Asian-Inspired Chicken and Vegetable Noodle Salad

This salad, from the new "Student Cookbook: Great Grub for the Hungry and the Broke," is infinitely adaptable. Vary the vegetables, pasta type and dressing to suit your tastes.

Chicken breasts, cooked and cut into bite-sized pieces

Thin egg noodles, fusilli or other pasta, cooked and drained

1 bunch fresh chives, chopped

Assorted vegetables, such as red peppers, carrots and snow peas, thinly sliced

1 small bunch watercress or arugula, stemmed

Sesame seeds, lightly toasted in a dry skillet

Sesame or Bang Bang Dressing (recipes below)

Toss the chicken, cooked pasta, chives, vegetables and watercress with the dressing of your choice. Serve hot or cold, garnished with toasted sesame seeds and chives.

Sesame Dressing

2 tablespoons sesame oil

2 tablespoons light soy sauce

1 tablespoon balsamic vinegar

1 teaspoon sugar

Whisk the dressing ingredients together, stirring until the sugar has dissolved.

Bang Bang Dressing

5 tablespoons crunchy peanut butter

3 tablespoons hot water

1 scallion, thinly sliced

1 teaspoon sesame oil

1 teaspoon light soy sauce

1 teaspoon sugar

1 teaspoon rice vinegar or cider vinegar

1 teaspoon cold water

Stir the peanut butter and hot water together until the mixture becomes smooth, or as smooth as crunchy peanut butter can become. Add the remaining ingredients and blend well. The mixture should be just thin enough to spoon over the chicken and pasta. If necessary, add another tablespoon of hot water.

— Adapted from "The Student Cookbook," Linda Collister and Ross Dobson, (Ryland, Peters and Small, 2009)