Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs

This easy sausage and potato skillet is seasoned with a healthy herb ranch blend and topped with a fried egg, making it a perfect breakfast, brunch, lunch, or dinner! Delicious!

Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs | thepajamachef.com

I love skillet meals! One dish meals are seriously my go-to for weeknights. Less courses=less dishes=less clean up=more time to read on the couch/bake pumpkin treats/watch tv/brush our little spoiled cats or anything else my little heart desires. Usually my skillet meals include rice, pasta, or quinoa, and cheese. Always cheese! But sometimes you want something a little lighter and fresher. Not that rice or pasta dishes can’t be light, but you know what I mean, right? For me, the key to delicious light meals is lots of flavor. Like ranch! Mmm, ranch dressing. Whoever invented that stuff was a genius!

Healthy Herb Ranch Seasoning | thepajamachef.com

A few weeks ago, on a whim, I made a batch of healthy herb ranch seasoning and used it for some roasted potatoes alongside a little breakfast-for-dinner meal with cheesy scrambled eggs, oatmeal scones, and berries. Not that you’ll NEED extra ideas for using this ranch seasoning [I think it's going to become a standard addition to my pantry] but let me just say that ranch seasoning on popcorn is amazingggg! Mmm, it’s 8 am and I want some ranch popcorn. Haha.

Ranch Potatoes | thepajamachef.com

Now, that meal was good…but I had visions! Visions of a ranch-seasoned skillet meal with crispy roasted potatoes, crumbled breakfast sausage, bell peppers, onion, garlic, jalapeno and a fried egg on top! Well, my fried eggs are actually over-easy eggs but same diff. :) I am happy to report that this skillet was everything I dreamed it would be… a fresh, filling meal full of ranch flavor AND the best part was that it’s healthy! That’s why I used that ranch seasoning blend… all the flavors of a hearty, creamy ranch without tons of salt, sour cream, or mayo. To make the potatoes super crispy I roasted them in the oven with some of the ranch seasoning, then tossed them with the sausage and bell pepper mixture after everything was cooked. Don’t forget the avocado on the side… a bite of creamy, cool avocado alongside this spicy ranch-y skillet is just divine! Enjoy!

P.S. Don’t forget about my giveaway for Healthy Solutions Spice Blends! Ends Saturday! :)

Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs | thepajamachef.com

two years ago: Peach Ginger Pie
three years ago: Roasted Vegetable Quinoa Salad
four years ago: Chili Burgers

Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs

  • Servings: 4
  • Time: 30 minutes
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Sausage and Ranch Potato Skillet with Fried Eggs | thepajamachef.com
Ingredients:

  • 1 pound red potatoes, cut into eighths [quarter, then half each quarter]
  • 1 1/2 tablespoon ranch seasoning, divided [see below, or use your favorite]
  • cayenne pepper – optional
  • 1 tablespoon extra virgin olive oil
  • 1/2 pound breakfast sausage
  • 1 cup red onion, diced
  • 1 green pepper, diced
  • 1/2 red pepper, diced
  • 1 jalapeno, diced – optional
  • 2 cloves of garlic, minced
  • 4 eggs
  • diced avocado, for serving

Directions:

Preheat oven to 425 degrees. Toss red potatoes in 1 tablespoon ranch seasoning, a sprinkling of cayenne, and olive oil. Spread in a single layer on a rimmed baking sheet. Bake for 20-25 minutes or until fork-tender. I like to bump the heat up to 475 for the last 5 minutes or so of baking to get a nice crispy crust.

While potatoes are cooking, heat a large skillet over medium heat. Add sausage and cook, crumbling with a wooden spoon. Drain grease and return sausage to pan. Add onion, green pepper, red pepper, and jalapeno, if using. Saute for 10 minutes or until onions are soft. Add garlic and cook until fragrant. Cover and remove from heat. When potatoes are done, add to skillet with sausage and vegetables and stir in remaining 1/2 tablespoon ranch seasoning.

Cook fried eggs to desired doneness, then serve a fried egg on top of each serving with diced avocado.

Healthy Herb Ranch Seasoning

  • Servings: 1 cup
  • Time: 5 minutes
  • Print

Healthy Herb Ranch Seasoning | thepajamachef.com

from Wildflour’s Cottage Kitchen

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons dried parsley
  • 1 tablespoon dried chives
  • 1 teaspoon dried dill
  • 2 1/4 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 2 1/8 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried basil
  • 1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 1/4 teaspoon sugar, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon dried minced onion, optional
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt, optional

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a Mason jar and shake to combine. Store covered until ready to use.

Can combine with 1 3/4 cup sour cream or Greek yogurt for a ranch dressing/dip; just mix well and thin with milk or buttermilk to reach desired consistency.

Linked up with Weekend Potluck.

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Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

This pumpkin pie spice is the perfect seasoning for all of your fall baking. Be sure to check out my secret ingredient that gives it a special POP. :)

Pumpkin Pie Spice | thepajamachef.com

Before last fall, I swore by store-bought pumpkin pie spice. Specifically, from Trader Joe’s. But then I ran out and didn’t have time to drive across town to my friend the Trader. Soooo I made my own. Let me confess, I was scared I wouldn’t like it. But guess what! I did. And now I won’t go back to the store-bought stuff.

Pumpkin Pie Spice | thepajamachef.com

My special blend of pumpkin pie spice has all the usual suspects–cinnamon, nutmeg, cloves, allspice, ginger… and when you’re measuring them, it smells like the essence of fall in your kitchen. Nothin’ better! I’ve spent some times playing around with the ratios of spices and have deemed this recipe my favorite for now. :) But wait… there’s more! I added a lil secret ingredient to give this pumpkin pie spice blend a special pop, a little wow, a big bang, a bunch of deliciousness to all your pumpkin goodies: dried lemon peel! It’s just a tiny amount in the grand scheme of this spice blend, but it adds some citrusy zing that elevates the flavor so much. I will tell you that my buddy the Trader did add lemon peel to his pumpkin pie spice first, but I’m glad I could capitalize on that success. Thank goodness for ingredient labels! :) You can find dried lemon peel in the spice aisle, but I will warn you it’s a little pricier than most spices. However, a little goes a long way so it will last. If you have cardamom I’m sure that would be a good addition too.

Pumpkin Pie Spice | thepajamachef.com

I keep this pumpkin pie spice in a small mason jar in my spice cupboard all year long and add it to anything and everything that can use some fall spice love: pumpkin quick breads and desserts of every kind, of course, but also oatmeal, yogurt, applesauce, and even on toast [a la cinnamon toast]. Some of my favorite pumpkin recipes include: Pumpkin Chocolate Chip Mini Muffins, Pumpkin Spice Chocolate Chip Cake with Nutella Frosting, and Pumpkin Brownies. To see all my pumpkin recipes, click here. I’ll be adding many more this fall so stay tuned! You’ll want a jar of this stuff in your pantry to enjoy the deliciousness. :)

one year ago: Pumpkin Coconut Soup
two years ago: Iced Tea with Ginger-Mint Simple Syrup
three years ago: Pumpkin Granola
four years ago: Spaghetti and Meatballs

Homemade Pumpkin Pie Spice

Ingredients:

  • 2 tablespoons ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground nutmeg
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground cloves
  • 1/2 tablespoon allspice
  • 1/2 tablespoon ground ginger
  • 1/2 teaspoon dried lemon peel

Directions:

Combine all ingredients in a small jar and shake to combine.

Use in anything and everything this fall–breads, pies, muffins, cakes… yogurt, applesauce… the possibilities are endless!

Healthy Solutions Spice Blends Review + Giveaway

I was recently contacted by Healthy Solutions Spice Blends about doing a review and giveaway of their products. I’m always a little hesitant to do reviews or giveaways of food products because I never want to feel obligated to promote something that I would not normally purchase or recipes I wouldn’t usually make. At first I thought I would turn Ethan down, nice as the request was since I usually don’t purchase seasoning mixes. But I clicked over to the website and quickly figured out that this company was nothing like what I wanted to avoid. The name should’ve clued me in, but it didn’t. Hahaha. Healthy Solutions is just as good as they sound, and they were founded by a mom so you know they’re legit! :)

Our line of 16 spice blends is made for today’s busy families that prefer having homemade meals over fast foods or frozen foods. Healthy Solutions Spice Blends offer families an affordable, but even more importantly, a healthy alternative in creating flavorful gourmet meals that can be prepared in minutes.

Their products are made only with high quality spices and no fillers, preservatives, or MSG. Most have no salt or sugar. When you open up the resealable packages, you can tell that this is the good stuff! They smell fresh and AMAZING, and each packet contains enough for multiple uses. I honestly was expecting to use a whole packet for one dish and was surprised that each can probably be used at least two or three times.

Healthy Solutions Spice Blends Review + Giveaway on thepajamachef.com

I got to try four varieties: Cajun Seafood, Salmon with Dill, Savory Meatloaf, and Authentic Chili/Tacos. Now, you guys know that I always make my own taco seasoning. I don’t know exactly what Healthy Solutions puts in theirs, but it is really great! I made a quick taco dinner on a recent Sunday night when we arrived home after a weekend away. As we reached Nashville, I was tempted to hit up some fast food since I knew there were slim pickings at home, but instead I asked Ben to stop at the grocery store. I purchased ground beef, tomatoes, and avocados, knowing I had tortillas, cheese, and lettuce at home, and within 20 minutes of arriving home after being away for three days, had a yummy taco dinner on the table. Having the seasonings already prepared is a huge time saver. Reading over this, I realize how contrived that sounds especially against that quote above. But I promise you, I didn’t set that situation up so I could have a nice little blog anecdote. Dinner was so much better than eating fast food! The other night, we also made some Cajun fish by sprinkling a little of the Cajun Seafood seasoning on some frozen white fish, then brushing with olive oil and baking for a bit. I forget what kind of fish it was, since Ben cooks the fish around here, but he LOVED it. To be perfectly honest with you, I didn’t. The seasoning was too spicy for me, but it smelled wonderful. I think I might try making some Cajun spiced chickpeas and seeing if I can handle that since I like chickpeas better than fish. So far, we haven’t tried the meatloaf or dill seasoning blends, though I plan to remedy that soon. Healthy Solutions includes tons of recipes and suggestions of how to use their products, both on the packages and online. I think for lunches next week I might make this dill egg salad… sounds delicious! I think that seasoning blend may also be great with tuna.

Healthy Solutions Spice Blends Review + Giveaway on thepajamachef.com

All in all, I’m now a HUGE fan of this company. They have affordable, high quality products that taste great and are healthy and convenient. I wouldn’t hesitate to buy their products myself in the future, and find it super convenient that they’re sold online with a flat shipping rate so you can stock up. :) And I’m equally excited that one of YOU will get to try 4 varieties of their spices now too.

P.S. You should sign up for their Spice Healthy Eat Healthy Club to get a 20% off coupon for your next purchase!

You can enter this giveaway up to three [3] times by following the prompts below, and the winner will receive four [4] varieties of Healthy Solutions Spice Blends of their choice for free. Please be sure to leave a separate comment for each entry so it is properly counted.

Here’s how to enter:

  1. Mandatory entry: go to Healthy Solution’s website and tell me in the comments what meat or seafood blend you would choose if you win.
  2. Optional entry: Follow The Pajama Chef on at least one form of social media: Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, or Instagram and let me know which one you chose in the comments. Entries will be verified!
  3. Optional entry: Follow Healthy Solutions on at least one form of social media: Facebook, Pinterest, or Twitter and let me know which one you chose in a comment. Entries will be verified!

Entries will be accepted until Saturday, September 13, 2014 at midnight Central Time. One [1] winner will be selected randomly through Random.org and will be contacted via email soon after. The winner will have 48 hours to respond before an alternate winner will be chosen. 

Giveaway open only to residents of the United States.

Thanks and good luck!

Disclosure: I received four complimentary seasoning blends from Healthy Solutions Spice Blends to try and review, and four more blends to give to a blog reader. I was not compensated for my time or to publish positive comments. My opinions are my own.

 

 

Healthy Crumb Topped Zucchini Bread

This soft, tender zucchini bread is my master recipe! It comes out perfect every time and is simply the best.

Healthy Crumb Topped Zucchini Bread | thepajamachef.com

Everybody has their favorite zucchini bread recipe, and this is mine. I’ve been making it for 5 years now and it comes out perfect every SINGLE time. Before Ben and I starting dating in 2008, I hadn’t ever had zucchini bread. It sounded so weird to me, but Ben grew up eating it in the summers and introduced it to me at one of our favorite coffee shops. And the rest, as they say, is history. My love for Ben and my love for zucchini bread will never die! :) Anyways…. this is a pretty simple recipe with walnuts and just a bit of cinnamon and nutmeg to spice things up, but the crumb topping makes it extra special.

Healthy Crumb Topped Zucchini Bread | thepajamachef.com

If you look at this loaf of bread, and compare it to my recipe below, you’ll notice that A) there are no nuts [I was out] and B) there’s no oats in the crumb topping. Oops. Just disregard that, and make as written below. It’ll be awesome, I promise. When I made this I had some leftover crumb topping from a pie in the freezer, so I used that topping instead. OH! Speaking of pie, I almost forgot to tell you what makes this bread healthy. Well, I’ve healthified the original recipe by cutting the sugar wayyyy back from 1 cup of each white and brown sugars, and using some whole wheat flour instead of all-purpose. It’s crazy to me how tender this zucchini bread is even when using whole wheat flour. I hope you give this bread a try to use up zucchini over the last few weeks of summer! Enjoy!

two years ago: Chocolate Mousse 
four years ago: Bestest Pizza Sauce Ever

Healthy Crumb Topped Zucchini Bread

  • Servings: 12
  • Time: 1 hour 40 minutes
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adapted from Allrecipes.com

Ingredients:

  • 1 cup whole wheat flour
  • 1/2 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking soda
  • 1/2 teaspoon baking powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 teaspoon nutmeg
  • 2 eggs
  • 1/2 cup oil – canola or coconut, melted to liquify
  • 2 teaspoons vanilla
  • 1/3 cup sugar
  • 1/3 cup brown sugar
  • 2-3 cups grated zucchini, about 1 medium – do not drain, the excess water adds the moisture that this recipe requires
  • 1/2 cup walnuts, chopped – optional

for crumb topping

  • 1/4 cup old fashioned oats
  • 1/4 cup brown sugar
  • 2 tablespoons flour
  • 1/4 teaspoon cinnamon
  • 1/4 cup butter, melted

Directions:

Grease and flour an 8×4 or 9×5 loaf pan. Preheat oven to 325 degrees F.

In a medium bowl, stir together flours, baking soda, baking powder, cinnamon, and nutmeg. In a large bowl, whisk together eggs, oil, vanilla, and sugars. Gradually add dry ingredients to wet and stir to combine. Fold in zucchini and nuts gently.

Spoon batter into prepared pan.

To prepare crumb topping, stir together oats, sugar, flour, and cinnamon. Pour in melted butter and stir with a fork until coarse crumbs form. Spread over batter. Bake for 40-60 minutes, or until toothpick inserted in the center comes out clean. 55 minutes is perfect for my oven. Cool in pan on rack for 20 minutes, then remove bread from pan and cool completely before slicing.

Linked up with: Foodie Friends Friday, Weekend Potluck.