Devon O'Brien, Digital Food Editor

Gluten-free journalism junkie and hiking enthusiast who loves cheese, ice cream and tacos as much as blueberries and mangoes.

 

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When she’s not in the Test Kitchen developing healthy recipes for EatingWell.com—from gluten-free, slow-cooker and vegan to smoothies, desserts and cocktails—you’ll find digital food editor Devon O’Brien sharing her expertise on Facebook Live, writing about her favorite new food trend or creating mouthwatering images in the photo studio. Diagnosed with celiac disease in 2010, she is also EatingWell’s resident expert on gluten-free cooking and baking.

Devon’s passion for food, health and sustainability developed during her time at Iowa State University, where she earned a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication with a culinary science minor. She also served as editor-in-chief of award-winning student magazine Ethos and co-founded AmesEats Flavors, a publication made by foodies for foodies, where she wrote about food and nutrition. Prior to joining EatingWell in 2015, Devon worked with a diverse array of media outlets, including Food Network Magazine, Diabetic Living, Midwest Living, Kraft Food & Family, Kraft What’s Cooking, Pure Michigan Travel Guide, Michigan.org and Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Publications.

A Midwest girl raised by an East Coast family, Devon lived in Arizona post-college before moving to Vermont, where she enjoys hiking through the Green Mountains and biking along the shores of Lake Champlain. Her passion for travel knows no bounds: a backpacking trip in the Grand Canyon to see Havasu Falls, a jaunt to Austria and Croatia to hike in the Alps and kayak and swim in the Adriatic Sea, as well as close-to-home camping and hiking adventures in Vermont and New York. Though she spends countless hours cooking at work, Devon’s always in the kitchen at home, too: hosting dinner parties, finding creative ways to prepare her farmers’ market haul or perfecting a challenging skill like cake decorating. Breakfast is her favorite meal of the day (followed closely by second breakfast), and she’s convinced her blood is pretty much made up of coffee at this point. When she’s not cooking or staying active outdoors, you’ll find Devon enjoying live music, listening to her favorite podcast, reading a book in her hammock or adding to her impressive cacti collection.

My point of view:

What does “eating well” mean to me?
Eating well is a way to eat enjoyably while still eating healthfully. While I do believe nutrition is all about balance, it shouldn’t be just about checking boxes. Have a little fun with your food! Eat with the seasons, try new things and come together over a delicious, healthy meal.

The three ingredients I simply couldn’t live without…
For the longest time I didn’t even know how to start cooking dinner without olive oil, garlic and salt. To me, this is the triple threat that makes your taste buds dance.

•  Olive Oil: You need a little fat to aid the cooking of almost anything and olive oil adds rich flavor.

•  Alliums: They add tons of flavor to anything, and garlic is the perfect one to turn any bland veggie into a dish that’ll make you say, “Oh, yummm!”

•  Salt: Use it in moderation, but just a little bit and all of the naturally occurring flavors in a dish absolutely POP!

My go-to dinner for nights when there’s no plan…
For dinner in a pinch, I have two secret weapons: canned tomatoes and chickpea pasta. I make a quick tomato sauce with—you guessed it—a little olive oil, garlic, salt, basil and a can of diced or crushed tomatoes, plus any other veggies I might have lying around: sliced mushrooms, chopped bell peppers, baby spinach, etc. And serve it over cooked chickpea pasta with a little grated Parmesan on top. This meal comes together fast, tastes great and has enough protein and fiber to satisfy.

The healthy habit I’ve committed to…
Everything in moderation. I don’t deny myself treats now and then, but I can’t have a treat unless I’ve also had my veggies!

My favorite EatingWell recipe…
Based on my browser history, I make the Paprika Chicken Thighs with Brussels Sprouts the most. It’s easy enough for weeknights (almost once a week at my house during Brussels season) but guests love it too. So versatile, healthy and delicious!

What I work on:

•  Facebook Live: Quick and Healthy Breakfasts
•  Facebook Live: Super Bowl Snacks
•  Spicy Ramen Cup of Noodles
•  Spiralized Mediterranean Cucumber Salad
•  Gluten Free Cinnamon Rolls
•  The Only Recipe You'll Need to Make the Best Skinny Margarita
•  How to Navigate the Holidays with a Food Allergy and Still Eat Deliciously
•  5 Tips to Throwing a Killer Dinner Party without Breaking a Sweat