• Recommended for: Taste Changes, High Calorie, High Protein, Constipation
  • Serves 4
  • Provides 400 calories, 22 grams protein per serving

Lemon Lentil Salad

lemon lentil salad


  • 1 ½ cups lentils
  • 1 tsp grated lemon zest
  • 2 Tbsp fresh lemon juice
  • 3 Tbsp extra-virgin olive oil
  • 2 tsp garlic powder
  • 5 leaves fresh basil, finely chopped
  • 1 medium tomato
  • 2 cups mixture of red and orange bell peppers, 1/2-inch dices
  • 1 Tbsp full-fat feta cheese
  • Salt and pepper, to taste


  1. In a medium saucepan, boil salted water and cook lentil until crisp-tender, about 15 minutes. Drain, rinse under cold water, and drain again.
  2. In a medium bowl, mix fresh lemon juice, lemon zest, olive oil, basil, garlic powder (or fresh garlic), salt, and pepper. Add drained lentils, bell peppers, tomatoes, and feta cheese. Season with salt and pepper to taste.
  3. Serve chilled or at room temperature.

Nutrition Tips:

  • Orange and red bell peppers, as well as tomatoes, are great sources of nutrients like vitamins A and C, which can lessen inflammation in the body and help defend cells from free radical damage.
  • Adding herbs such as basil and garlic to the lentils will enhance flavor, which may help with taste changes experienced during chemotherapy and radiation. Lemon, garlic, and black pepper will also help with metallic or bitter tastes in the mouth.
  • To increase calories, sprinkle on additional full-fat feta cheese or drizzle more olive oil over the lentils. For increased calories and protein, add pine nuts, walnuts, or sliced almonds, as well as full-fat plain Greek yogurt. Increasing calories will assist in weight gain, while increasing protein will help heal and rebuild muscle during and after treatment.

Recipe provided by Kelsey Vilcek, MGH dietetic intern 2017