Drain the soaked beans, then rinse under cold running water. Put them in a saucepan and cover with cold water. Simmer over a low heat for 45–60 minutes or until tender. Drain, rinse, then set aside.
Put the rice in a saucepan, cover with water and bring to the boil. Reduce the heat and simmer for about 15 minutes, or according to the packet instructions, until tender. Drain and leave to cool.
Meanwhile, drop the carrots into another saucepan of boiling water and cook for 3 minutes. Add the green beans and cook for a further 4 minutes or until the vegetables are tender. Drain and refresh under cold running water.
Place the carrots and green beans in a mixing bowl and add the kidney beans, black-eyed beans, chickpeas, tomato, red capsicum and red onion.
Whisk together the oil, mustard, sugar, vinegar, thyme, garlic and pepper to taste in a small bowl. Drizzle this dressing over the bean salad and toss well to combine everything. Serve the bean salad over the rice, or gently fold the rice into the bean salad.
Some more ideas…
Replace the green beans with 250g broccoli, broken into small florets. * Mexican-style bean and corn salad Combine 2⅓ cups (400g) frozen corn kernels, cooked and drained, with 1 can (about 400g) borlotti beans, drained and rinsed. Add 3 spring onions, sliced; 1 chopped large ripe tomato; 2 small capsicums (1 red and 1 green), deseeded and chopped; and¼ cup (15g) chopped fresh coriander leaves. Make the dressing with 2 tbsp olive oil, the juice of 1 large lime, 2 chopped garlic cloves,½ tsp mild chilli powder,½ tsp ground cumin and pepper to taste. Add to the salad and toss well. Toast 3 small corn tortillas under a hot grill for 1 minute or until crisp, then crumble them over the salad.
This salad provides excellent amounts of dietary fibre, both the soluble and insoluble types.