Top Chef Michael Mina Describes My Daily Diet

Teddie Peanut Butter only served on Friday and Saturday evenings.


Today we have a par-boiled oatmeal made with Trader Joe’s Organic Old Fashioned Rolled Oats, seasoned with Organic Pumpkin Spice and Morton’s Kosher Salt, both stolen from a roommate personally by Emily Drevets.

The oats are prepared by pouring tap water heated to exactly 212 degrees Fahrenheit over them and letting them sit for as long as you can stand. As a garnish, we sprinkle just a touch of raw oats over the finished dish. Served with tap water and our signature Nescafe Instant Coffee.

These oats remain mostly raw because they are not Quick Cooking, so you get some of that tough oaty texture that reminds you of the earth and eating wheat off the stalk. I feel this is a very honest dish that reconnects you with how eating must have felt for our ancestors.


For this dish, I was inspired by childhood and children in general. I’m fascinated by the way they approach life, absorbing everything as if it were completely new, captivated by what has become ordinary to us. They are the very embodiment of “fresh eyes” and that’s where I got the idea for a Toasted Whole Wheat Peanut Butter and Raspberry Jam Sandwich.

To prepare this re-invented childhood classic, we open the bag of Trader Joe’s Organic Whole Wheat Bread and gently set two slices in a preheated toaster oven. As the bread toasts and becomes progressively drier, we ready the peanut butter and raspberry jam by taking the respective jars out of the fridge and opening them.

The peanut butter we’re using today is an Organic Crunchy, Natural Trader Joe’s Peanut Butter, made from local peanuts and harvested with the help of a man who is, by coincidence, my second cousin Bill. Bill and I don’t talk much, and our jam of the month is Safeway Brand Raspberry jam, with real cane sugar and artificial colorings.

Once the bread is done toasting, we remove it from the oven and slather it in peanut butter. The warmth of the toast causes the peanut butter to melt slightly, adding to the gooiness of the sandwich. Then, we smear raspberry jam on the toast, making sure to swirl the mixture.

Much like checking for the appropriate swirls of fat in high-quality meat, a healthy swirl in a peanut butter and raspberry jam sandwich is an equally important indicator of quality. Then we press the two slices together, seeing to it that some of the filling drips down the sides.

The drink of choice with this finished product: tap water. You’re going to need a lot in order to keep this viscous mixture moving down.


Dinner today is a handful of Trader Joe’s Cats Cookies for People, kind of the big sister of Teddy Grahams with a similar, cinammony taste and innocent crunch, along with some spoonfuls of peanut butter straight out of the jar, served with Twinning’s English Breakfast Tea and tap water from a nickel-plated sink faucet in the bathroom.

I’ve found that eating eating peanut butter right from the jar works on both the experiential and gustatory levels, and the proximity to such a primary ingredient in its natural and abundant state is a real crowd pleaser.

Bon Appétit!

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16 thoughts on “Top Chef Michael Mina Describes My Daily Diet

  1. With a description like that I would have that menu on a regular basis! 🙂

  2. Peanut butter on pancakes with syrup. That’s what i had in jail and I loved it so much that I still eat it in the free world

  3. artzent says:

    You couldn’t have a more healthy or tasty diet except for the tap water and the disgusting jam. Just stick with the peanut butter out of the jar and when it sticks to your teeth take a bite of whole wheat bread. That will do it! I am serious here! lol

  4. There are plenty of people you are offending with your racially-charged lunch choice:

  5. GreedyFrog says:

    You should have your own cookery show! 🙂

  6. Audrey says:

    Chef! I’m so coming to your house for dinner!

  7. tomwisk says:

    PB&J on toast brings me back to when I was but a young lad staying overnight at my aunt’s and uncle’s. My aunt made PB&J on toast with chocolate milk. Now you’ve made me rethink my choice of sauted squash, onion and mushrooms on a poppy seed roll.

  8. smeagolina says:

    Interesting choice in toasting the sandwich bread. I include that step when I’m packing a lunch for, say, a hiking trip, but for immediate consumption I prefer the spongy texture of untoasted bread. The jam (or jelly) doesn’t have enough time to make the bread soggy, which would be a major problem for me.

    I also am interested in your selection of Trader Joe’s products. I feel like it really connects you to the urban postgraduate life of the coastal US in a really insightful way.


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