Salt Spring Island Cooking: Vegetarian Recipes from the Salt Spring Centre


291 pages
Contains Photos, Illustrations, Bibliography, Index
ISBN 0-7715-9194-2
DDC 641.5'636





Reviewed by Janet Arnett

Janet Arnett is the former campus manager of adult education at Ontario’s Georgian College. She is the author of Antiques and Collectibles: Starting Small, The Grange at Knock, and 673 Ways to Save Money.



Salt Spring Centre is a yoga retreat and conference organization located
in the tranquillity of the Gulf Islands, British Columbia. The type of
vegetarianism practised there permits the use of butter, but not of

As is to be expected in a vegetarian collection, there is heavy
emphasis on dishes containing beans, brown rice, and numerous other
grains and legumes. While fresh garden produce is present in many of the
recipes, surprisingly it takes a back seat to the grains, tofu, and
seasonings usually associated with India.

The well-rounded recipe collection includes breakfast dishes, entrées,
soups, breads, desserts, sauces, salads and dressings, dips, and
beverages. As well, there’s a section on international dishes and food
for kids.

The recipes rely heavily on ingredients that may seem exotic to many
Canadian cooks—engevita yeast, egg-replacer, barley malt, agar agar,
nori, masa harina, miso, gomasio, tamari, tahini, etc. Most can be found
in health-food stores or in shops specializing in the foods of Asia and
the Middle East.

While many of the 200 recipes are for variations on traditional foods
such as multigrain bread, pumpkin pie, and pea soup, others are for
less-well-known dishes and beverages: fruited barley, bean burgers,
yeast gravy, hamsa cream, millet milk, and more. There’s a good
selection of recipes for some of the newer international “classics”
that have entered mainstream Canadian kitchens (e.g., cous-cous,
falafel, ganouji, pesto, and hummus).

While the book makes for enjoyable browsing and contains numerous
recipes that will appeal to all tastes, overall it is practical only for
those with a serious interest in vegetarianism and with access to the
many uncommon ingredients on which the bulk of the recipes rely.


Polden, Rodney., “Salt Spring Island Cooking: Vegetarian Recipes from the Salt Spring Centre,” Canadian Book Review Annual Online, accessed November 28, 2023,