Packed with vegetables, this tasty spring recipe has lots of fiber which can help relieve constipation, a common side effect of some cancer treatments.

Asparagus-kale salad, with lemon-garlic dressing


For the dressing:

  • 4 large garlic cloves, crush w/flat side of knife
  • 1.5c olive oil
  • 1/3 cup freshly squeezed lemons (2-4 lemons)
  • Salt and freshly cracked black pepper

For the salad:

  • 1 bunch asparagus
  • 6c washed and dried flat leaf kale, thick stems removed and chopped into thin strips (think like a coleslaw)
  • 2c sliced almonds
  • 1 can garbanzo beans
  • 2 cups cooked quinoa (or other whole grain i.e. wild rice, farro)
  • 1.5c grated parmesan cheese (can use vegan version)


  1. Mix olive oil and lemon juice in a small bowl, add 4 cloves crushed garlic, 1/2 tsp salt and pepper. Whisk together and allow to sit for garlic to steep.
  2. Roast the asparagus. Set oven to 425, break off the woody end of asparagus. Place spears on a baking sheet, drizzle with olive oil lightly. Bake until tender about 9-12 minutes.
  3. Toast the almonds in a frying pan on low until fragrant and light brown.
  4. Place kale in a large bowl, layer in almonds, garbanzo beans, quinoa, asparagus and cheese.
  5. Remove garlic cloves from dressing.
  6. Pour 1/2 dressing over salad and toss to coat.

Nutrition Tips:

  • Kale contains a compound called indole-3carbinole, which has been found to suppress tumor growth in animal models. Kale is also high in vitamin C, possibly helping to inhibit the formation of carcinogens.
  • Garlic contains Allicin, the major component present in freshly crushed garlic. Allicin has been found to offer anti-cancer activity.

Recipe provided by Mass General Cancer Center Dietitians