A Quick Bite With Liisa Winkler

A Quick Bite With Liisa Winkler

When Ceri and I worked together at Fashion Magazine we had the opportunity to work with an endless amount of creative, kind and beautiful people. Liisa Winkler was one of our favourites though. One of those salt-to-the-earth kinds of women, Liisa is a big time Canadian fashion model with and even bigger heart. When the magazine partnered with the charity Rethink Breast Cancer to bring the Fashion Target’s Breast Cancer initiative to Canada, Liisa was one of the first celebrities to lend her name to the charity as well as the magazine’s photo shoot and subsequent publicity effort. Today, a mom of two, Liisa is devoted to selecting healthy and nutritious food for her children. She’s also wildly passionate about banning Genetically Modified Foods. Known to cram an impressive amount of broccoli into soup (a favourite of her daughter, Stella), Liisa considers herself to be a budding food activist—who also happens to know her way around a panini press.

SPC:  What’s your earliest food memory?
LW: “Grillie” my talking grilled cheese sandwich.  He only talked when mom made him and liked it when I ate his feet.  He was truly hilarious.

SPC: What’s your favourite meal to make with your kids?
LW: I am going to go with wraps here… we fill them with anything (leftover rice, veg., beans) and cheese of course, then press them in a panini press. They will eat anything if it is pressed in a wrap with cheese.

SPC:Salty or sweet?
LW: Why not both?  Sweet after dinner and salty before bed…with a monthly fluctuation of course.

SPC: What side you align with more—the bakers or the chefs?
LW: Definitely bakers; I am working on the cheffery. I am good with a recipe, not so good at improvisation.

SPC: What dish do you find so utterly complicated that you fear you’ll never be able to make?
LW: Any large cut of meat. I have been an off and on vegetarian since high school, so big meat meals were never in my repertoire and probably never will be—and that is so completely fine with me.

SPC: What’s one of your signature dishes that your kids request regularly?
LW: Stella craves my broccoli cheddar soup almost as much as she craves chocolate cookies. I pack it with almost double the broccoli. Oskar wants nothing but bread, so I bake muffins or healthy cookies a lot.

SPC: If you could have any one per­son over for din­ner (the sky’s the limit) who would it be?
LW: Seriously my best friend Julie.  We love the same kinds of food, our conversations are riveting and she always helps me clean up afterward.

SPC:  What’s your biggest challenge in the kitchen?
LW: Chopping onions without sobbing, grating carrots without grating my knuckles and keeping my eager to help one-year-old sous chef (Oskar) from accidentally chopping off his toes.

SPC: What’s your take on kids food?
LW: Don’t get me started.  I will not be sucked in by colorful packages of Princess cereal or Elmo crackers and try to explain to Stella that it really does taste just the same as the other crackers….I am not sure she buys it. All those ingredients I can’t pronounce, like sugar and nasty fructose sweeteners— not to mention the Genetically Modified ingredients that are not listed on the package. GM foods are everywhere, but unless you buy organic, there is no way to know!

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