There’s always something new and exciting happening at Bonnie Barkley’s delicious Cello’s Pantry on Highway 111. The latest and the greatest is the introduction of her “Lean Meals and Healthy Options Menu.” Says Bonnie: “We are constantly being asked about meals for our guests who are on a diet or those who are just watching what they eat. Since our tag line is ‘We cater to you,’ we decided it was time to take this request seriously.”

The lean meals line—each a single freshly prepared course; with prices that vary—is perfect for people who care about their protein and vegetable portions. It contains only “good” carbs—such as brown rice—and has all the flavor and sparkle of Bonnie’s now famous Grab and Go Dinners For 2 (three courses for $20; what a bargain!).

While Barkley’s selection of lean meals changes on a regular basis, some fan favorites are already emerging: Salmon or Chicken with Walnut Pesto over Zucchini and Yellow Squash with Barley, Dill Egg Salad in a Red Bell Pepper with Spinach Quinoa, an Udon Noodle Salad, a Chicken Bell Pepper Blueberry Pecan Salad with Balsamic Dressing Over Kale, and Avocado Lime Shrimp Over Baked Brussels Sprouts. It should be noted that all of these lean meals are fantastic either hot or cold. The handy containers they come in means no clean-up for you!

And since Valentine’s Day fast approaches, I should remind you, dear reader, that Cello’s Pantry is the perfect place to shop for a little token of your affection for friends, family, and that special someone. If you want to go the traditional candy route, Bonnie now stocks a variety of products from fellow Rancho Mirage staple Brandini Toffee. Or how about a dozen freshly baked Almond Cookies made like only Bonnie knows how to make them? There are other various kitchen, pet, decorative, and food-related items in the gift shop. While you’re there, grab a salad from the deli case…or just sit down and enjoy a hot cup of coffee (and one of those cookies—there are many more to choose from than just Almond!).

I’m truly so happy that Bonnie and her husband, Tom Steferak, have known such success both with their catering business and their Cello’s Pantry. It certainly is a unique space that’s a major feather in Rancho Mirage’s gastronomic/retail cap. www.cellospantry.com or 760.328.4200.

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