As I have written previously on this blog, I have come up with a good recipe for a modified Moroccan cholent called dafina which is easy to make, vegetarian and tasty. I have made it now many times but as much as I like it, I have had to also explore other slow cooker recipes for Shabbos kiddush. One week I tried a veggie minestrone soup. It was very tomato-ey and good but not compelling. Most recently, I have been making a pretty flavorful vegetarian chili. I must confess that I cheat in that I throw in SmartLife ground meat substitute (that's not exactly what it is called, but that is the idea). The SmartLife product is some sort of soy, but like the manna of the Torah, it can take on a number of different flavors. I have been making my chili with the fake ground meat, soaked kidney beans (using canned beans doesn't seem right), crushed tomatoes and tomato sauce, wheat berries (for texture) chopped onion, a little olives oil, some salt, pepper, a judicious amount of cayenne pepper (I used about a third of a teaspoon for a whole six quart slow cooker), and lots and lots of cumin. You might think that chili should have chili powder, and to tell the truth, I have been looking for chili powder, but I have not have found any that has met my needs. A small bottle from Fairway might be enough for a single slow cooker worth of chili, but at $3 or $4 a pop, it is too much. Then I tried a bottle of chili powder from a 99 cent store. It was quite orange and super spicy. I think it was mostly or wholly cayenne. In any event, the cumin seems to do the trick. After I mixed all the ingredients, I put it on the fire for 18 or 19 hours. The tomatoes take on a certain tanginess and cooked cumin infuses everything with a rich flavor. The cayenne gives it some heat. It's been a big hit at the Old Broadway Synagogue. Serve with schmaltz herring and scotch.