Wednesday, 27 February 2019

Seedy Spring


One thing that helps me get through the cold and dark winter, is dreaming up what this years backyard produce garden will consist of. 

The stores are starting to get in spring accessories and garden events are starting up in KW. To kick off the gardening season, 'Seedy Saturday' was at the Kitchener Public Library on February 23rd. This event has speakers, local seed farmers and some new products for the garden. Here is where you will find the unique produce and you are able to talk to the experts about finding the perfect variety for your needs. If you missed it, do not worry, there are some seedling sales and seed swaps put on by The Sustainable Market and Little City Farm in the next few months! Look it up and mark it in your calendar. 

Some variations from Seedy Saturday 2018 that I had success with

Cucamelons (also known as Mouse Melons)


These must have been my favourite new find. I had never heard of them before and I listened to one of the speakers talk about this heirlooms variety being great in salads and drinks (specifically Gin and Tonics).  Naturally, I had to pick up a pack of these weird little guys. They loved our sunny summer and I had so many I was giving them away by the bag fulls.  They are so fun I am definitely growing these this year. They are climbers, so they grow on a vine and you will need a lattice or a fence wall with some support for them to hold on to. 

Bumblee Bee Tomatoes 

Bumblee Bee Tomatoes

These tomatoes are very visually appealing in salads, veggie tray or just snacking outdoors. They are a very sweet variation. I had them in a 4x4 plot but assume they would do very well in a large pot on the deck in a sunny spot. I had an abundance and decided to give dehydration a go. I sliced them in half, scooped out the jelly seeds, and placed them in my dehydrator. When finished I put them in a mason jar with olive oil and now I use them for tomato pesto, pizza sauce or in a marinade for chicken.  They worked perfectly!
Dehydrated Bumblee Bee Tomatoes

Orange Habanero

Habanero Peppers

These spicy orange guys loved being in a pot, or bucket with holes in my case, in a sunny spot. I had so many habaneros they also were gifted to some spice loving friends, dehydrated (do that outside the air becomes spicy and will make you cough), pickled, made into hot sauce and put in ketchup. So if you like spice you will love these. Make sure you use gloves to slice them and even pick them sometimes. The oils are hot so wash your hands well. 

I am shocked when people ask me "Why do you go through all the effort" or "When do you have time to do this". I think; "Why not, it's fun". It actually doesn't take that much time and I do it because I enjoy all the benefits, not just the edible ones, that comes with planting your own garden. 

Mother Nature has a way of teaching us to slow down and appreciate things a little more! Watching them grow from seeds, or seedlings, into healthy mature plants which provide produce is so rewarding.  I also have much more respect for the men and women who grow food for resale.

Are you getting excited?

Gardening is meant to be fun, so pick seeds or seedlings you and your family like to eat or the weird and wonky you want to try. The worst case is they do not work, and it wasn't a huge financial cost. 

To get started


Home improvement stores, Canadian Tire or Home Depot, along with Garden Centres are starting to get in seedling kits. 
They are likely a black tray with a plastic lid (to keep moisture in) and some come with a little grow light. You will need some sort of bright window or little light to get these little guys started. You can also start collecting little containers, e.g. yogurt containers. Heading to the dollar store and getting the biodegradable mini pots are a good idea too for transplanting when they are larger. There are forums out there saying to use egg cartons or fruit shells (after you scoop and eat the fruit center). Personally, my egg cartons went really soggy from the moisture and the fruit started to grow mold. Trial and error at the best. You can always try and see if it works for you and if it doesn't just transplant your little seedling into another pot. 


Secondly pick up some soil that is meant for potting, black earth will be too heavy and wet, there are also packages specifically for seedlings. I am trying that this year. 


Make sure you label your little pots because everything looks the same when they start out. A sticker on the outside of the 'greenhouse box' will make sure the marker doesn't bleed. Whatever is in the pot or the greenhouse container will get moisture so keep that in mind if you are writing on Popsicle sticks or stickers. You just might have to re-do them halfway through the growing period. 


When they are small you can easily see if the soil is dry and pulling away from the container edge, when they become in a larger pot it becomes harder to tell. I picked up a moisture meter, from Home Hardware for $7.00, that you stick into the soil to prevent over watering. We tend to love our plants too much with water sometimes. 

May and Warmer Weather 

One thing I learned through word of mouth, is that your little seedling needs to acclimatize before being planted outside. When the wind is low, or in a sheltered area, and the weather is warmer with the sun out. It is recommended you bring your seedlings outside for a few hours and then back in.  I did this when I was home for a few hours in the morning, then back inside before work or vice versa. The weekends I left them out a little longer. Just do not leave them outside all day on a hot day, it can scorch them. Also do not leave them outside overnight because the nights still get too cold and these little guys can't handle the cold temperatures. 
The rule of green thumb is you don't plant things outdoors until after May 24 weekend. See what the weather is supposed to do and keep an eye after that if one of the nights is to get frost or close to zero, you will need to put an old sheet, blanket, burlap or container over your planted seedlings. If you are doing planters you can bring them back inside or cover them as well. The spring is the most finicky time but after that, when we have consistent weather, you will not have to baby these plants as much.  

Once we are into Summer you will just need to do some watering when we have had a dry spell for too long. If you are doing pots, they dry out faster than gardens so you will need to water them more frequently. They say the best time is to water in the morning and before the sun is at its hottest. Watering at night is okay if it been a really hot day, just if the plants are soaked always at night, mildew and mold can start on their leaves. I found this with my zucchini. I just do not have luck or the space for zucchini. I will just have to exchange produce or go to the market for them. 

It can be a little work, but I think it is worth it. Start small if it sounds daunting. The good news is, whether you are a beginner or an expert on the backyard garden spectrum, the health benefits are evident that participating in this past time is good for you body, mind and soul!

More articles and studies are surfacing about the  Dr. prescribing nature, how soil has antidepressant properties and the mental health benefits of gardening. I honestly believe it also teaches us, young or old, problem-solving skills, to be patient and to reap the rewards that come with work. 

I hope you give it a shot, attend a seedling event, read some blogs or just grab a pack of seeds and learn as you go. There is not a right or wrong way. You likely will get hooked and start your own perfect backyard or balcony oasis full of deliciousness. 

I gave you some basics on starting seeds but if you would like more information about what to do once the seedlings grow, I would check out Gardening for Beginners and/or You Grow Girl blog posts. 

Hope this sparked your interest! We would love to see your pictures of the neat and wonderful things you grew. Tag us on Facebook or Instagram @coachhousetc or #thecoachhousetc so we see and get inspired ourselves. 

Happy digging!

Tuesday, 12 February 2019

Lets Get Cooking

Being a busy business owner and working late hours, it is hard to have sit down meal. Add to that the winter 'blahs' when you are feeling unadventurous in the kitchen. This combination screams quick and typically unhealthy meal choices. 

All I want is good tasting, quick preparation and healthy foods. 

This year I am determined to try some new recipes that can become my quick go to's and still be nutritious. 

For Christmas a friend bought me 'Oh She Glows Every Day' by Angela Liddon and that was the spark I needed.  Another place I find inspiration is on Instagram. Following nutrition, fitness and vegetarian/vegan people have opened my eyes to some great and healthy ideas.

Using these avenues I am going to give you some of my tried , tested and delicious foods with the hope you get the inspiration you need to make easy and healthy food choices! 

*If you try any of these please share and tag @coachhousetc so I can see your creations! 



A filling breakfast jammed packed with protein and minimal ingredients. It is going to sound a little strange but try it, trust me it is a household pleaser. 


  • 4 eggs
  • 2 mashed bananas 
  • optional 1tbs almond flour or 1/4 cup oatmeal 

That's right, 2 ingredients. The optional ingredients are if you would like thicker pancakes. 

Mash the 2 bananas, mix in your eggs and let sit while you heat your pan with coconut oil. 
This is the foundation, you can add spices (cinnamon, vanilla extract, cardamon, pumpkin pie spice etc) for extra flavour if you desire. 

In this picture the toppings are fresh cherries, cacao nibs and coconut cream.


I love smoothies for breakfast. 

They are nutritiously dense, when you make them right, and so versatile. Usually I blend, pour it into a mason jar and head out the door. This was a slower morning and I decided to get a little fancier by putting it in a bowl and sprinkling some toppings for added 'WOW'. 
This was the first smoothie I tried from 'Oh She Glows Every Day' but it will not be my last. 

'Green Matcha Mango Ginger Smoothie' , topped with some shredded coconut, mango pieces and a few pistachios. I added vanilla protein powder and used frozen over fresh mango. 


(makes two bowls)

  • 1 cup unsweetened almond milk
  • 1 cup of frozen mango chunks
  • 1 frozen banana 
  •  2 scoops of vanilla protein powder
  • 1 tsp matcha powder
  • 1 tsp fresh grated ginger
  • 2 tsp lime juice

I put all in the blender and blended until smooth. Since I used frozen fruit I didn't add ice but if you want it colder or thicker add some ice cubes. 


 Recently I purchased an Instant Pot and one of the recipes I make frequently, is steel cut oatmeal from Oh She Glows. This is the creamiest oatmeal that stores well for the week ahead.  

Follow Oh She Glows Steel Cut for directions with an instant pot or stove top. 


This granola is great to sprinkle on your smoothie bowl, chia seed pudding, pancakes, oatmeal or even nice cream.

I , once again, used 'Oh She Glows Every Day' as inspiration with a little twist. 

Once you get the basic idea add the seeds or nuts of your desire. Next time I might add some dried cranberries or cherries. 


  • 2 cups oats 
  • 2 cups coconut chips 
  • 1 cup raw pumpkin seeds (pepitas)
  • 1/2 cup hemp hearts 
  • 2 tbs coconut sugar
  • pinch sea salt
  • 1 tsp pumpkin pie spice 
  • 1 tbs cinnamon 
  • 2 tbs sunflower seed butter
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
  • 1/3 cup melted coconut oil 
  • 1/3 raw sunflower seeds

In a large bowl mix all the ingredients together. Heat the oven to 300 degrees and line your baking pan with parchment paper. 

Spread your mixture evenly on the baking sheet and bake for 15 minutes.  Pour the mixture back in the bowl and shake it up and place back on baking sheet to cook for another 10 minutes. 

Once cool store your granola in mason jars with silica packs, to keep it crisp.


You can't beat eggs for breakfast, and this healthy crust-less quiche helps use up veggies in the fridge.

Grease your 8 inch pie pan, I used coconut oil on a paper towel and rubbed it on my pie pan.

In a bowl beat 6 free range eggs with 1/2 tsp of water (I was told it will make it fluffier so I continue to do it). Add the chopped veggie you crave (I add some broccoli florets, chopped mushrooms, green pepper and some crumbles of feta cheese).

Pour mixture in the pie pan and cook at 350 degrees for about 30 minutes or until center is solid. 

I slice it up and place in glass containers in the fridge. An easy snack or a quick heat up breakfast. 



Roasting almonds are so easy and yet this is my first time doing them!


  • 1 cup raw almonds
  • 2 tbs soy sauce (or coconut aminos)

Set the oven to 325 degrees. 

Line a baking sheet with parchment paper. 

Mix almond and sauce in a bowl. Spread on baking sheet and bake for 10 min. 
*Next time I am going to do a hot sauce style! 

I used these nuts as a salad topper, mixed in with my trail mix for a handful for a snack on their own. 


I am not much of a baker! I like no bake desserts or protein balls. That is pretty much my comfort zone, yet today I went out on a limb. 

Today I made Paleomg's Tahini Pistachio Banana Bread and look at that, it turned out! 

You are going to love the minimal ingredients and easy steps. 

Next time I will double the spices (cinnamon and cardamon) because I wanted it to be a little more spicy :)


I am re-sharing this Almond Butter Cup from 'Thrive Energy' cookbook because its just that good and different! There are a few steps but do not let that discourage you. It is still easier than oven baking and it is all worth it in the end. 


  • 3 cups of  raw almonds
  • 1 cup of walnuts
  • 1/4 cup cacao nibs
  • 6 pitted dates soaked
  • 3 TBSP maple syrup

  • 1/3 cup melted virgin coconut oil 
  • 1/3 cup maple syrup 
  • 1/3 cup almond butter 
  • 1/4 cup almond milk 
  • 1 tsp vanilla extract 
Topping Chocolate Sauce
  • 1 cup cacao powder
  • 1/2 cup coconut oil (melted) 
  • 1/2 tsp sea salt
  • 1/2 cup maple syrup
  • 3 tbsp water 

In food processor or powerful blender, combine the almonds and walnuts until they are in small pieces. Add cacao nibs and pulse until they are the same size as the nuts. Add dates and syrup and pulse until a dough forms. Press into your tin with a centre cavity for filling.

Blend all ingredients of filling until smooth. Divide into the crust molds and refrigerate until smooth (about an hour, depending on size)

Blend all ingredients in a blender until smooth. Place a drop onto the cups with the filling, once hardened. Keep in air tight container in the fridge or freezer.



No one likes dry and bland chicken. If you want 4 easy marinades to please your taste buds, I have a few right here. 

While scrolling through Instagram, I came across Eat The Gains blog. She follows The Whole 30 and has 5 styles of marinade but I only did 4 of them, because I ran out of chicken. 

Following the picture layout;Top left: COCONUT CURRY

  • 1/2 cup coconut milk
  • 1 tbs green curry paste
  • 1 tbs curry powder (hot)
  • 1 tbs lime juice 
  • salt and pepper pinches 

Top right: CHILI LIME

  • 3 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tbs avocado oil
  • 1 medium red chili pepper sliced
  • salt and pepper pinches

  • 1 tbs lemon juice
  • 1 tbs lime juice
  • 1 tbs orange juice
  • 1 tbs avocado oil
  • 2 tbs chopped fresh rosemary
  • salt and pepper pinches

Bottom right: CINNAMON BASIL I was most concerned about this one. Basil and cinnamon... but its really good! 
  • 2 tbs avocado oil
  • 3 tbs dried basil
  • 1 tbs cinnamon
  • salt and pepper pinches

I did them all at once and kept them in the fridge/freezer. Try to allow the marinade to soak into your chicken for a few hours before cooking.

When you are ready to cook, my preferred cooking method is always BBQ but I know it is cold out so oven works too. As long as the internal temperature of the chicken is 165 degrees, you are good to eat! 

This is a great salad alternative from the spinach and lettuce base we always go to. It is colourful and delicious so brighten up your winter nights by giving this one a go. 

I followed 'Oh She Glows Everyday' recipe and added some extra veggies. 

Dressing Ingredients 
  • 1/4 cup sesame oil (toasted or untoasted your choice) 
  • 3 TBS rice vinegar
  • 1 TBS tahini
  • 1 TBS maple syrup 
  • 1 TBS low-sodium soy or tamari
Place all ingredients in a mason jar, screw on lid and shake to mix. 

Salad Ingredients
  • 1 pack of soba noodles (following cooking directions) 
  • 1 red bell pepper diced 
  • 1 yellow pepper diced
  • 3 green onions chopped 
  • 1 avocado sliced
  • 1 mango sliced
  • 1 cup of cilantro minced 
  • Protein source- I did tofu which i fried in a cast iron pan with coconut oil and sprinkled garlic and onion powder on. You can also add chicken, shrimp or beef. 
  • Sriracha if you need some spice
  • freshly squeezed lime juice over salad before serving 
  • 1 TBS sesame seeds

You can serve the soba salad warm or cold, so it makes for great leftovers at work. Use the salad as ground zero and get creative with what you add to it to change the texture and taste. I may try zucchini noodles or rice noodles instead of soba next time.

I hope you found a recipe or two you can try this weekend to jazz up meals at home. Become re-inspired with your cooking and give yourself the gift of eating well. 

Friday, 1 February 2019

What to do on Valentines Day in KW

Whether you celebrate it or not; Valentine’s Day is only a couple weeks away and there are many great things happening in Waterloo that day (or days surrounding the 14th) so lets embrace this day of love, maybe even make some new traditions and support some great local businesses! Go ahead and grab your s/o, your gals, your guys, or whoever you hold near and dear and check out some of these local spots!

BRCH is a gorgeous cafe Uptown at the corner of King and Erb. Not only do they have some of the best coffee in Waterloo, but they also have a kickass selection of natural wine and craft beer! This Valentine’s Day they are hosting their first annual Valentine's Day dinner service. A 4-course pre-set vegan menu, including a share cake from Unity Baking and optional wine or tea pairings. Seatings are limited so head into the cafe to reserve now $40/person.

PRINCESS CAFE DINNER & A MOVIE is the perfect date night combo for Valentine's Day or any day! Stop in at the Princess Cafe and get your dinner and a movie passes for just $25. This will get you one of their delicious panini sandwiches with a side, dessert, a drink and admission to a film at either Princess Cinema. 

RED HOUSE is a bistro restaurant that is passionately focused on fresh food and crafted cocktails, inspired by quality ingredients. Reservations are necessary as  this is a small restaurant that serves delicious food!

NICK & NAT’S UPTOWN 21 have been creating unique local food experiences for 10 years in Uptown Waterloo! Their love and passion for the bounty Waterloo Region has to offer allows them to work closely with local producers, farmers, brewers and more so why not eat your heart out and share a meal with someone you love at Uptown 21’s Valentine’s Celebration! 4 courses for $45. 

ACE PING PONG LOUNGE is an intimate spot to play ping pong in Uptown. If you're a competitive couple, why not challenge your loved one to a game of ping pong? Get in contact to reserve your Valentine's Day package which includes 1 hour of ping pong, 2 glasses of champagne and an appetizer for $35.  

TRUTH BEAUTY COMPANY not only has some great gift ideas and natural beauty products (from luxury bath items, to makeup, massage oils and more!) but they also have a couple great events happening in February! On February 10 the Guelph location is hosting a DIY LIP SCRUB hosted by The Sage Company, tickets are $20 and includes 2 customized lip scrubs; one for you and one for someone you love! Get your tickets.

On February 17 Truth Beauty Company will be hosting a Rose Quartz Roller Workshop with Cardea Auset at their Uptown Waterloo location. This workshop is $50 and includes guided meditation, massage prep using Cardea products, self-administered facial massage, a rose quartz facial roller for you to keep, refreshments and in-store promotions. Get your tickets

GLITTER AND CLAY GALENTINE’S DAY grab a gal pal and join them on February 13 at Refined Salvage for an exclusive beginner clay jewelry workshop! Create a custom designed polymer clay necklace  and a pair of one-of-a-kind stud earrings! Single-lady sangria, heart-break slow jams and lots of laughs are also included in the ticket price. Get your tickets

KPL 3D PRINTED JEWELRY just in time for Valentine’s Day learn how to 3D print your own customized pendants! February 2 at 2pm you must register for this event here event is open for all ages. 

KPL ART FOR THE HEART is an event for children and helps them create a mixed-media masterpiece to keep for themselves or to give to a loved one! February 9 at 2pm at the Central location downtown Kitchener.

HUSTL+FLOW is hosting All The Feels February. A month dedicated to finding out just how good you were designed to feel. Hustl+Flow love the way you move, and they want you to move more, feel more and live more fully. Try their February challenge as an opportunity to dig a little deeper, try new things and connect on a deeper level with your mind, body and soul. They will also be having themed classes on the 14th so check that out as well! 

AMBROSIA CORNER BAKERY have created a special cinnamon heart milk chocolate bar special for Valentine's Day. If you haven’t yet tried their bean to bar chocolate, what are you waiting for?! Aside from their in house made chocolate they have amazing ice cream and baked good as well as a  selection of locally made goods.

VINCENZO’S has the perfect treat for that special someone: chocolate covered strawberries! Get in touch with them to pre-order yours for February 14th. 

GIFTED is already everyone’s favourite gift shop, right? If you haven’t been yet, then go check out this gem ASAP! It’s amazing how much you can find in this little shop on Park Street and Valentine’s Day gifts is no exception! If you’re looking for a gift for a loved one, a child, a teacher, etc. Gifted has you covered. 

CHARMED FLOWERS is a quaint little shop in the old Waterloo Hotel on Erb Street. If you’re looking for beautiful roses or other flowers this is the place to go. They have traditional arrangements as well as beautiful unique arrangements. If you don’t want flowers, they also have burning love candles as well as other gift ideas in the shop.7

RUBBLE is beautiful unique jewelry handmade in Kitchener. Take a look at these handcrafted  earrings and necklaces and get in touch with her! Customized pieces are available as well.

WHITE TIGER VINTAGE if you’re looking for a perfectly one-of-a-kind outfit for the special day, then look no further than White Tiger in downtown Kitchener. The best vintage store in the area is beautifully curated and staff are willing to help you find that perfect piece. 

UNI+KONCEPT absolutely stunning new and slightly pre-loved clothing can be found here. Dressy or casual, these girls have got you covered! This shop is a must if you’re looking for a beautiful new outfit to wear on the 14th. 

On Wednesdays we wear pink. On Wednesday, February 13 Uni-koncept is hosting their 3rd Annual Galentine's Day Event and this years theme is self love, treat yourself and your bestie! Pop into the store anytime between 4-8pm. There will be complimentary tarot card readings & manifestations by Corina at Moon Shine Juicery, first access to new arrivals, 100% of proceeds from embroidered KOTN shirts going to women's shelter, a videographer filming the event, DJ & more!  You can also choose to order a flowergram to send to your bestie by visiting the website!

We hope you have a wonderful time enjoying some local activities and spreading some LOVE.