Peach Quinoa Salad

This quinoa salad made with fresh peaches and mint oozes with summer vibes!  The peach and mint combo gives a fresh, sweet taste.  This recipe is an adaptation of a Bulgur with Peaches and Mint recipe featured in Cooking Light magazine this month (August 2013).  I used quinoa instead of bulgur to create another delicious variation, but you can use any whole grain you want in place of quinoa. Quinoa is a complete protein and loaded with nutrients. Three quarters of a cup of this salad provides over 13 grams of plant-based protein.  I made a few other minor changes, but I kept the hazelnuts.  If you can find them, they are delicious in this salad.  I bought mine at Trader Joe's.  Enjoy! Original Publish Date: August 8th, 2013
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Ingredients

2 cups water 1 cup uncooked quinoa, rinsed 2 tbsp white balsamic vinegar 2 tbsp extra-virgin olive oil 2 teaspoons raw honey or pure maple syrup 1/4 teaspoon salt 1/4 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper 1 cup diced fresh peaches 2 oz. chopped hazelnuts, toasted 1/4 - 1/2 cup small fresh mint leaves (to taste)

Directions

1) Bring 2 cups water and quinoa to a boil in a small saucepan.  Cover, reduce heat, and simmer for 15 minutes; fluff with a fork and allow to cool.
2) Whisk the vinegar, oil, honey, salt and pepper together  in a bowl, stirring with a whisk until the honey dissolves.  Try microwaving the mixture for 10 seconds if the honey isn't dissolving easily.
3) Just prior to serving, toss quinoa, peaches, nuts, mint and dressing together.  Enjoy!