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Plant-Based and Ready to Grow in the New Year

It’s a new year, and with it comes a fresh perspective—and for Minor’s Chef Orlando Apodaca, a new challenge for the culinary world. “Don’t be afraid. It’s time to change the world – and the way we eat.” 

Ok, it’s a challenge by definition, but for Chef Orlando, it’s more of an opportunity. “We have this brand new world [plant-based] and we’re all teaching ourselves to be more creative and to truly push the envelope. I didn’t grow up vegetarian, so right now I’m teaching myself how to make comfort foods and turn them into a plant-friendly format.”

So where do you start? For Chef Orlando, it’s all about diving into flavors with rich history. These flavors and ingredients have stood the test of time and they’re only getting better. Here are three that he has his eyes on for 2023:


Chiles are finally getting the moment they deserve and soon this authentic mexican sauce will too. Traditionally made from a combination of dried fruits, nuts, tomatillos, chilies and spices, this deliciously sweet and spicy sauce adds the type of robust flavor that makes your dish shine—no meat necessary.

Blue Corn

“Blue corn is one of the ancient grains that truly embodies the Native American spirit,” says Chef Orlando. So how do you incorporate it into a plant-friendly menu item? “It’s an ingredient that moves forward with so many things – from blue corn pancakes which I grew up with to blue corn sopes and pupusas.” And he’s not the only one leaning into the plant-friendly trend,“here in Texas, the Dallas Cowboys have an item on their menu that’s nachos made with blue corn chips and Sweet Earth® Mindful Chik'n (plant based protein).”

Lemongrass BBQ

The best way to think outside of the typical veggie burger box? Go global. A fusion of unique and familiar flavors, like lemongrass BBQ, is the perfect way to successfully expand–and diversify—your menu. “Lemongrass BBQ is an example of how Minor’s® can help operators take their new plant-forward menus to new heights.” To get started, try our new MINOR’S® Lemongrass BBQ Drizzles.

Get Inspired

How will you rise to the plant-based challenge in the new year? We’d love to hear from you! Share your ideas on Instagram @minorsfoodservice.