How Phytochemicals & MyPlate Help!

By: Christian Disidore

What are Phytochemicals and Functional foods?

Phytochemicals are chemical compounds that occur naturally in plants. Functional Foods are food given an additional function by adding new ingredients or more of existing ingredients.

Why should we eat them?

They help protect us from cancer, blindness, heart disease, and urinary tract infections. They are also good for the body and nutritious to eat.

My Plate

  • Provides practical information to individuals, health professionals, nutrition educators
  • The food industry is here to help consumers build healthier diets with resources and tools for dietary assessment, nutrition education, and other user-friendly nutrition information
  • As Americans are experiencing epidemic rates of overweight and obesity
  • The resources and tools of My Plate can empower people to make healthier food choices for themselves, their families, and their children.

Strachan Gelatin Salad

  • 1 (3 ounce) package orange flavored Jell-O® mix

  • 1 (16 ounce) containercottage cheese

  • 1 (8 ounce) tub frozen whipped topping, thawed

  • 1 (10 ounce) can mandarin oranges, drained and halved

  • 1 (8 ounce) can pineapple tidbits, drained

  • 1/2 (4 ounce) jar maraschino cherries, drained and halved

  • 1/3 cup chopped pecans(optional)

In a large bowl, mix together the gelatin mix and cottage cheese until gelatin is dissolved; then fold in the whipped topping, mandarin oranges, pineapple, maraschino cherries, and pecans. Transfer to a greased mold, or cover and refrigerate in the bowl until set, at least 2 hours.

Mac & Cheese Veggie Chicken Casserole

  • 4 Tbsp. Country Crock® Spread, melted, divided
  • 1 cup 2% milk
  • 8 ounces dry rotini pasta, cooked and drained
  • 2 cups diced cooked chicken
  • 4 cups assorted frozen vegetables, thawed
  • 2 1/4 cups finely shredded low fat cheddar cheese
  • 1/4 cup plain dry bread crumbs
  • 1 Tbsp. grated Parmesan cheese

  1. Preheat oven to 400°. Combine 3 tablespoons Country Crock® Spread, milk, rotini, chicken, vegetables and cheddar cheese in 8-inch baking dish.
  2. Combine bread crumbs, Parmesan cheese and remaining Spread in small bowl; sprinkle over top of casserole.
  3. Bake until heated through and crumbs are toasted, about 30 minutes

Spicy Chicken Caesar Salad


  • 1 2/3 cups creamy Caesar dressing
  • 1/4 cup FRANK'S RedHot® Original Cayenne Pepper Sauce
  • 4 (5 oz.) boneless, skinless chicken breast halves
  • 12 cups romaine lettuce,torn
  • 2 cups halved cherry tomatoes
  • 1 cup Pitted black olives
  • 1 cup shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 cup FRENCH'S® Crispy Fried Onions


MIX Caesar salad dressing and Frank's RedHot Sauce. Reserve 1 cup mixture for dressing.

POUR remaining dressing mixture over chicken in deep dish. Chill, covered, for 1 hour.

GRILL chicken 10 to 12 min. until no longer pink in center. Slice chicken.

ARRANGE lettuce, tomatoes, olives and Parmesan cheese on 4 dinner plates. Top each plate with sliced chicken and French Fried Onions, dividing evenly. Serve with reserved dressing.