To make an easy shepherd's pie, brown 1 pound of lean ground beef in a large skillet, then drain the beef fat. Combine the meat with 4 cups of thawed mixed vegetables plus 1 cup of beef gravy.
Combine 2 cups of hot mashed potatoes, 2 ounces of cream cheese and two cloves of garlic in a bowl. Mix in 1/2 cup of shredded cheddar cheese. Spoon the meat mixture into a 9-inch square baking dish, and cover it with the potato mixture. Sprinkle the top with 1/2 cup of shredded cheese. Bake the pie at 375 degrees Fahrenheit for 20 minutes.
For a lighter version, cut 1 pound of Yukon Gold potatoes into 1-inch cubes, and steam them in a large pot for 10 to 12 minutes. Drain the potatoes, and mash them with 1/4 cup of low-fat milk, 2 tablespoons of butter, 1/2 teaspoon of salt and 1/2 teaspoon of freshly ground pepper. Heat 1 tablespoon of extra-virgin olive oil over medium heat in a large skillet. Brown 1 pound of lean ground lamb with 1 medium chopped onion and 2 cups of chopped carrots, salt and pepper.
Stir in 3 tablespoons of flour and 1 tablespoon of chopped oregano to the meat mixture, and cook for one minute. Add one 14-ounce can of reduced-sodium chicken broth and 1 cup of corn. Stir for three to five minutes until the stew has thickened. Ladle the meat into bowls, top with the potato mixture and serve.