There was once a restaurant on the Atlanta, Ga, campus of Morehouse College called “Delights of The Garden.” Originally owned and operated by Imar Hutchins and some of his college friends, the restaurant was a huge success. The founders eventually opened two locations in my hometown of Washington, DC, one on the Howard University campus and one in Georgetown.
One fine day, Imar Hutchins walked into my aromatherapy shop and just started talking. We became instant friends, and supported each other in our early entrepreneurial endeavors. We lost touch when he went to New York to attend law school. His restaurant eventually closed, but not before he published a cookbook called, “The Joy Of Not Cooking: Vegetarian Cuisine Cooked Only By the Sun.” I think I am one of the lucky few to have one of the only copies.
The “not cookbook” was published in 1994 and my copy is in pieces, but I dragged it out of the garage recently to revive some of the recipes I loved all those years ago. I have discovered that since stepping up my fitness routine, hosting WorkOut Wednesdays on FaceBook and becoming more conscious and deliberate about what I eat, I seem to be craving more wholesome foods. Go figure. Anyway, yesterday, I enjoyed Avocado Grand. It's a smooth, delicious and healthy way to enjoy the benefits of avocados, which are rich in natural oils. This recipe is super fast and easy, and makes one serving.
1 ripe avocado
squeeze of fresh lemon juice
1 small tomato (I used an orange heirloom variety, which is why it's so lightly colored in the photo)
1/4 red onion
1 small garlic clove
1/2 tablespoon tamari (I used reduced sodium)
Spike to taste (I used gluten-free)
- Halve the avocado and remove the stone. Scoop out the avocado and cut into square chunks. Squeeze the juice of a quarter lemon on the avocado chunks and stir to make sure juice gets all over them. Don't worry if some of the chunks get a little mashed up.
- Chop the tomato and add it. Then chop the onion finely and add it. Chop the garlic finely and add it. You can omit the garlic if you're not a big fan like me. Stir everything.
- Season with tamari and Spike.
Enjoy this immediately while everything is just freshly chopped. It's delicious and oh so healthy!
Where Is Imar?
Sometime after the original Delights of the Garden book was published, it was picked up by a publishing house which published a version that is no longer available as far as I can tell. I have yet another version of the book, which includes a 30-day meal plan, but I can't seem to find it right now. I think it's in my garage somewhere.
I also found this link, which shows that Imar co-authored another cookbook called Vegetarian Soul Food Cookbook, and enjoyed a bit of media attention too boot!
Unfortunately, I have not been able to find any current phone or email information for Imar, but I have never forgotten him and will always consider him a treasured friend.
I did find Imar's 2006 New York Times wedding announcement. It says he got married on Belize and that he's now a real estate attorney. I love knowing that dear friends I've lost touch with are doing well.
Congratulations, Imar! Next time you Google yourself, I hope you find this post and stop by to say hello and let me know how you are!
Question: Have you enjoyed any unique raw foods? I'd love it if you'd share a favorite recipe.