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"Homemade...and Secretly Delicious" was founded by a small group of friends who had one thing in common: they all loved healthy food. Through their summer together at the Urban Environmental Lab (UEL) in East Side Providence, they were able to take part of the Community Environmental College (CEC), a youth program run by former graduates of Brown University that focused on discussing today's major environmental problems and food injustices. That's where this blog came in. The goal of "Homemade...and Secretly Delicious" is to offer an easy access to simple yet healthful recipes that anyone can enjoy in the comfort of their own home. The eight makers of "Homemade...and Secretly Delicious" are Sarah, Sima, Suhair, Siraj,and Tusneem Janoudi, Gabriella and Stephanie Olivences and Aysha. Coming from multiple backgrounds and cultures inspires our love for home cooking and healthy eating. We recognize how much flavor our cultures and communities bring to food, and we want to share that with you. As youth, we care about taking the small steps today in order to make a big difference tomorrow. So follow us today and start cooking your way to a better and healthier future!


Baked Red skin Potatoes with a delicious Parmesan crisp!


  • about 5 medium to small red skin potatoes
  • vegetable oil
  • water
  • 1 tsp basil
  • 1 tsp oregano
  • 2 tbsp Parmesan cheese 
  • salt 
  • black pepper 
  •  2 minced garlic cloves

1. cut potatoes into wedges
2. coat with a layer of oil
3. Add basil, oregano, Parmesan cheese, minced garlic, salt, and black pepper.
4. Mix well.
5. Add enough water to cover the potato wedges completely and cover the pan with aluminum foil.
6. set the the oven to  400 degrees F.
7. place in the oven for 15 minutes, covered.
8. Remove the foil and place it back in the oven until all the water evaporates.
9. Take it out of the oven, add a layer of Parmesan cheese, and broil for no more than 2 minutes! Broiling can easily burn your food so do NOT leave your kitchen!  


Delicious Chocolate Mini Cheesecakes

Siraj's Chocolate Cheesecake 


1 1/2 cups wafer crumbs (you can use any cookie you have)
1 cup plus 3 tablespoons sugar3 tablespoons unsalted butter, melted2 (8-ounce) packages cream cheese, softened at room temperature1 1/2 teaspoons vanilla extract
3 tablespoons all-purpose flour3 eggs1 cup sour cream or yogurt (for a healthier recipe) 

3/4 STICK of butter 
1/2 cup HERSHEY'S Cocoa

Powdered sugar
Chocolate shavings 


Using cupcake pans, set oven to 325 degrees F

Place cupcake paper cups without greasing pan or papers.

In a mixing bowl, combine the wafer crumbs, 3 tablespoons of the sugar, and the butter and mix well. Press onto the bottom of cupcake papers. 

In a large mixing bowl with an electric mixer, combine cream cheese, remaining cup of sugar, vanilla extract and beat until light and creamy. Add the flour to the cream cheese mixture and beat until smooth. Add the butter/powdered chocolate mix and sour cream/yogurt and mix well. (caution: cheesecake mix will be more watery if you use yogurt so you can use half sour cream half yogurt if you wish. If you use all yogurt, you can add more chocolate powder (between 1/8 and 1/4 of a cup to make it a little more firm). 

Add the eggs, 1 at a time, mixing on low speed after each addition until just blended. Pour the batter into prepared pan and bake for 20 to 25 minutes until the center is ALMOST set. Center will look a little moist.

Allow cake to cool on a wire rack before removing cupcakes from pan. Refrigerate at least 4 hours or overnight before serving. Cheesecake may be made up to 2 days in advance before serving and will keep for up to 1 week in the refrigerator.

Garnish with shaved chocolate and powdered sugar


Healthy Eggplant Parmesan

  • 4 medium eggoplants
  • 1 jar of tomato sauce (preferably with added onions and spices) 
  • 1 1/4 cups of shredded Parmesan cheese
  • 1 tbsp. salt
  • 1/2 tbsp. basil leaves
  • 2 tsp. black pepper
  • other desired spices/flavor 
  • chicken (optional)
  • Preheat oven to 360 degrees
  • Peel eggplants, then slice into 1/2 inch thick slices 
  • lay the sliced eggplant in a large Pyrex (glass) pan 
  • pour the tomato sauce on top
  • add spices
  • sprinkle with 1/2 the amount of cheese
  • add precooked chicken (optional)
  • cook in preheated oven for about 30 minutes, until eggplant is tender and cheese is melted. 
  • When finished, add remaining of cheese (Serve immediately) 
This recipe is a lowfat version of the traditional Eggplant Parm, and it can be either served with bread for making sandwiches, or with any type of spaghetti or pasta you would like! 

Enjoy :) 


Farfalle with Basil Pesto


·         1 Box of whole wheat Farfalle Pasta (or any other short grain pasta)
·         2 cups fresh basil leaves, packed (you can substitute this with other fresh herbs!)
·         1/2 cup freshly grated Parmesan-Reggiano or Romano cheese
·         1/2 cup extra virgin olive oil
·         1/3 cup pine nuts or walnuts
·         3 medium sized garlic cloves, minced
·         Salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste

1.      Cook pasta according to package
2.      Meanwhile, combine the herbs and the nuts in a food processor, then pulse a few times. (If you are using walnuts instead of pine nuts and they are not already chopped, pulse them a few times first, before adding the basil.)
3.      Add the garlic, amd pulse a few times more.
4.      Slowly drizzle in olive oil while the food processor is on, until it’s a creamy paste. Stop to scrape down the sides of the food processor with a rubber spatula.
5.       Add the grated cheese and pulse again until blended. Add a pinch of salt and freshly ground black pepper to taste.
6.      Drain the pasta, and serve with the pesto warm or at room temp. garnish with basil, tomatoes and cheese. Enjoy!


Safiha ( syrian Pizza )

  • 1 medium sized onion, diced
  • about 3/4 cup parsley, minced
  • 1 3/4 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon of ground pepper
  • 3 medium sized tomatoes. diced
  • 1 lb ground beef
  1. preheat oven to 500 degrees F.
  2. Add diced onions, parsley, 1 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and mash with hands in a strainer over a plate.
  3. Add in tomatoes and mix gently, allowing the juices to go through the strainer.
  4. Add in ground beef, 3/4 teaspoon of salt, and 1/2 teaspoon black pepper and mix so that the mixture is evenly distributed.
  5. After flattening dough into medium individual pizza's, grab a handful of the mixture, spread the mixture gently all over the pizza, then start pressing it down onto the dough. Remember that ground beef decreases in size when baked, so be generous with the amount of mixture that you add. 
  6. place in the oven for about 10 minutes, or until bottom is golden brown.