59-Minute Vegan Shepherd's Pie

From preparation to eating time, this is an easy, fast and comforting dinner with great leftover opportunities. Use frozen veggies for added ease.
Filling:
6 carrots
6 celery ribs
1 14.5 oz can lentils, drained (or meat-like crumbles and/or chopped walnuts)
1 14.5 oz can diced tomatoes, drained
1 cup frozen peas (thawed or not)
1 tsp each thyme and Italian seasoning blend
1 Tbsp minced garlic (optional)
Salt and pepper to taste
Potato Topping:
5 russet potatoes and 1 yam (optional)
8 oz vegan cream cheese
2 cloves garlic
salt and pepper to taste

Set oven to 425 degrees. Rinse, trim and slice carrots and celery and put in a medium pot. Add water to cover the vegetables, (or use a steamer basket and a pot of boiling water). Peel and chop potatoes and yam, if using. Put potatoes and garlic cloves in a large pot and cover with water. Bring both pots to a boil over medium-high heat and cook until all the vegetables are tender, about 25 minutes. Drain both pots. Using a potato masher, mash the potatoes with cream cheese, add salt and pepper to taste and set aside. In a large bowl, combine the filling ingredients, season to taste. Add filling to the bottom of one large or two small casserole dishes. Top with the potato mixture, sprinkle with paprika and bake uncovered until brown, about 15 minutes.

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