Southern Illinois Seasonal Eats

Southern Illinois Seasonal Eats: Early July

  We are really excited that this week is our first week for our CSA deliveries. We have been tending plants, collecting eggs & making goats milk soap for our five special CSA families.  

The harvests are in but we also wanted to compile several recipes centered around the produce that will appear in this week’s produce delivery because I know a CSA experience is just as much about experiencing new foods/ recipes as it is about stocking up on food for the week. 

July is prime eggplant eating time in these parts. As you probably know eggplant is a delicious produce item (technically it’s considered a berry!!) from the nightshade family that is often sliced up, battered and fried in this region.  

I love me some eggplant parmesan but have you ever considered making eggplant parmesan bites? I’m making these up ASAP to see if the bite sized pieces and the dipping appeals to the kiddos more than traditional eggplant parmesan. 

Did you know eggplants were tested and found to have antiproliferative activities against human colon and liver cancer cells? Eating fresh produce goes a long way to improving health but you already knew that ;)Another abundant produce item that surfaces in July and even earlier here in Southern Illinois is the cucumber.When you think of a cucumber you likely picture them on a salad. 

Eating cucumber is a wonderful way to hydrate your body, freshen your breath,  protect your brain, load up on antioxidants and reduce stress. 

Did you know a cucumber is about 95% water? It’s true! Now if you are tired of just putting cucumber on your salad consider whipping up a salad made entirely of cucumber.  

A creamy cucumber salad is a perfectly refreshing side dish for the hot summer days when cucumbers are plentiful! Give this tried and true recipe a whirl-> 

If you are adventurous and looking for a recipe that combines many seasonal produce items all in one dish I’ve got the perfect recommendation, Tabbouleh! 


I first stumbled upon a recipe for Millet Tabbouleh when we began our sickness induced gluten free journey several years ago. I was experimenting with gluten free grain dishes. The millet was good but I personally prefer to use quinoa in this recipe (it’s super high in protein!) because it is super filling and makes for a perfect meat-free dish. It’s also refreshing and not overly heavy, something we look for in a meal after a long day out in the heat!

For many more seasonal eating recipes and inspiration see our “Eat Fresh” board on Pinterest here.

Follow Talina Norris-Ryder’s board Eat fresh- produce ideas on Pinterest.

<p>A city girl turned farmer. Yes women do farm ;) Owner and operator of direct to consumer, Ryder Family Farm in Southern Illinois.<br /> Wearing many hats I'm also a mother to 3, a wife, a yogi, a farmer, a 4-H & Girl Scout leader & hospitality manager.</p>

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