, 2011

GF/V Review: Arlington, Virginia actually has GF/V cupcakes!

I did a good deed the other week--not expecting cupcakes in return--but then, I got cupcakes in return! Not just any cupcakes, but two gluten-free, vegan cupcakes!

You may wonder why this is such a big deal. It's because I live in Arlington, Virginia, where the only vegan cupcakes are at the
Bakeshop, and they're not gluten-free.

Where did these little gems come from? Red Velvet Cupcakery, tucked away inside Rabbit Salad and Grill in Clarendon.

Karma bestowed upon me two flavors: vanilla on vanilla and chocolate on chocolate. For those of you who don't know me, I'm hands down a vanilla-on-vanilla sort of gal, so it's not surprising I licked the frosting off that sucker first (first I lick off the frosting, then I eat the cake...frosting is superior to cake). My ratings are below:

Vanilla frosting: A+ (simply spectacular)
Vanilla cake: B+/A- (it was perfectly delicious, but could have used a wee bit more sugar)
Chocolate frosting: A+ (I don't even like choco frosting that much, but this was the bomb)
Chocolate cake: C (ehhhhhh)

Now that I'll be getting my cupcake on on the regular, I took a gander at the Rabbit Salad and Grill menu. Although I have not inquired about the ingredients and can't say for certain it's GF, I am very intrigued by crusted-tofu-with-bell-peppers-and-zuchinni entree. I have a sneaking suspicion I will be testing it out soon.

By the way, the pictures for this post suck more than usual because my main concern was getting at the vanilla frosting, and not documenting the cupcake for my readers. Whoops.

Saturday, September 3, 2011

cutting the crap: avoiding over-priced and nutritionally-hollow GF breakfasts

My biggest issue as a gluten-free vegan was figuring out the breakfast situation. The products marketed to the GF crowd are generally made of a combination of corn and sugar, potato and sugar, or rice and sugar. They also generally contain honey, which is a no-go for honey-abstaining vegans. Not only are cereals and bars made by big GF companies like Glutino nutritionally hollow, they are also more expensive than your average cereal or bar.

Although I found some refuge in EcoPlanet Instant Hot Cereal--which includes wholesome gluten-free grains like quinoa and amaranth--I was very annoyed to pay around six dollars a box for a few measly bags that did not even fill me up and couldn't get me through the week.

So over feeling mal-nourished or hungry after the most important meal of the day (while still paying a pretty penny) I decided to go macrobiotic and get back to basics for breakfast. Why was I paying six dollars for a GF oatmeal made partly of quinoa, when I could buy quinoa in bulk for 3.99 a pound (re-using the bag and forever losing the box) and make something way tastier, healthier, and cheaper myself? (Quinoa has eight grams of protein and five grams of fiber per one-cup serving).

And that's just what happened. My new breakfast obsession is quinoa in a bowl of almond milk, with a chunk of raw, crunchy almond butter, and sprinkled with cinnamon and ginger. Sometimes I add chopped bananas for an extra kick. I realize the picture I posted might look disgusting to some, but I promise it's so yummy. For those who want a sweet breakfast, I would recommend either adding fruit, using vanilla milk, or adding agave or sugar.

As a side note, someone recommended cooking quinoa in almond milk instead of water to make it taste more breakfast-y. I find no difference in the taste of quinoa based on whether I cook it in water or almond milk.