If you’ve ever made a recipe in a slow cooker or bought a blender, you’re probably already familiar with the work of Mona Dolgov, one of the authors of “The Perfect Portion Cookbook.”
A nutritionist, food scientist, teacher, publisher and savvy businesswoman, Dolgov develops recipes and cookbooks for food and cookware companies around the world. She’s had a hand in working with appliance companies that make the Crock-Pot, Ninja blenders and many more of our favorite kitchen gadgets that are sold in stores, online and on the QVC shopping network.
Dolgov has developed product campaigns for grocery chain Stop & Shop and Kraft Foods, including Post Cereals where she helped launch Great Grains cereals and formulas for Maxwell House coffees. She’s continued to make good use of her nutrition and biochemistry degree from Cornell and a subsequent MBA from NYU, consulting for companies like Colombo yogurt and teaching at Boston College.
Written along with Bob Warden and Anson Williams, “The Perfect Portion Cookbook” aims to help people eat healthier while still enjoying their favorite comfort foods with recipes that can be easily divided into 100-calorie segments.
“Diets don’t work,” says Dolgov, 56, a Long Island native who moved to Boston 26 years ago and lives with her husband, Douglas, a physician, and their two kids. Instead of designing a restrictive diet, “The Perfect Portion” helps people pay more attention to portion size.
The book offer great-tasting home-style recipes that “teach what a 100-calorie portion looks like,” Dolgov added.
Williams - who’s best known for his role as Warren “Potsie” Weber on television’s “Happy Days” - now works behind the camera and is the founder of a consumer product company. He came up with the concept for “The Perfect Portion” while shopping for individual snack-sized packs in the grocery store - and worked with Warden, a longtime television chef and publisher, and Dolgov to make the cookbook a reality.
Smartly divided into chapters such as “Everyday Meals,” “Entertaining,” “Casseroles & One-Pot Meals” and “Satisfying Snacks,” the cookbook has beautiful color photos for each easy-to-follow recipe. Each dish has information about how many “perfect 100 calorie portions” would be a typical serving. For instance, the recipe for “Baked Mac & Cheese” makes 36 100-calorie portions; the recommended serving for lunch is three portions for a total of 300 calories.
On a recent afternoon, Dolgov cooked up a batch of Mona’s Southwestern Chili, one her of easy favorites that uses basil to add an “even more herbaceous punch than the cilantro you’d typically use in a Southwestern dish.” A half-cup is 100 calories; a lunch portion would be 1 ½ cups, while for dinner you might have a very filling 2 cups.
The chili was rich and flavorful, and the lunch portion was certainly filling. For even more richness, top with sour cream for an additional 30 calories, or low-fat sour cream for an extra 25 calories.
For dessert Dolgov served 100-calorie Cheesecake Minis, which I tried making at home. Topped with sweet raspberries, they were just the right sweet treat to bring to a friend’s potluck dinner party.
“The Perfect Portion Cookbook,” by Anson Williams, Bob Warden and Mona Dolgov, is available at theperfectportion.com, on QVC and on Amazon

Mona’s Southwestern Chili
Prep time: 25 minutes; cook time: 40 minutes
Makes 5 lunch or 4 dinner portions

Ingredients:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 pound 93 percent lean ground beef
2 cups chopped bell peppers
1 cup chopped yellow onion
1 jalapeno, seeded and diced
1 tablespoon minced garlic
1 (28-ounce) can diced tomatoes, with liquid
1 (15-ounce) can tomato sauce
2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil
1 tablespoon light brown sugar
1 tablespoon chili powder
1 teaspoon ground cumin
¾ teaspoon salt
¾ teaspoon pepper
1 (15-ounce) can black beans, drained
¾ cup frozen corn kernels

Directions:
1. Heat the olive oil in a stockpot over medium-high heat.
2. Brown the ground beef until fully cooked. Add the bell peppers, onion, jalapeno and garlic. Saute for 5 minutes, just until the onion and peppers begin to soften.
3. Add the diced tomatoes, tomato sauce, basil, brown sugar, chili powder, cumin, salt and pepper to the pot, and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer, reduce heat the low, cover and let simmer for 30 minutes.
4. Add the black beans and corn to the chili, and simmer for an additional 5 minutes before serving.
One-half cup = 100 calories. Recommended serving: Lunch: 300 calories = 1 ½ cups; Dinner: 400 calories = 2 cup

Cheesecake Minis
Prep Time: 10 minutes; Bake Time: 17 minutes
Makes 18 mini cheesecakes

Ingredients:
Nonstick cooking spray
2 (8-ounce) packages reduced-fat cream cheese, softened
2/3 cup sugar
1/3 cup sour cream
2 large eggs
1 teaspoon lemon juice
¾ teaspoon vanilla extract
1/8 teaspoon salt

Directions:
1. Preheat the oven to 300 degrees Fahrenheit, and line standard muffin tins with 18 paper or aluminum (recommended) liners. Lightly spray the insides of the liners with nonstick cooking spray.
2. In an electric mixer, beat the cream cheese until smooth.
3. Add all the remaining ingredients to the cream cheese in the mixer and beat until fully combined.
4. Fill each prepared liner with the cheesecake batter until about half of the way full.
5. Bake for 15-17 minutes, or until the sides of the cheesecakes are beginning to rise, but center is still soft.
6. Let cool on the counter for 30 minutes. Cover and refrigerate for an additional 2 hours before removing the paper liners to serve.
1 Cheesecake Mini = 100 calories. Serving Size: 1 mini cheesecake

Helpful Tip: Make a fresh raspberry sauce topping by lightly mashing 1 cup of raspberries with 1 ½ tablespoons of honey. Topping each Cheesecake Mini with 2 rounded teaspoons of the sauce will add only 10 calories to the full dessert.