« Recipe for slow cooker tandoori pulled chicken | Main | Vegetarian Caesar salad recipe {gluten-free} »

Five things I love about e-cookbooks, and a recipe for Afghan-style pumpkin turkey meatballs, from my brand new book

A Flock of Meatballs e-cookbook

I'm so excited to introduce my new e-cookbook, A Flock of Meatballs: Easy turkey recipes with around-the-world flavors, from The Perfect Pantry® kitchen, available today! You know how much I adore turkey meatballs -- really, who doesn't love meatballs? -- and I had so much fun creating new recipes (and a few short videos) for you.

Let's talk about e-books for a minute. I admit, I didn't jump on the electronic bandwagon right away. I treasure my stained and splattered cookbooks, especially the ones with pages that are stuck together with blobs of sauce. If the binding has come apart and the pages are crammed back in willy-nilly, I'm in heaven. I've even written a couple of cookbooks in print. So, you might be surprised that I've chosen to publish my new books only in e-book form.

Here are five things I really, really love about e-cookbooks:

1. E-cookbooks go wherever you go, on your smart phone or tablet or laptop. When I have a meatball craving on the road or in the supermarket (doesn't that happen to you?), I can pull up the book on my phone, find a recipe, check the ingredient list, and buy whatever I need. At home, I view that same recipe on the iPad or laptop that sits on the kitchen counter while I cook. And, just like in a printed cookbook, I can bookmark recipes in the e-book, and add my own notes.

2. E-cookbooks contain links to more recipes that use the same ingredients, or recipes that make great accompaniments to the main recipe. So I can put dozens of new menu ideas at your fingertips. And did I mention video?

3. E-books are searchable. If you have an ingredient in your pantry that you think might be great in meatballs, use the search function (the same way you'd look online for the perfect toaster, or new shoes) to find recipes in the book that call for that ingredient.

4. E-cookbooks can save the planet. As the owner of 400 (okay, 500) cookbooks, I realize that, while I love my books, I don't cook with most of them often enough to justify the resources used to create them. And here's a thought: if I kept 100 cookbooks on the shelf, the other 400 would fit electronically on my iPad/Kindle/tablet, where I could search them quickly at any time. Eco-friendly, paperless e-books are the way of the future. Same great content, less wear and tear on the Earth.

5. E-cookbooks are a bargain. My book sells for only $3.99, which is less than $4.00, which, for 25 great turkey meatball recipes (12 of them never published here, the rest updated and improved), full-color photos of every recipe, videos and dozens of links to even more recipes, is -- let's face it -- a real steal. I work hard to keep the price low, so everyone can afford these books.

Remember, you can read A Flock of Meatballs on absolutely any electronic device -- smart phone, tablet, laptop, maybe even your VCR or coffee maker -- with a FREE Kindle app. Download the free app for your device, then download the book, and in less than a minute, you'll be traveling with me on a meatball magic carpet ride.


If you're thinking "no, not me, not ever" about e-cookbooks, I have a idea that might just convince you to give them a try. For three days (September 17-19, today through Thursday), to celebrate the publication of A Flock of Meatballs, I'm offering my summer e-book, 23 Zucchini, absolutely free. Why not try it? Download the free Kindle app for your phone, tablet or computer, then grab the book.


Now, let's cook! You can read the backstory behind these Afghan-inspired meatballs in A Flock of Meatballs, where you'll also find links to three short videos that show you my best tips and techniques.

Afghan-style pumpkin turkey meatballs, with yogurt mint dipping sauce, from A Flock of Meatballs.

Afghan-style pumpkin turkey meatballs with yogurt mint sauce

From the pantry, you'll need: onion, garlic, ginger root, tomato paste, ground coriander, ground turkey, panko breadcrumbs, egg, plain low-fat yogurt, honey.

Makes 24-30 1-1/2 inch meatballs; serves 4-6 as an appetizer.


For the yogurt sauce:
1 cup plain low-fat yogurt
2 tsp chopped fresh mint
1/2 tsp honey
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper

For the meatballs:
1/3 cup diced onion
1-1/4 lb ground turkey (use 93% fat-free)
1/2 cup canned pumpkin pureé
1/2 cup panko
1 large egg
1 small serrano chile pepper, seeds and ribs removed, minced
1 clove garlic, minced
1/2 tsp grated fresh ginger root
1 Tbsp tomato paste
1/2 tsp turmeric
1/4 tsp ground coriander
1/4 tsp kosher salt
1/4 tsp fresh black pepper


Preheat oven to 425°F. Line a rimmed baking sheet with a Silpat (silicone mat) or parchment paper, and set aside.

In a small bowl, combine the ingredients for the yogurt sauce. Cover and refrigerate for at least 30 minutes, or up to several hours before serving.

Put the chopped onion in a small microwave-safe bowl. Heat in the microwave for 30 seconds, to soften the onion slightly. Remove, and set aside to cool to room temperature for 5 minutes or more.

In the meantime, in a large mixing bowl add the remaining ingredients for the meatballs. When the onion is cool enough, add that to the bowl. Use your (very clean) hands to bring all of the ingredients together; be sure to get everything incorporated, but don't overmix.

Set a small bowl of water next to the baking sheet. Moistening your hands as needed, roll the turkey mixture into 1-1/2 inch balls and set on the baking sheet.

Bake for 18-20 minutes, until the meatballs are just lightly browned.

Serve warm, with the yogurt sauce.

[Printer-friendly recipe.]

More sweet and savory pumpkin pureé recipes in The Perfect Pantry:
Pumpkin banana waffles
Vegan squash or pumpkin stew with chickpeas and carrots
Pumpkin spice oatmeal with raisins and pecans
Pumpkin-pecan mini muffins
Pumpkin "hummus"

Other recipes that use these pantry ingredients:
New Mexican stew with ground turkey and green chiles, from Gluten-free Goddess
Ground turkey green chile soft tacos with black bean cilantro salsa, from Kalyn's Kitchen
Curried ground turkey with potatoes, from Simply Recipes
Hatch chile turkey burger, from A Communal Table
Stuffed peppers, from Elana's Pantry

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you so much for your support.

Disclosure: The Perfect Pantry earns a few pennies on purchases made through the Amazon.com links in this post. Thank you for supporting this site when you start your shopping here.


I will buy your e cookbooks any day! Thanks for all of your awesome blog recipes. I can't believe you have 200 more cookbooks than me! Jelly!!!

Hi Lydia:

I was excited to see that you were offering a free e-book. I am one of those people you talked about the "no not me ones". Your post today was very convincing. I thought, a free e-book OK this would be a great opportunity to try. So I clicked the link and found that it was available only for a kindle. Since I do not have a kindle it wasn't available to me. That was a big disappointment.

Marsha, not true! With the free Kindle app, you can read the book on any device -- Mac, PC, phone, etc. Follow the link in the post above, and you can be reading these books in less than a minute!

Geneen, thank you! Your purchase of the e-books supports the work I do here every day to bring you great recipes, and A Flock of Meatballs has some super new meatball recipes that won't be posted on the blog.

I didn't know that. Thanks for the info and thanks for the e-book.

Marsha, we're all a little bit new to e-cookbooks, and still learning. I'm glad to know I might be changing your mind about them!

I am new to e-books, but I'm loving this book! Congratulations.

Kalyn, thanks! I love the recipes in this book -- so good for parties at this time of year.

You had me at the title of your new ebook! A flock of meatballs--I love it! This recipe looks tasty, too--I never made the Iraqi rice dish my spouse came back craving--I'm curious what sort of food he'll be craving from this deployment.


Kirsten, I don't know where he's deployed, but there's really a meatball for everyone in this book. And since you're the pizza queen, and I'm the meatball queen, we should definitely be seeing some meatball pizzas!

Congrats on another e-book Lydia! Fun topic for this one too. I've been thinking about doing some mini e-books, but haven't gotten around to it yet.

I broke down and bought my first a e-cookbook and Im sure my grandma would gasp in horror... it does save space... think we are going to try the turkey meatball sliders first!

Jeanette, thanks so much. I hope you enjoy the recipes.

Lauren, I've often wondered about what my grandmother would have made of all of this -- the internet, blogs, e-books!

I love me a good meatball!!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.