Recipes: Dirty Vegan

Dirty Vegan's Matt Pritchard

Dirty Sanchez’s Matt Pritchard went from living like a rock star to ultra athlete thanks to a vegan diet and a whole new attitude

Comparing my behaviour during the height of my chaotic Dirty Sanchez touring days with how I look after myself now is mind-blowing. From the moment we left home it was carnage until we got back a few weeks or months later. My eating routine went entirely out of the window… in fact – if I’m honest – eating happened very rarely due to the daily use of narcotics, alcohol and cigarettes and a general lack of sleep.

For those who don’t know my story, I grew up in Cardiff with my brothers and my mam and dad, and had a pretty normal childhood, although my eccentricity did surface now and then. It was in my early twenties that my life really changed. I’d been obsessed with skateboarding since school and turned pro when I got spotted by a scout who’d seen me win a competition. Me and my mate Dainton started mixing skateboarding with pranks and dares, filming them as we went. We released a video of our messing about and, to cut a long story short, MTV called us up and that’s where Dirty Sanchez began.

Ten years of craziness ensued, and while I had the best time (a lot of which I can’t remember), the partying and rock ‘n’ roll lifestyle eventually caught up with me in the form of awful, awful depression. It was changing my addiction from booze and drugs to fitness that got me out of it, and through becoming an ultra-athlete I flipped the vegan switch.

I kept reading that tons of triathletes and ironman champions were vegan, so at first that was my motivation. When I looked into veganism more, the environmental argument against meat and dairy seemed so strong as to be irresistible. I became fully vegan four years ago and have not looked back. I started a YouTube channel and then the BBC came knocking.

Since the launch of my first book and the BBC cookery series Dirty Vegan, it’s been a mental year and I’ve learned a lot. Even though I studied at catering college in my younger days, I’ve been out of the game for a long time and it’s only thanks to the help of many people that I’ve been able to build on my plant-based cooking. I’ve also finally invested in my dream kitchen. I’ve wanted one for many years and now seemed the perfect time to get it, as I’ll be spending a great deal of time in it prepping and cooking great new dishes to share with you all. The rollercoaster life I once led, which was heaps of fun, has now returned me to where I started years ago at catering college. I’m back in the kitchen. I love it and I can’t wait to bring you more vegan dishes. Here’s to healthy, plant-based grub and all the good it brings!

Taken from Dirty Vegan Another Bite by Matt Pritchard, published by Mitchell Beazley, priced at £20



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