Brown rice, with its outer bran layer intact, has three time time fibre of white rice and much higher levels of minerals and B-group vitamins. It does take longer to cook, but it is worth the effort for its nutty flavour and superior nutritional value.
Soak the black-eyed peas overnight in cold water. Drain and rinse under cold water. Place in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Bring to a boil, then reduce the heat to low and simmer for 45-60 minutes, until tender. Rinse well, drain, then set aside.
Put the rice in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to a boil. Reduce the heat to low and simmer for 30 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until tender. Drain and set aside to cool.
Meanwhile, blanch the carrots in a saucepan of boiling water for 3 minutes. Add the green beans and blanch for a further 4 minutes, until the vegetables are tender. Drain and refresh under cold water, then drain.
Place the carrots and green beans in a large bowl and add the black-eyed peas, kidney beans, chickpeas, tomato, red pepper and onion.
Whisk the vinegar, oil, mustard, thyme and garlic in a small bowl. Season with freshly ground black pepper.
Drizzle the dressing over the salad and toss well to combine. Gently fold the rice into the salad and serve.
Per serving: 557 calories, 24 g protein, 9 g fat (<1 g saturated fat), 95 g carbohydrate (9 g sugars), 16 g fibre, 378 mg sodium