You'll reach for this recipe on early spring days for warmth and satisfaction. Even though this is a vegetarian pot pie, it's still hearty thanks to a whole-wheat crust and a filling made with potatoes, mushrooms, leeks and carrots.
2 tablespoons chopped fresh chives, plus more for garnish (optional)
¼ cup 1% low-fat milk
1 cup fresh or frozen (thawed) green peas
2 tablespoons half-and-half
Heat 2 teaspoons of the oil in a large nonstick skillet over medium-high. Add the mushrooms, potatoes, leek, and carrots; cook, stirring often, 5 minutes. Add the garlic; cook, stirring often, 1 minute. Sprinkle the vegetables with ¼ teaspoon of the salt. Coat a 6-quart slow cooker with cooking spray. Transfer the vegetable mixture to the slow cooker.
Heat the remaining 2 tablespoons oil in the skillet over medium-high; whisk in 3 tablespoons of the all-purpose flour. Cook 1 minute, whisking constantly. Reduce the heat to medium, and gradually whisk in the stock. Cook, whisking constantly, until thickened and bubbly, about 3 minutes. Stir in the thyme, pepper, and ⅞ teaspoon of the salt. Pour the sauce into the slow cooker; stir gently to combine. Cover; cook on LOW until the vegetables are tender, 3 to 4 hours.
Whisk together the pastry flour, baking powder, and remaining ½ cup all-purpose flour and ¼ teaspoon salt. Cut in the chilled butter with a pastry blender or 2 knives until the mixture resembles a coarse meal. Stir in the cheese and chives. Add the milk, stirring just until moistened.
Add the peas and half-and-half to the slow cooker; stir to combine. Increase the slow cooker heat to HIGH. Drop the biscuits onto the filling in 6 equal mounds (see Tip). Cover and cook on HIGH until the biscuits are cooked through, about 1 hour. Uncover; let stand 5 minutes before serving. Garnish with the additional chopped chives, if desired.
Tip: You can bake the biscuits in a 450°F oven instead. Place the biscuits on a baking sheet in a preheated oven, and bake until golden, 9 to 11 minutes. Serve the pot pie filling topped with the baked biscuits.