Every week our friends at the Natural Gourmet Institute in New York City develop a new healthy recipe exclusively for our readers. This black bean burger recipe was created for Anna M. from California. Anna wrote to us explaining that she often finds that her eating habits aren’t as good as they could be and that she has suffered from back pain for many years. Her doctors have instructed her to build up her core strength to help relieve this pain. Anna is looking for a vegetarian recipe high in protein to help compliment her efforts to build more muscle. The recipe that follows provides high-quality plant based proteins, tons of fiber, and vitamin B. It’s also packed with spices that deliver plenty of flavor proving healthy eating doesn’t have to be bland.

Try out this fabulous recipe and share a photo of the result on Twitter or Instagram @LiveSonima with the hashtag #RecipebyRequest. You can submit your own request here for a chance to receive a personalized recipe tailored to your favorite flavors and unique lifestyle and dietary needs.

Photo by Hailey Wist



  • ¼ cup fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
  • 3 medium cloves garlic, coarsely chopped
  • 1/2 jalepeno, chopped
  • 1.5 cups cooked black beans (or 1 15-ounce can organic, low sodium black beans – drained and rinsed)
  • 1 cup whole wheat bread crumbs
  • 1 teaspoon ground cumin
  • 1 egg
  • 2 tablespoons canola oil
Bulgur and Romaine
  • 1 cup coarse bulgur
  • 2 cups vegetable stock
  • 3 tablespoons olive oil, plus more for grill
  • 4 cloves garlic, minced
  • 2 cups chopped fresh tomatoes (2 large tomatoes)
  • 1/4 teaspoon sea salt
  • 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
  • 2 heads romaine lettuce, halved
Yogurt Sauce
  • 1 cup fresh cilantro leaves
  • 1 avocado
  • 1/2 red Fresno chili pepper
  • 1/4 cup yogurt
  • 1/4 cup freshly squeezed lime juice
  • 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt
  • freshly ground black pepper, to taste


  1. In a food processor, pulse cilantro, garlic and jalapeno until finely ground. Add beans, bread crumbs, cumin, egg, and salt pepper to taste. Pulse until the mixture is homogenous. Transfer mixture to a shallow dish and form into 4 round patties.

  2. Heat oil in a large skillet over medium heat. Cook bean patties until browned, about 8 minutes, flipping once halfway.

  3. Cook bulgur according to package directions using vegetable stock.

  4. In a large skillet, heat 2 tablespoons olive oil over medium-low heat and add garlic. Cook until fragrant, about 1 minute, and add tomatoes, salt and pepper. Cover, and simmer over low heat for 15 minutes, stirring occasionally. Stir in cooked bulgur. Taste, and season with salt, if necessary.

  5. Heat a grill pan over medium-high heat. Brush romaine with remaining 1 tablespoon oil and grill until charred and slightly wilted, about 4 minutes, flipping once halfway.

  6. In a food processor, combine all sauce ingredients and puree until smooth. If sauce is too thick, add a few tablespoons of water. Taste and season with salt, if necessary.

  7. To serve, place ½ cup bulgur on a large plate with ½ head romaine alongside; top with bean patty and drizzle with sauce.

Nutritional Information

Total Fat
Saturated Fat
Dietary Fiber

4 Servings