1 tablespoon olive oil
2 stalks celery, chopped
1 onion, chopped
3 cloves garlic, minced
2 teaspoons dried parsley
1 teaspoon Italian seasoning
1/4 teaspoon crushed red pepper flakes
salt to taste
1 (14.5 ounce) can chicken broth
2 medium tomatoes, peeled and chopped
Tomatoes Grape, Organic
1 (8 ounce) can tomato sauce
1/2 cup uncooked spinach pasta
1 (15 ounce) can cannellini beans, with liquid


Heat olive oil in a large saucepan over medium heat. Cook celery, onion, garlic, parsley, Italian seasoning, red pepper flakes, and salt in the hot oil until onion is translucent, about 5 minutes. Stir in chicken broth, tomatoes and tomato sauce, and simmer on low for 15 to 20 minutes.
Add pasta and cook 10 minutes, until pasta is tender.
Add undrained beans and mix well. Heat through. Serve with grated Parmesan cheese sprinkled on top.

Fast foods often contain too many calories and too little nutrition. If fast food is a regular component of your diet, you might find yourself struggling with weight problems and ill health.

Effects of Fast Food on the Body

Food is fuel for your body and has a direct impact on how you feel as well as on your overall health. Fast food refers to food that can be served quickly. In many cases, that means food that is highly processed and contains large amounts of carbohydrates, added sugar, unhealthy fats, and salt (sodium). These foods generally contain a high number of calories but offer little or no nutritional value.

A  study published  showed that children and adolescents take in more calories in fast food and other restaurants than at home. Eating out added between 160 and 310 extra calories a day. According to the National Institutes of Health, some fast food meals give you a whole day’s worth of calories. That can really pack on the pounds . Being overweight is a risk factor for a variety of chronic health problems.
When fast food frequently replaces nutritious foods in your diet, it can lead to poor nutrition and poor health.

Digestive and Cardiovascular Systems

Many fast foods and drinks are loaded with carbohydrates and, consequently, a lot of calories. Your digestive system breaks carbs down into sugar (glucose), which it then releases into your bloodstream. Your pancreas responds by releasing insulin, which is needed to transport sugar to cells throughout your body. As the sugar is absorbed, your blood sugar levels drop. When blood sugar gets low, your pancreas releases another hormone called glucagon. Glucagon tells the liver to start making use of stored sugars. When everything is working in sync, blood sugar levels stay within a normal range.
When you take in high amounts of carbs, it causes a spike in your blood sugar. That can alter the normal insulin response. Frequent spikes in blood sugar may be a contributing factor in insulin resistance and type 2 diabetes.

Added sugars have no nutritional value but are high in calories. According to the American Heart Association, most Americans take in twice as many sugars as is recommended for optimal health. All those extra calories add up to extra weight, a contributing factor in heart disease.
Trans fats, often found in fast food, are known to raise LDL cholesterol levels. That’s the undesirable kind of cholesterol. It can also lower HDL cholesterol. That’s the good cholesterol. Trans fats may also increase your risk of developing type 2 diabetes.

Too much sodium helps to retain water, so it can cause general bloating and puffiness. Sodium can contribute to high blood pressure or enlarged heart muscle. If you have congestive heart failure, cirrhosis, or kidney disease, too much salt can contribute to a dangerous build-up of fluid. According to the American Heart Association, children who have a high-sodium diet are at twice the risk for developing high blood pressure than children on a low-sodium diet. Excess sodium may also increase risk for kidney stones, kidney disease, and stomach cancer.
High cholesterol and high blood pressure are among the top risk factors for heart disease and stroke.

Respiratory System

Obesity is associated with an increase in respiratory problems, and treating those ailments may be more complicated. Even without diagnosed medical conditions, obesity may cause episodes of shortness of breath or wheezing with little exertion. Obesity may play a role in the development of sleep apnea and asthma.
A study published in the journal Thorax suggests that children who eat fast food at least three times a week are at increased risk of asthma and rhinitis (congested, drippy nose).

Central Nervous System

There are many types of headache and many things that can cause them. Some dietary triggers that can be found in fast food include salt, processed meats, nitrates, and MSG.
A study published in the journal Public Health Nutrition showed that eating commercial baked goods (doughnuts, croissants, cake) and fast food (pizza, hamburgers, hot dogs) may be linked to depression. People who eat fast food are 51 percent more likely to develop depression than those who eat little to no fast food. It was also found that the more fast food they consumed, the more likely study participants were to develop depression.

Skin and Bones

Chocolate and greasy foods, often blamed for acne, are not the real culprits. It’s carbs . According to the Mayo Clinic, because foods that are high in carbohydrates increase blood sugar levels, they may also trigger acne.
The Thorax study showed a higher risk of eczema (inflamed, irritated patches of skin) among children with a diet high in fast food.
When you consume foods high in carbs and sugar, bacteria residing in your mouth produce acids. Those acids are hard on your teeth. In fact, they can destroy tooth enamel, a contributing factor in dental cavities. When the enamel of your tooth is lost, it can’t be replaced. Poor oral health has also been linked to other health problems.
Excess sodium may also increase your risk of developing osteoporosis (thin, fragile bones).


-1 large red onion, peeled and roughly chopped
-½ bulb fennel, trimmed and roughly chopped
-1 stick celery, trimmed and roughly chopped
-olive oil
-1 thumb-sized piece fresh ginger, peeled and roughly chopped
-2 cloves garlic, peeled and sliced
-½ fresh red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped
-1 bunch fresh basil, leaves picked, stalks chopped
-1 tablespoon coriander seeds
-2 cloves
-1 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
-sea salt
-1 kg yellow, orange or green tomatoes, chopped, or 500g cherry or plum tomatoes, halved plus 500g tinned plum tomatoes
-200 ml red wine vinegar
-70 g soft brown sugar


Place all the vegetables in a large heavy-bottomed saucepan with a big splash of olive oil and the ginger, garlic, chilli, basil stalks, coriander seeds and cloves. Season with the pepper and a good pinch of salt.

Cook gently over a low heat for 10 to 15 minutes until softened, stirring every so often. Add all the tomatoes and 350ml of cold water. Bring to the boil and simmer gently until the sauce reduces by half.

Add the basil leaves, then whiz the sauce in a food processor or with a hand blender and push it through a sieve twice, to make it smooth and shiny. Put the sauce into a clean pan and add the vinegar and the sugar. Place the sauce on the heat and simmer until it reduces and thickens to the consistency of tomato ketchup. At this point, correct the seasoning to taste.

Spoon the ketchup through a sterilized funnel into sterilized bottles, then seal tightly and place in a cool dark place or the fridge until needed – it should keep for six months. Great served with steak and chips.

Chocolate Mint BrowniesIngredients

-½ pound (2 sticks) unsalted butter
-10 ounces bittersweet chocolate, finely chopped
-3/4 cup granulated sugar
-3⁄4 cup firmly packed light brown sugar
-4 large eggs, beaten
-2 teaspoons pure vanilla extract
-1 teaspoon kosher salt
-1 1/3 cups cake flour
-¼ cup natural cocoa powder
-35 small chocolate-covered peppermint patties candies (about 1 pound)
-1 cup mini chocolate chips or regular chocolate chips


Position a rack in the middle of the oven and preheat to 350°F. Grease a 9-by-13-inch baking dish and line it with foil. Grease the foil.
In a saucepan, warm the butter and chocolate over low heat, stirring often, just until melted. Remove from the heat and whisk in the sugars. Whisk in the eggs slowly, beating well. Whisk in the vanilla and salt.
Sift the flour and cocoa over the chocolate mixture and, using a rubber spatula, stir in until just blended.
Pour about 1/2 of the brownie batter into the prepared dish, spreading it into an even layer. Place the peppermint patties over the top in a single, even layer.
Top with the remaining brownie batter and spread into an even layer.
Bake until a toothpick inserted into the center comes out almost completely clean, about 30 minutes. During the last 3 minutes of baking, sprinkle the chocolate chips over the top in an even layer; return to the oven to let the chips melt enough to stick to the surface.
Let cool completely in the dish, then remove from the dish using the foil to lift them out. Cool in the refrigerator until firm. Cut into gooey squares.


-1 cup white sugar
-1 cup milk
-2 eggs
-2 cups heavy cream
-1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
-1 tablespoon fresh lemon juice


In medium saucepan over low heat, stir together sugar, milk and eggs. Cook, stirring continuously, until mixture thickens enough to coat the back of a metal spoon, 10 to 20 minutes. Remove from heat and let cool.
In a medium bowl, whip cream with electric mixer until soft peaks form. Beat in vanilla and lemon juice, and whip until medium-stiff peaks form. Fold whipped cream into cooled custard. Chill in refrigerator 8 hours or overnight.
Stir chilled mixture to recombine, and freeze in ice cream maker according to manufacturer's instructions.